The Los Angeles Lakers look to avenge their worst two-game stretch of the season when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans for a second time in the past week. Wednesday’s game has the added intrigue of Anthony Davis playing at Staples Center for the first time since the trade deadline.
That of course was when Davis attempted to make his way to L.A., only for the Pelicans to continue to reject trade proposals from the Lakers. Davis didn’t play in the last meeting between the teams over the weekend, but should see around 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are in disarray as they followed up a loss to the Pelicans by falling to the Memphis Grizzlies. They felt to 11th place in the Western Conference and entered the day three games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the final playoff spot.
LeBron James has been openly critical of what’s been happening on the court, and hopefully his words will make the Lakers want to play at a higher level.
Perhaps the only positive of this whole terrible stretch has been the breakthrough of Brandon Ingram. In the three games since the All-Star Break, he is averaging an incredible 29.3 points and 8.0 rebounds on 56.6 percent from the field, 75.9 percent from the free throw line, and an impossibly-good 60 percent from three.
If he can maintain even 80 percent of what he’s doing right now, Ingram may be on the right track to unleashing his potential.
What must change for the Lakers in this game is the bench play. Against the Grizzlies, the Lakers bench combined for all of seven points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field.
The team looks genuinely defeated right now, and some of it could be attributed to the loss of Lonzo Ball to injury. In the 13 games since he got hurt, the Lakers are 4-9, losing by an average of 16.8 points per game. Ball’s defensive effort was always seen as important, but now it feels necessary.
Los Angeles Lakers (29-31) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (27-35)
7:30 P.M. PT, Feb. 27, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
Radio: Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Brandon Ingram
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Josh Hart, Tyson Chandler
Projected Pelicans Starting Lineup:
PG: Elfrid Payton
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Kenrich Williams
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Julius Randle
Key Reserves: Chieck Diallo, Frank Jackson, E’twaun Moore, Jahlil Okafor, Ian Clark