Last weekend in Detroit, LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart nearly started an all-out brawl, only for both to be ejected and suspended. Now, with both back in the lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Detroit Pistons yet again with L.A. needing a win to get back on track.
What got lost in the stir created by James and Stewart is that the Lakers needed a huge fourth-quarter comeback to get past a lowly Pistons team. Since, they’ve lost in an even worse fashion, dropping a three-overtime game to the Sacramento Kings.
Something is clearly not right with the Lakers, and they need to figure things out before their schedule intensifies in December. Putting together a convincing win against the Pistons would be a great first step towards figuring out a game-to-game formula.
L.A. should once again be fairly healthy. James is questionable with his rectus abdominis strain that may have been worsened after playing 50 minutes against the Kings. However, if he plays, the team will be without only Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn.
Austin Reaves was available to play against the Kings, but Frank Vogel opted against using him. Hopefully, the three-and-D wing can get some minutes against the Pistons. Even though Reaves has not yet developed NBA strength, he is one of the few players on the Lakers capable of guarding opposing wings.
Wings are where the Pistons thrive. Jerami Grant has cemented himself as a solid No. 1 option in Detroit, while Cade Cunningham has wing-level size despite playing more of a combo guard role. And although the Pistons are not a good team by any stretch, they absolutely are not afraid of the Lakers.
They saw in their last meeting that they have what it takes to beat L.A., even if they fell apart in the final minutes. That type of confidence can resonate with a young team, so the Lakers cannot afford to take this opponent lightly.
Losing to Detroit and dropping to 10-12 would be a disastrous result and could further intensify the conversations surrounding Vogel’s job security. A win would stave off the rumors for now and allow L.A. to get back to .500.
Lakers (10-11) vs. Pistons (4-15)
6:30 p.m. PT, Nov. 28, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: DeAndre Jordan
Key Reserves: Carmelo Anthony, Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard
Projected Pistons Starting Lineup:
PG: Cory Joseph
SG: Cade Cunningham
SF: Saddiq Bey
PF: Jerami Grant
C: Isaiah Stewart
Key Reserves: Frank Jackson, Saben Lee, Josh Jackson, Hamidou Diallo
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