Now that the NBA’s Feb. 6 trade deadline has come and gone, the Los Angeles Lakers are focused on getting a winning streak going at home against the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers are coming off a dominant win over the San Antonio Spurs to make it two straight. LeBron James solidified his status as the Western Conference Player of the Month with his late-game heroics that saw him hit five three-pointers in a span of less than three minutes to secure the 129-102 win.
Although this team is still far from a finished product, they have done a solid job of following through on the hype they generated with the Anthony Davis trade by holding on to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the bulk of the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Rockets were among those that were involved in a four-team, 12-player blockbuster deal ahead of the trade deadline. For their part, they parted ways with Clint Capela and Nene Hilario in exchange for Robert Covington. As a result, they now seemingly have no choice but to go with their small-ball approach for the rest of the season.
Capela had served as the lone rim presence for the Rockets down low in the paint on both ends of the floor, but it appears they have done away with the big man completely and will instead opt to feature Tucker at the center spot. Meanwhile, Covington provides them with some much-needed depth on the wing with a strong two-way player of his caliber.
Regardless, the lack of size has become quite evident as of late after being outrebounded by at least 10 rebounds per game in each of the past three games. They should have their work cut out trying to end that streak against a Lakers frontcourt that consists of Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard.
It will be interesting to see how Houston is able to match up with the physical presence that awaits them at the Staples Center. While Los Angeles is no stranger to getting going in transition, they may look to slow the game up and take advantage of their length inside.
Los Angeles Lakers (38-11) vs. Houston Rokets (32-18)
7:30 P.M. PT, Feb. 6, 2020
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso
Projected Rockets Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: James Harden
SF: Eric Gordon
PF: Danuel House
C: PJ Tucker
Key Reserves: Ben McLemore, Austin Rivers, Thabo Sefolosha