After a big-time bounce-back win against the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers look to continue on the winning path ahead of the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline as they host the San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers won each of the first two meetings between these teams and would complete the season sweep with another win.
The Lakers got back on track with a complete team effort against the Kings, giving one of their best overall performances of the season. Seven players scored in double-figures, they hit 19 three-pointers, and assisted on 33 of their 44 made field goals.
Obviously the mood will be set by the recently named Western Conference Player of the Month in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but all eyes will be on the team’s supporting cast, especially with the trade deadline just days away.
Kyle Kuzma is at the top of that list. The team’s third-leading scorer is still only averaging 13 points a game and rumors continue to fly about a potential move. This is the last game before a deal would have to be struck and could serve as something of a showcase, either for the Lakers to keep him or another team to insist on acquiring him.
While they can’t be dealt, eyes will also be on JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and especially Rajon Rondo as continued struggles could cause general manager Rob Pelinka to be more desperate in moving to shore up the team’s deficiencies.
But in terms of the game at hand, this supporting cast will likely be the difference in a Lakers win or loss.
The first game saw 44 combined points from Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, and Dwight Howard. Likewise, the second contest was shifted with four Lakers role players scoring in double-digits including 11 points on 3-of-3 from deep from Troy Daniels.
The Spurs, like the Lakers, are built around a one-two punch. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are not on the level of James and Davis, but they are more than formidable and very capable of getting hot. The question will be whether their supporting cast can outplay that of the Lakers.
The Spurs have a platoon of guards, any of which are capable of a big game or hot shooting night in any contest. Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV will all get the opportunity so the Lakers can not get complacent at any point. Likewise, frontcourt players such as Rudy Gay and Trey Lyles have had big nights.
In the end, the Spurs are dangerous. They’re on the second night of a back-to-back situation and can’t be happy at letting a win over the Clippers slip through their fingers and they had won their previous two before that. But the Lakers are the more talented team and as long as they don’t get distracted, they should have enough to get through this.
Los Angeles Lakers (37-11) vs. San Antonio Spurs (22-27)
7:00 P.M. PT, Feb. 4, 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 Spurs Starting Lineup:
PG: Dejounte Murray
SG: Bryn Forbes
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Trey Lyles
Key Reserves: Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV