The Los Angeles Lakers host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night in what could be a preview of the first round of the postseason in the Western Conference.
As things currently stand, the Suns are locked into the No. 2 seed in the West after an outstanding regular season. On the other hand, the Lakers have dropped all the way to seventh thanks to their recent poor play, losing five of their last six.
If the Lakers finish in the seventh spot then they would have to participate in the play-in tournament to earn their spot in the playoffs. If they win their first game in that though then they would advance to take on the Suns.
While this game could be a postseason preview, the Lakers are looking much different than they would in the playoffs. They are again without their top two playmakers in LeBron James and Dennis Schroder.
It also remains to be seen if Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma are going to be able to play, although it seems unlikely as they both deal with minor injuries.
On the Suns’ side of things, they are hitting their stride at the right time, coming in winners of six of seven. It all starts with their backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, who teams have been unable to figure out all year.
One thing the Lakers have in this game is the size advantage as outside of DeAndre Ayton, Phoenix lacks are true center, which should give Andre Drummond a solid opportunity to do some work inside.
Anthony Davis is also coming off his best game since returning from injury, finishing with 36 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes in Friday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
A healthy Davis along with a healthy James is a huge key to the Lakers’ future success, so it is good to see that the former is getting close to being back to his usual self with the latter perhaps only being a game or two away from returning as well.
Lakers (37-30) vs. Suns (48-19)
7:00 p.m. PT, May 9, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Alex Caruso
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Kyle Kuzma
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Andre Drummond
Key Reserves: Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, Marc Gasol, Markieff Morris, Talen Horton-Tucker
Projected Suns Starting Lineup:
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Torrey Craig
C: DeAndre Ayton
Key Reserves: Jae Crowder, Frank Kaminsky, Cameron Payne, Dario Saric, Jevon Carter
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