The Los Angeles Lakers are now 0-3 and look to get their first victory of the season in a road matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
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Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball remain in the starting lineup as Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo continue to serve their respective suspensions. They and the Lakers will aim to tighten up a defense that allowed 143 points to the San Antonio Spurs in a painful 143-142 loss in overtime.
The Suns are not exactly a playoff contender, but by no means are they an easy win. The young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Josh Jackson have immediate star potential. And they are led by veterans Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, and Tyson Chandler.
Booker is hoping to continue on his extraordinary path so early in his NBA career. Through three games, he is averaging 29.3 points and 6.7 assists. The shooting guard combination of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart should have their hands full with Booker.
JaVale McGee will also have to continue his stellar play so far in his matchup with former No. 1 draft pick, Deandre Ayton. He is an offensively gifted center, and McGee will have to do his best to contain him.
McGee dealt with serious foul trouble against the Spurs, fouling out almost immediately in the overtime period. While Ayton is no LaMarcus Aldridge, he still is tough to defend.
The Lakers bench will also be extremely important. The Suns do not have a ton of depth, so the Lakers must capitalize when guys like Booker and Ayton are off the floor. One player who could see an uptick in minutes is Johnathan Williams.
Williams had a breakout game in his rookie debut against the Spurs and will likely be rewarded in Phoenix. Unlike the Suns, the Lakers do not really have a reliable backup center, so Williams may see a lot of Chandler.
It is very early on in the season to call this game a must-win, but an 0-4 start may lead to some major concerns within the team. Hopefully LeBron James can right the ship and put the Lakers on the board in the win column.
Los Angeles Lakers (0-3) vs. Phoenix Suns (1-2)
7:00 P.M. PT, Oct. 24, 2018
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson, Johnathan Williams
Projected Suns Starting Lineup:
PG: Elie Okobo
SG: Devin Booker
SF: TJ Warren
PF: Ryan Anderson
C: Deandre Ayton
Key Reserves: Trevor Ariza, Tyson Chandler, Josh Jackson