The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to bounce back after losing to the Toronto Raptors, which ended their seven-game winning streak.
Although just the team’s second loss of the 2019-20 NBA season, questions were raised over their shaky performance in the closing moments of the game.
Now the Lakers are facing off against a familiar foe in the Phoenix Suns. In a matchup that would have been a cakewalk the last few seasons, a reinvigorated Suns team could make for a tough game.
The Suns are off to their best start in a decade despite being short of Deandre Ayton, who is currently serving a 25-game suspension. They have found early success behind the offensive fortitude of Devin Booker.
Booker is looking like the All-Star player many thought he would be, averaging 25.8 points per game, which is 12th best in the league. The Suns have assembled a formidable roster for the first time in seasons, bolstered by the additions of Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes.
The Suns have the fourth-best offensive rating and net rating in the league and have surprised many around this season. However, the Suns will have to take on one of the league’s best defenses in the Lakers, which will be no easy task.
Along with the Lakers and the Utah Jazz both tied for the best defensive rating in the league, they are leading the league in blocks and also force the fifth-most turnovers per game. Anthony Davis has reminded the league why he is one of the best defenders, averaging 1.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
Davis, along with Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, are going to be key to overwhelming the Suns. Although Baynes is a serviceable center, the Suns are really lacking in height.
Another big factor will be the play of Kyle Kuzma. Although Kuzma has had spurts of excellence since his return from injury, he has not found a consistent rhythm. During the team’s loss to the Raptors, Kuzma misstepped on a number of crucial plays in crunch time.
The game against the Suns marks the first of a back-to-back situation before they return to the Staples Center to host the Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers (7-2) vs. Phoenix Suns (6-3)
6:00 P.M. PT, Nov. 12, 2019
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
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, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels
Projected Suns Starting Lineup:
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Kelly Oubre
PF: Dario Saric
C: Aron Baynes
Key Reserves: Frank Kaminsky, Tyler Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson