The Los Angeles Lakers must deal with a number of injuries as they take on the fully healthy Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers are coming off of a tough loss to the Houston Rockets in which they not only fell in overtime, but they also lost Lonzo Ball to an ankle sprain in the third quarter. The Lakers had a 15-point lead when Ball went down, and simply spiraled from that point.
Head Coach Luke Walton made it clear that the injury to Ball does not mean they’ll be rushing back LeBron James or Rajon Rondo. As such, James and Rondo remain out Monday night despite increasing their level of activity.
Last year, when Ball was hurt, Brandon Ingram was a suitable replacement. While he doesn’t have Ball’s natural talent for playmaking, he does a serviceable enough job at point guard.
Ingram produced a career-high 11 assists in the win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and did a wonderful job creating his own shots in the overtime period against the Rockets. If he can combine both of those performances, he should be a solid replacement for Ball.
Kyle Kuzma will also likely have to continue the scoring streak he’s been on in order to give the Lakers a chance. He’s scored 29 or more in four of his last six games.
The Warriors are healthy, which of course means that DeMarcus Cousins will be in the lineup. He struggled in his first game back against the Clippers, but that was due to the fact that he fouled out in 15 minutes.
The Warriors have won seven straight games, scoring over 140 points three times in that stretch, so the Lakers defense will need to be as good as it’s ever been.
This will be the Lakers’ biggest test of the season. Without James, Ball, or Rondo, the Lakers will need somebody to step up and make plays. If no one does, it will be a long night for them.
Los Angeles Lakers (25-22) vs. Golden State Warriors (32-14)
7:30 P.M. PT, Jan. 21, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: TNT, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Brandon Ingram
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Josh Hart
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Tyson Chandler
Key Reserves: Ivica Zubac, Alex Caruso, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Svi Mykhailiuk
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Draymond Green
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Key Reserves: Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, Jonas Jerebko, Kevon Looney
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.