As the Los Angeles Lakers head into a stretch of three games in four days, when further expanded, they have the luxury of playing four consecutive games at Staples Center. Through the first 20 games of the season the Lakers have split them evenly at home and on the road.
They’ve been pedestrian when playing in L.A., going just 6-4 in those contests. “It’s very important,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of the four-game stretch.
“We talked about now that we’ve started to level off and play better basketball, one of the things we want to do is become a dominant home team. The only way to do that is win your home games.We’re aware of that and we know that we want to make a stand these next four games.”
Coming off a loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers have an opportunity to not only improve their home mark but overall record. The Indiana Pacers are first up, followed by the sub-.500 teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, before the stretch concludes with a game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Opponents aside, the Lakers are dealing with injury concerns. Rajon Rondo is recovering from hand surgery, Josh Hart is playing through a strained ankle tendon that is causing lingering pain, and Lonzo Ball is questionable for Thursday’s game due to a sprained ankle.
The Lakers have a 108.2 offensive rating (18th overall) and 107.6 (15th) defensive rating in their home games this season. That’s compared to 107.9 (13th) and 108.4 (12th), respectively, on the road where they are 5-5.
In Walton’s first season as head coach, the Lakers went 17-24 at Staples Center, followed by 20-21 the next year.