The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns head to the Honda Center in Anaheim for a friendly preseason game as the exhibition games begin winding down. There are just three games left before the regular season is next in line for the Lakers, leaving little time to refine their process before the wins and losses start counting.
The Lakers are hoping to have handful of players back in uniform, though we won't know whether Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin, Steve Nash or Ryan Kelly will be suiting up until later in the day. Byron Scott gave his team Monday off after a second-half comeback against the Utah Jazz. It's also worth noting the Lakers are playing the first half of their first back-to-back of the year, which could lead to some rotation adjustments for the shorthanded roster in preparation.
Scott has remained steadfast to his starting lineup, aside from having to start different point guards due to injury throughout preseason. Kobe Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer have managed starting duties, though it'd be nice to see Scott give Julius Randle and/or Ed Davis an opportunity to play starting minutes at least once before the regular season begins, especially after they did a great job closing out the Jazz Sunday night.
The Suns are loaded with talent in a backcourt that features Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, which will be a challenge for Bryant and Ronnie Price to corral. They also have rookie guard Tyler Ennis, who should still be a problem for the Lakers' shoddy perimeter defense.
This game also provides the Lakers a chance to scout out their second opponent of the regular season up close and personal, but more importantly, it's an opportunity to build on a great second-half effort that finally left Scott impressed with his team and Randle. It was nice seeing the Lakers pull together to close out Utah, even if Gordon Hayward sat out after the first half.
Another win would be nice to keep the good, especially if the team plays well and shows progress.
Time: 7 p.m. PT