The Los Angeles Lakers are back home in Southern California and Anthony Davis' New Orleans Pelicans are ready to crash the homecoming. The Pelicans are wrapping up a three-game road trip that's included losses to the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers, and this will be the second game of a back-to-back. The Lakers have a golden opportunity to pick up a win against a team just trying to get the heck out of California.
We can expect to see a different Lakers team, to an extent. Byron Scott has seen 20 disappointing games and is ready to begin his roster adjustments. He hasn't made an announcement as to what changes are coming, leaving much open to speculation. Jeremy Lin's minutes have been sporadic though the season, Carlos Boozer fits into Scott's offense but defensively he's killing the Lakers, and Wesley Johnson is as inconsistent as ever. The two things that are a given: Kobe Bryant and Jordan Hill retaining their roles in the starting five.
The Lakers need more than tweaks to their starting lineup, though. They need a defensive identity and pride in stopping opponents much more than giving extra minutes to players who were playing off the bench. Credit to Scott for giving things time and committing to making changes at the 20-game mark, but the Lakers' roster is a half-deck of cards. No amount of shuffling is completing it.
The purple and gold have an opponent that's heading into the game on the ropes. Hopefully that equates to a solid game from the Lakers, and let's not forget Kobe is quickly approaching Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, just 77 points away. Enjoy the game!
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT