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Lakers vs. Nets Preview: Someone must win battle of the winless

The winless titans of the East and West coast go to battle.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers begin a five-game road trip in Brooklyn against the Nets. Both teams are 0-4 to start the season, which means on this night one team will bask in the glory of victory for the first time. The Lakers have the worst defense in the NBA through the first few games of the year, allowing 113 points per 100 possessions. The Nets have the second-worst offensive rating, putting up just 93.5 points per 100.

Somehow, someway, a winner shall emerge.

The Lakers could use a burst of positive energy after frustrations bubbled to the surface during the fourth quarter of their loss to the Denver NuggetsVerbal altercations between "several" players on the bench are clearly indicative of a tense team that's still seeking its first win. It's fair to say this has been a disappointing start to a new campaign.

The Nets have gotten off to an equally terrible start out East. Joe Johnson is struggling, shooting just 28.3 percent from the field while putting up 10.6 shots per game. The Nets as a whole can't make a three, shooting 24.4 percent from deep. If there's a team this Lakers' defense can stop, it's apparently this one. Or the Lakers could be the defense to score against. We'll soon find out.

Developments in Byron Scott's rotation are always worth keeping an eye out for. Tarik Black played significant minutes and closed out the game instead of Roy Hibbert, finding a chunk of playing time after appearing in one game for a little over six minutes through the previous three games. We'll see what kind of adjustments he makes in Game 5, especially with Brook Lopez standing as the focal point of Brooklyn's offense. Lou Williams also soaked up fourth quarter minutes, leaving D'Angelo Russell to watch the final 12 minutes from the bench.

A win would be huge for the Lakers, who are in need of a morale boost to start their East Coast road trip. Enjoy the game, with a reminder that it is an early tip-off. A final note; there won't be a Lakers Late Night tonight! Sorry folks!

Time: 4:30 p.m. PT


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