The Los Angeles Lakers kick off their annual Grammy road trip against the New York Knicks with a chance for the team's first away win of 2015. After snapping a nine-game losing streak Thursday against Chicago, the Lakers face off against one of the three teams in the NBA with a worse record than theirs, although the Knicks have resembled an actual NBA team in recent games.
New York has won four of its last six, even if that includes victories over New Orleans without Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City without Kevin Durant. The Lakers are similarly missing their best player, as Kobe Bryant is sidelined for the remainder of the season and is unlikely to even make the trip to New York, quashing a potential reunion with his longest-tenured teammate and coach. Sorry, Triangle fans.
Los Angeles has turned the keys on offense over to Jordan Clarkson in Bryant's absence, and he's shown enough athleticism and flashes to give the team some hope for the future. After facing a murderer's row of point guards in his first four starts, Clarkson should enjoy going against a backcourt of Langston Galloway and Jose Calderon. So should Wayne Ellington, who's been the prime beneficiary of Kobe's injury and is averaging 18.8 points on 50.8 percent shooting as a starter.
Let's not forget the lottery significance of this game. With a loss, the Lakers would move within three games of the worst record in the NBA. Enjoy the game, and then forget it ever happened once the Super Bowl starts.
Time: 11 a.m. PT