The Los Angeles Lakers took a much-needed day off after a bad game against the Utah Jazz, welcoming the New Orleans Pelicans to Staples Center for some Tuesday night hoops. This is a battle between the West's two worst teams, bringing some important draft lottery odds implications to the table.
Kobe Bryant, D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Brandon Bass are all dealing with minor injuries, and as the Lakers saw against the Utah Jazz, missing two or three bodies from their rotation makes a huge difference. If both Russell and Bryant sit out, expect another unorganized night of shot-clock draining offensive possessions.
The Pelicans were supposed to take the next step with a superstar in hand this season. Anthony Davis was no longer the up-and-comer, but the here-and-now. He's putting up numbers that resemble his breakout '14-15 campaign, but the head coaching change they made has yet to yield results. Instead, the Pelicans have spent most of the season swapping back-and-forth with the Lakers over which team allows the most points per 100 possessions. This isn't supposed to be how one of the surprising playoffs teams follow a successful year up, but now they have the second-worst record in the Western Conference.
Davis should have a field day with the Lakers' frontcourt defense. Roy Hibbert's too slow to match up with Davis, who can spread the floor out to mid-range and get to the rim, and the rest of the Lakers' bigs have arguably even less of a chance to make a defensive impact against him. Anthony did sit out of the Pelicans previous game with a back contusion, and is considered questionable Tuesday night in Staples.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: TWCSN, FSNO, NBATV