The Los Angeles Lakers returned home to a triumphant win over the Brooklyn Nets, but the heat’s about to turn up in Staples Center with a tough homestand. The San Antonio Spurs are up first, who will surely look to put a damper on the Lakers’ 7-5 start. Los Angeles is currently one of the teams tied in the top-four of the Western Conference, though the next stretch of six games will be a huge indicator for just how far they’ve progressed.
The Spurs remain a constant force out West, even without Tim Duncan. They’ve started the season 9-3, led by Kawhi Leonard’s career-high 25 points per game. He’s shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range, killing teams with threes and defense — something the Lakers someday hope to do with Brandon Ingram. The Spurs are in the top-10 in both defensive and offensive rating, one of the many signs of their consistency prevailing under Gregg Popovich.
The Lakers are top-9 in scoring, averaging 107.1 points per 100 possessions (.2 PPP less than San Antonio), but are still working on their defense, which barely scrapes into the top-20 of the league. Rome wasn’t built in a day, of course, and the team looks drastically improved on every front. Will it be enough to open the new era with a win over a long-time Western Conference rival?
Running LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol off the court should be key for the Lakers, who are blitzing teams with pace, space and serious depth. This is an intriguing test for the LA, who hopefully get up to face one of the best teams in the league. Enjoy the game!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet