The Los Angeles Lakers crack open a tough back-to-back, beginning Tuesday night in Staples Center against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers already lost to the Thunder earlier in the season, with Russell Westbrook cleaning up house with a triple-double.
The Lakers didn’t look good against the Chicago Bulls, dropping the kind of winnable game that will likely haunt them once playoff brackets start filling out. A young team is going to have a harder time closing out these kinds of deals than the well-oiled machines of the league, which has clearly been the case for LA.
D’Angelo Russell is listed as questionable while he continues dealing with soreness in his left knee. He still felt discomfort after taking five days off prior to the Bulls game, but has said enough to make it clear he intends to play as much as possible despite the pain. How that affects his effectiveness — his impact against Chicago was minimal — is key.
The Thunder are 8-6, riding Westbrook’s near-triple-double averages through the first 14 games. The Lakers just gave up 40 points to Jimmy Butler and let Westbrook put up 33 points when they last met. Now he did what he wants.
What I’m trying to say is, enjoy the game. I’m sure at least ONE of the “Russells” will.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: NBA TV, Spectrum SportsNet