It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Los Angeles Lakers take the floor, but they’re back in action Tuesday night in STAPLES Center. The Denver Nuggets are next up, and what is typically a showdown between the two 2015 lottery point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay remains in the air. There’s a chance Russell returns to the lineup after missing the previous three games, and Mudiay is considered a game-time decision.
The Lakers have been off since Thursday after losing their third road game in a row during the short half of a very long trip. The free fall that began in December has continued, and at this point it’s clear the Lakers are who they are. It’s not a terrible thing that a very young team is falling over itself, but it’s the lack of tangible progress recently that has made it even harder to take in stride.
Not having your starting point guard exacerbates the issue, and Julius Randle needing time away after being diagnosed with pneumonia only made matters worse. The only upside to the Lakers drifting further and further away from the No. 8 seed — now a seven-game gap — is the door that opened for Ivica Zubac to develop with the main team instead of the D-Fenders. That eighth seed, by the way, currently belongs to the Nuggets.
It’d be wise to take advantage of being in Los Angeles with the infamous Grammy’s Road Trip in front of them. It’ll be a five-game East coast tour, making for eight of nine games away from STAPLES Center over this stretch. On the other side of it is an ever-looming trade deadline.
Enjoy the first game in what feels like forever!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet