The Los Angeles Lakers opened a brand new campaign with a loss to the LA Clippers, but hit the road immediately to face another division rival in the Phoenix Suns. While we often frown at teams playing in a back-to-back situation, perhaps it’ll be a good opportunity for the team to gather some momentum by clocking in more time on the court.
Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, the two young stars believed to be the future leaders of the franchise, failed to deliver performances you’d expect from the to-be stars of the team. It was also just Game 1 of 82, and Lonzo only played in the first two preseason games. Hopefully getting back on the court is good for both of them.
Head coach Luke Walton decided to start Larry Nance Jr. and Luol Deng as his two forwards, sliding Ingram down to shooting guard while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope serves his two-game extension. Will that be the case when the Lakers play Phoenix?
Devin Booker presents an entirely new challenge for the Lakers to take on, one that would be great to have Caldwell-Pope for. Instead, expect to see Ingram trying to interrupt him with his length, which seems like the most viable way to go about making him uncomfortable on the court. Eric Bledsoe gives Ball another tough matchup to deal with.
The Suns were smoked by the Portland Trail Blazers in their season opener (124-76) and surely want to put an ugly start to their year behind them as well. Only one team will get to enjoy that sweet first victory Friday night in Phoenix. Let’s hope it’s the Lakers.
Time: 7 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, FSAZ