The Los Angeles Lakers closed 2017 with a double overtime loss to the Houston Rockets Sunday night, and get to dive right into 2018 when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves to tip-off a fresh year of Lakers basketball.
The purple and gold just saw the Timberwolves what feels like a few days ago, playing Minnesota in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. The Lakers lost on the holiday, and have since fallen to the very bottom of the Western Conference during their six-game losing streak.
That losing streak might keep ticking through the new year, with the Lakers looking at a road back-to-back without three players (Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) that have started all season for them. There’s nothing easy about trying to slow down Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler to begin with, but this is about as tough as it’ll get for the Lakers.
Josh Hart and Tyler Ennis provided a big boost for the Lakers in Houston, one they definitely need with their starting backcourt in shambles for the time being. Hart continues to look deserving of minutes in the rotation, showing some defensive chops against James Harden and the Rockets and overall making a positive impact on the court. Add him to the list of non-lottery pick gems the Lakers have successfully mined.
Hopefully we see the same kind of effort out of the gates as we did against Houston, which included an eye-popping first quarter from Julius Randle. Enjoy the game, and let’s focus our energy on sending positive vibes to the Lakers so we can start 2018 with a W.
Time: 5 p.m PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet