If this were indeed a Hollywood film, the Los Angeles Lakers have gone through the rising action, and are nearing the climax of the story that is their season. It began with the release of veteran center, Andrew Bogut, on Saturday, possibly foreshadowing a series of transactions to come. On Sunday, the quote heard around the world was released when Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, suggested the Lakers do not want to play for head coach, Luke Walton. The cherry on the figurative sundae that has been a gloomy winter stretch for the squad.
The team, and Walton, each dealt with answering related questions throughout the day up until tip-off, where the team, with their nine-game losing streak in their back pockets, were set to face the Atlanta Hawks in a game that felt drastically more important than a usual match-up of the two worst records in the NBA. In true poetic fashion, the team not only snapped their losing streak, but did so in convincing fashion, pouncing on the weary Atlanta squad in a 132-113 victory.
The game, in which the purple and gold blitzed the Hawks with a franchise-record tying 42 fastbreak points, seemed to provide some level of optimism for a team that has been spiraling recently. What hopefully ignited a spark of confidence will be put to test, when the Lakers host their old rivals the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night.
The Kings, who rank last in both defensive (110.3) and offensive rating (100.3) currently hold a better record than the Lakers, and have a similar roster trajectory, in theory. The team is sprinkled with a nice crop of young players, and possess a number of veterans in the locker room with Zach Randolph, George Hill, and Vince Carter. Both the Lakers and Kings seem to continue to attempt to find the right balance in lineups considering both segments of their roster, and have struggled to do so as of this point.
The game will not only match the divisional counterparts against one and other, but will also feature the second professional match-up of Ball and De’Aaron Fox. Ball notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists in their first meeting, while Fox got the bragging rights nod with his 13 points, and the win. The two, who will seemingly forever be tied to one and other ala Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens, will both try to lead their teams in the right direction, and of course, tally a win against one and other.
For a Lakers team who are about to play five of their next eight games at home, and are desperate to build off a much needed win, this game feels like a great opportunity in righting the ship.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet/ NBA TV
Stats Via: NBA.com