The Los Angeles Lakers have won a handful of games this season — 13 to be exact, including 11 of their last 15. However, very few of those wins could be described as “comfortable” or “blowout” victories.
Have they won games by double digits this season? Sure, but not without 45 minutes of pure agony and uncertainty. If you’re of the faint of heart, the Lakers might not be the team for you.
Luckily, the Lakers will have a chance to get a rare wire-to-wire against the Phoenix Suns Sunday at Staples Center because the Suns are a bad basketball team.
The two teams saw each other earlier this season and the Lakers blew the Suns out 131-113 to give them their first win of the season. Lance Stephenson led L.A. with 23 points, which is still his season-high. It was a weird win, but one the organization and its fanbase needed badly.
Since then, the Lakers have looked like more of a collective unit while the Suns have struggled to find a formula that wins basketball games, assuming that’s what they’re trying to do.
Devin Booker is one of the most exciting young scorers in the league, but until the Suns pair him with an NBA-caliber point guard, his efforts will come in losses on most nights. The same could be said of DeAndre Ayton, who is a near lock to make the All-Rookie First Team.
The Suns will have both Booker and Ayton at their disposal on Sunday, but they’ll likely be without T.J. Warren, one of the few able bodies they can put on LeBron James, albeit with little success.
Update: Booker is expected to play tomorrow at Lakers and Warren will be listed as questionable for now but is making the trip. Also: Booker hurt his toe by stubbing it on the bed of his hotel in LA earlier this week. It turned black and blood needed to be drained (yuck) #Suns https://t.co/XYIqzRGnLN— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) December 1, 2018
The Suns will also be without Tyson Chandler, who was bought out by Phoenix almost a month to the date. Chandler, of course, signed with the Lakers shortly after being waived and has been a complete game changer for L.A. defensively. Between Chandler and JaVale McGee, the Lakers should be able to keep Ayton from getting as hot as he did last time they played.
In short, a lot of things would have to go wrong for the Suns to leave Staples with a win, but it wouldn’t be out of character for the Lakers to give them that chance. They’ll need to lock in to save everyone a lot of stress.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.