The injury bug has not been kind to the Lakers and just as healthy bodies started coming back, a few more were added to the injury report. Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Isaiah Thomas (hip) will be sidelined for Sunday’s action, while Lonzo Ball (knee) is doubtful to play.
IS LONZO DUCKING FOX ... AGAIN?!— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 31, 2018
(Spoiler: no) https://t.co/8WsrT6XYEY
Starters will be announced closer to tip-off, but expect to see Josh Hart in the starting lineup, whether it’s at point guard or small forward. Hart made his return against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday after missing almost a month with a fractured hand. Hart posted a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double in his return.
Other candidates to get the starting nod include Kyle Kuzma, who started during Ingram’s 15-game long absence in March. However, with the shortage of scoring options on the bench, it might be best to keep Kuzma with the second unit.
Then again, it’s the Kings, so does it really matter?
The Lakers have beat the Kings in all but one of their three meetings this season because despite their efforts to sign every player over 35 in the offseason, they’re still not a good basketball team. Shocking, I know.
Even shorthanded, the Lakers have more above-average NBA talent that the Kings, especially in the frontcourt with Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez, who lead the Lakers in scoring since the All-Star break.
The Kings are a poor defensive rebounding team, ranked No. 28 in the league, compared to the Lakers who are No. 2, averaging 35.6 defensive rebounds per game. They’re also in the bottom half of the league in blocks per game (4.2).
Despite this, the Kings have done a good job taking care of their paint this season, only allowing 42.2 points per game in the paint. The Lakers’ bigs, as talented as they are, will have their work cut out for them.
The key to getting a win on Sunday for the Lakers will be defending the three-point line. While they don’t attempt a ton of 3-pointers, the Kings knock down the deep ball with the third-highest efficiency in the NBA.
Without Ball, the Lakers’ perimeter defense will take a blow, but Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso, who will be with the team on Sunday, should be able to hold things down.
One the second night of a back-to-back, the Kings will come into Staples looking to end their four-game losing streak. The Lakers, coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Bucks, have different plans.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 6:30 PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet