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Lakers vs. Knicks Preview: Can L.A. get back to being physical?

In order to avoid losing two games in a row, the Lakers will have to play bigger than the Knicks.

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NBA: New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming fresh off of a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers will try and bounce back against the New York Knicks — a team they blew out earlier this month — Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks picked up their third win of the new year on Monday, when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-86. Prior to that game, they had lost eight of their last 10 games. On the season, the Knicks are 12-32 — ties for the third-worst record in the NBA with the Cavs.

They’re bad, but the Lakers can’t afford to play down to their level.

After the Lakers’ loss to the Celtics on Monday, head coach Frank Vogel was critical of his team’s effort, particularly on the glass. The Knicks, if nothing else, are big and grab rebounds at a high rate. They’re ranked first in the league in offensive rebounds per game.

If the Lakers aren’t more physical on Monday, they could find themselves in a hole once again, and on the first night of a back-to-back, the last thing they want to do is work harder than they need to for the win. That physical tone needs to be set by their star big man, Anthony Davis.

Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet.

Notes and Updates

  • The Lakers have listed Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) and Rajon Rondo (finger fracture) as probable to play. They both made their respective returns on Monday.
  • LeBron James is 66 points away from passing Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
  • Three former Lakers — Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Julius Randle — will be in uniform for the Knicks on Wednesday.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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