Up to this point of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have played all but two teams in the Western Conference: the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings. With all due respect to the Kings, the Lakers’ game against the Suns on Tuesday is expected to be a lot more entertaining than their game against the Kings on Wednesday.
After going 8-0 in the Orlando Bubble last year, the Suns came into the season with a level of expectations they haven’t had in a while, and optimism only grew larger when they traded for Chris Paul in November. To their credit, they’ve lived up those high hopes early on, going 22-11 through their first 33 games, which is good enough for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Only one game separates them and the Lakers, who currently sit at the No. 2 seed.
The Lakers will go into the game with a slight advantage in the morale department because they got the best of the Suns twice in the preseason, but as we’ve seen a lot already this season, everyone gets up to play the reigning champions, and Tuesday’s game will be no different.
The Suns are also expected to have their regular starters, which is more than the Lakers can say. Davis, who’s missed the last seven games with a calf train and Achilles tendinosis, will miss Tuesday’s game, and at least a few more. Davis missed two of the Lakers’ four preseason games, but he played both games against the Suns, so this will be the L.A.’s first time game-planning for Phoenix without Davis. It should be a fun one.
The Lakers and Suns will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT, and locally on Spectrum SportsNet.
Notes and updates
- In addition to the normal injuries from Davis and James, the Lakers have a few new names on their injury report, including new 10-day signing Damian Jones:
Damian Jones, Jared Dudley and Kyle Kuzma all sustained injuries last game pic.twitter.com/pmFrQ2jJRM— NBA Insider Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) March 2, 2021
For his part, Jones said he expects to be fine. We’ll see if the Lakers agree — and if he plays — tomorrow night.
- The Lakers may need him, too, as Marc Gasol has been ruled out under the league’s health and safety protocols. More details here.