Los Angeles Lakers game previews between November 14 and November 20, including games against: Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs.
This week the Lakers have three straight games at home with a nice gap in between the Nets and Spurs games. Hopefully, the young team can use the rest to take two or maybe even all three games during this home stretch.
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Home
The Brooklyn Nets thought by many to be the worst team in the NBA, have been a bit of a surprise by winning four of their first nine games to start the season. They are lead by big man Brook Lopez who is averaging nearly 20 points a game and Jeremy Lin who leads the team with 6.2 assists per game. The main reason Brooklyn has been winning games is their ability to score as the team currently ranks 12th in points per game. The Nets also do a good job of forcing teams to a shoot a low percentage as Brooklyn is holding opponents to 44% shooting.
The Lakers have only one loss at home, but they can not look at the Nets as an easy victory in Staples. Coming of off a 26 point loss to the Timberwolves will hopefully have the team playing with some fire. Turnovers will be a crucial part of this game as the Brooklyn has the fourth most giveaways in the league but the Lakers aren't far behind at 16 a game. If Los Angeles can limit their turnovers while forcing the Nets on defense they should be in good position to win their fourth in five games at home.
San Antonio Spurs
Friday, 18 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Home
The Kawhi Leonard led Spurs come into Los Angeles on Friday and that also means the return of former Laker Pau Gasol. I hope that the Lakers faithful give Pau the ovation he deserves as the Lakers would not have won two rings without him. As for the game, a Greg Popovich coached team is always one that is going to be disciplined with an excellent gameplan. Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge shoulder most of the scoring load for this team that does its best to move the ball around. But San Antonio is at its best on the defensive side of the ball, as they only allow 96 points per game which is good for third-best in the NBA. The Spurs are excellent at not turning the ball over
For the Lakers to win this game it will be imperative that they contain at least one of Leonard or Aldridge. If both of the Spurs stars go off for a big game, Los Angeles will suffer a loss. Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov will have to team up to contain the power forward. In addition, the Spurs have a great bench with Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and the Lakers will need to contain the damage of San Antonio's second unit if they want to come away with a victory.
Sunday, 20 November 2016 at 09:30 PM ET Home
The Bulls have had an up and down start to this short season thus far. Chicago started the year with three straight wins but would then lose four of their next five games. They are lead by shooting guards Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade and former Celtic Rajon Rondo who is currently day to day with an ankle injury. The Bulls are good on both sides of the ball, ranking 12th and 9th in points scored and allowed, respectively. A reason for their .500 record has been that Chicago is poor at defending the three as opponents have been shooting 37% from long distance.
Another one of the Bulls deficiencies is the team's poor second unit. The Lakers should be able to take advantage when the benches take the floor as Los Angeles severely has the upper hand in that department. Luol Deng will likely draw the assignment of Wade or Butler and like the Spurs matchup, the Lakers can not let both of the guards have big scoring night. Chicago is second in the league in rebounds per game so Julius Randle and Mozgov need to limit the damage that Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson do on the boards. If there is a huge disparity in the offensive rebounding column, Chicago will come away with the victory.