Los Angeles Lakers game previews between November 21 and November 27, including games against: Golden State Warriors, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder.
After a tough loss to Chicago the Lakers are on a two-game losing streak and things are not looking any better on the horizon as this week they face three teams with a combined record of 27-12, in addition to facing the Golden State Warriors two times in a row. During this stretch, two victories would be ideal, but four losses in a row is looking like a possibility.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Home
Lakers continue a brutal part of their schedule by hosting Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. The Thunder have had a couple of tough losses as of late, a game-winner by Serge Ibaka and an overtime loss to the Pacers. They have heavily relied on Westbrook as the guard has the by far the most usage of any player in the league. He is doing as much as he can as he almost averaging a triple-double this season with a ridiculous line of 31/10/9. The Thunder rely on their two big men in Steven Adams and Enes Kanter to protect the paint and clean the glass as OKC is 3rd in the league in rebounds per game. Victor Oladipo has recently found his groove on his new team as last three games he is averaging 23/6/5.
For the Lakers to win they need to force turnovers and limit their own giveaways as both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in that category. In addition, while the Lakers have one of the best benches, the Thunder have one of the lackluster second units in the league. Los Angeles has to take advantage in that category if they have any chance of winning. Russell Westbrook is almost impossible to contain and he will be a nightmare all evening for the Lakers. However, Los Angeles can't let Oladipo get hot otherwise, this game will be a blowout.
Golden State Warriors
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Away
Friday, 25 November 2016 at 10:30 PM EST Home
The Warriors have the hottest teams in the league, as of Sunday they are on a seven-game winning streak. It looks Durant and the rest of the team is finding their rhythm and that is trouble for the rest of the NBA. The Warriors have topped 120 points seven times already this season and lead the league in scoring at 116 points per game. The Lakers are actually second in that category sitting at a distant 109. The scary thing about the Warriors is that they score so many points so efficiently. They lead the league in field goal percentage and average 1.34 point per shot.
The Lakers have managed to get the best of Golden State recently, Los Angeles was one of the Warriors two losses thus far in the season in a 20 point blowout at Staples. In the two contests that the Lakers have won against the Warriors, Steph and Klay have combined to shoot 3/38 from three. Golden State will surely have that loss fresh in their mind as they face the Lakers twice in three days. Even one victory would be a huge success against this Warriors team that is firing on all cylinders.
Sunday, 27 November 2016 at 09:30 PM ET Home
To wrap up the week the Lakers host an Atlanta Hawks team that has been one of the best defenses in the league.
Their defense has anchored their nine wins as the Hawks are third in the league with a +7.0 point differential. In addition, they rank number one in defense efficiency and allow only 98 points a game. The new addition of Dwight Howard has paid dividends for the Hawks thus far as the former Laker is averaging 14 points and 13 rebounds in thirteen games. The Hawks have also moved the ball well as they are second in assists per game and five players are averaging more than 10 points per game.
In addition to keeping Howard off the boards, the Lakers big men also need to worry about Paul Millsap. Millsap has been the leading scorer for Atlanta and he is also averaging 8 rebounds a game. With the loss of Jeff Teague and Al Horford in the offseason, Millsap is the leader of this Hawks team on both sides of the ball. In addition to the paint, the Hawks are excellent at shooting the long ball. Any team that has Kyle Korver on running around behind the arc will always be dangerous shooting the ball.