Los Angeles Lakers game previews between November 28 and December 4, including games against: Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors.
The Lakers hit the road for three straight games away from Staples. A brutal part of their schedule continues and it doesn't help that they will be missing D'Angelo Russell and most likely Nick Young for an indefinite time.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
With a 10-6 record to start the season, the Chicago Bulls have been one of the surprises in this early season. The offseason additions of Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade had people questioning how a brand new cast of players would be able to work together. The answer so far this season has been Jimmy Butler assuming the lead role and a defense that is only allowing 99 points a game. The Bulls still have a long way to go before they can compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East, but they have built a team that will definitely be competitive this season.
Last week when the Lakers and Bulls met in Staples, Butler had a season-high 40 points in an eight-point victory. In that game, the Lakers lost the rebounding battle by a wide margin 56-37, so the big men will have to do a much better job of cleaning the glass. Los Angeles will likely be shorthanded with the loss of D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young's Achilles injury. Not having two of their best offensive players will be a huge blow versus a good defensive team like Chicago.
Friday, 2 December 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Away
After facing the third best team in the East, the Lakers head north of the continent to face the second place Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are led by their two all stars in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and boast the fifth highest scoring team in the league. DeRozan has had career highs thus far in points and field goal percentage for the season. He is shooting 48% a game which is impressive considering the fact that the guard takes 22 shots a game.
Since the Lakers are shorthanded they have to attack the Raptors bench as much as possible. Toronto relies on their starters to play heavy minutes so if the Lakers can limit the damage in the beginning of the game then take advantage when the second unit comes they will have a much better chance to get the victory on the road.
Saturday, 3 December 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
The Lakers continue their road trip and head south to face the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have always been a team that relies on defense and wears opponents down on both sides of the ball and that is not any different this season as they are giving up only 97.3 points per game. They recently suffered a huge loss with point guard Mike Conley fracturing his back. Conley will be out for at least six weeks and it is an unfortunate break for the veteran who was having a great season. Memphis still has big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph to shoulder the load.
As is the case in a lot of games, the Lakers have the upper hand when it comes to the two teams second units. Vince Carter is hurt with a hip flexor strain and will be questionable for the game. This will be a test for the young Lakers squad to see if they can score on an elite defensive unit like Memphis. It will be interesting to see the up-tempo Lakers play with the methodical Grizzlies. If Los Angeles can raise the pace of this game and force Memphis to run they will have a chance to steal one.