January 31, 2018, 3:44 am
The Lakers (19-30) head to Orlando on Wednesday to take on the (14-35) Magic.
Orlando has several key injuries including leading scorers Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, as well as No. 6 overall pick Jonathan Isaac. Although they were short-handed, they were able to hang tough with the Houston Rockets, losing a competitive game 114-107. In the process, they allowed James Harden to become the first player in NBA history to score 60 points while accruing a triple-double. Not only did Orlando play last night, they played on the road in Houston, while Los Angeles rested for two days — the Lakers will hope to take advantage of their additional energy reserves.
Orlando is 1-9 without Gordon in the lineup — should he sit, it would provide the Lakers a significant advantage. If he does suit up, fans would be treated to a possible slam dunk competition preview as Laker reserve Larry Nance Jr. is rumored to be in contention to compete against Gordon in the illustrious event.
UPDATE: Gordon has been ruled out for tonight’s game.
The two teams are on different trajectories at the moment as the Lakers are in midst of their best stretch of the season while Orlando has lost 31 of 37.
Los Angeles will be looking to return to recent form after a crushing 123-111 loss in Toronto to the Raptors on Sunday. The Lakers had won eight of the previous 10 games before getting outclassed by a solid Eastern Conference opponent. During their solid 10-game stretch, the Lakers had played sound defense, holding their opponents to 102 points per game. They will need to refocus their energy on the defensive end if they are to return to their winning ways.
The Lakers’ best player of late has been Julius Randle, who is averaging 16.8 points and 8.8 rebounds over his last eight games and is coming off a 17-point, 10-rebound performance Sunday. Los Angeles is 8-8 with him in the starting lineup.
Los Angeles will be without starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who is still nursing a sprained MCL ligament in his knee. Although he is traveling with the team and working out, he has not been able to return to full practice yet, and therefore his return is not imminent.
- The Lakers hold a huge rebounding edge over the Magic for the season, corralling 46.3 rebounds per game (3rd) vs. 41.9 rebounds per game (21st) for Orlando.
- Both teams excel in defensive rating in games that they win, with the Lakers ranking slightly higher at 97.7 points per 100 possessions (5th) and the Magic at 98.3 points per 100 possessions (6th). Overall for the season, the Lakers have a defensive rating of 105.0 (12th) compared to 109.0 (27th) for Orlando. The drastic disparity in rating between wins and total games for Orlando clearly highlights how crucial defensive performance will be in this game.
- Los Angeles leads the league at points in the paint with 53.1 points per game vs. 46.8 points per game (8th) for the Magic.
- Neither team is effective at shooting from 3-point range, with the Lakers converting 32.7 percent (30th) and Orlando making 35.1 percent (26th) of their attempts, further emphasizing the need for each team to rely on their strength, scoring in the paint.
Projected Starting Rosters
Tyler Ennis (PG)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG)
Brandon Ingram (SF)
Julius Randle (PF)
Brook Lopez (C)
Elfrid Payton (PG)
Evan Fournier (SG)
Jonathon Simmons (SF)
Marreese Speights (PF)
Bismack Biyombo (C)
Lonzo Ball (sprained knee/MCL) – OUT
Nikola Vucevic (hand) – OUT
Aaron Gordon (hip-pointer) – OUT
Jonathan Isaac (ankle) – OUT
Terrence Ross (knee) – OUT
Time: 4:00 PM PST, 7:00 PM EST
Television: FOX SPORTS FLORIDA, SPECSN/SPECD
Radio: ESPN 580, SALSA 98.1 FM (ESP), 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES
November 17, 2019, 1:49 amDelon WrightPG, Dallas Mavericks
Delon Wright scored an efficient 15 points off the bench for Dallas on 6-of-8 shooting, adding four rebounds, one assist and three steals in Saturday's win over Toronto.
Wright played well and was extremely efficient for the Mavs. The three steals are great and his value lies within his abilities to generate defensive statistics.
November 17, 2019, 1:46 amJerome RobinsonSG, Los Angeles Clippers
A career night for Jerome Robinson who scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, adding five 3's, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks in Saturday's win over the Hawks.
Robinson got an extended run in tonight's 150-101 blowout win over the Hawks. A nice game for the second-year player.
November 17, 2019, 1:42 amTerance MannPG, Los Angeles Clippers
Getting the start, Terance Mann scored a career-high 13 points in 33 minutes of action, adding six rebounds and eight assists in Saturday's blowout win over the Hawks.
With teammate Patrick Beverley out, Mann got the start and made the most of it earning career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. This is a great game for him, and something for him to build off of, but this type of output should not be expected again pending prolonged injuries to Beverley.
November 17, 2019, 1:37 amPaul GeorgeSF, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George was on fire in Saturday's 150-101 blowout win against the Hawks scoring 37 points in 20 minutes, adding four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
In only his second game back from injury, George has scored 70 points in 44 minutes of total play. Needless to say he has already found his groove. Had the game not been a blowout from the start there is no telling how many more points he would have racked up. It is also worth noting that he shot 11-of-11 from the line tonight-coupled with the 10-of-10 from last game- he has not missed a FT yet. This torrid pace is probably not sustainable but the high usage and excellent efficiency, paired with "load-management" nights for teammate Kawhi Leonard, make George a possible top-10 player this year pending any re-occurring shoulder issues.
November 17, 2019, 1:31 amTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young scored 20 points (4-of-16 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the line) on Saturday with six assists and two threes in a 150-101 blowout loss vs. the Clippers.
The Hawks were destroyed on Saturday so throw this game out the window. Young is a top-30 player so far with averages of 26.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 3.3 threes. Forget about this game and enjoy watching Trae post top-20 value this season.
November 17, 2019, 1:23 amIvica ZubacC, Los Angeles Clippers
Ivica Zubac fouled out in only 17 minutes of play after scoring seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks in Saturday's win over the Hawks.
In less than 16 minutes a game this season Zubac is providing top-100 value thanks to highly efficient FG and FT percentage, high rebounds and good blocks without hurting owners anywhere. He is an easy player to own that can be picked up and dropped on the waiver-wire without raising too many eyebrows.
November 17, 2019, 1:20 amDe'Andre HunterSF, Atlanta Hawks
De'Andre Hunter struggled from the floor on Saturday, shooting 5-of-14 on his way to scoring 12 points.
Hunter added a steal and a three but he is hurting more than he is helping by shooting .369 from the field this season. The drag on field goal percentage is too big to warrant rostering Hunter right now outside of deeper leagues.
November 17, 2019, 1:17 amMontrezl HarrellPF, Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell scored 17 points in a blowout win over the Hawks, adding four rebounds, two assists and a block in 23 minutes off the bench Saturday night.
Harrell would have picked up a few more boards and points had the game been tighter but found his services not needed in this blowout win. He will continue to provide great energy off the bench for the Clippers and a high FG percentage, points, and rebounds for fantasy owners.
November 17, 2019, 1:12 amLou WilliamsSG, Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams scored an easy 25 points off the bench in Saturday's win over the Hawks on 5-of-13 from the field and a perfect 15-of-15 from the line, also adding six rebounds and six assists.
In 23 minutes off the bench Williams scored 25 points, making more free throws than shots attempted. In this crazy game Williams was able to get to the line with ease and made a mockery of the Hawks' young defenders, who failed to adhere to the scouting report and fell for pump-fakes. This was an excellent game for the 14th-year guard.
November 17, 2019, 1:11 amDamian JonesC, Atlanta Hawks
Damian Jones started and scored 11 points (4-of-7 from the field) on Saturday with three rebounds and four blocks in 23 minutes.
Jones and Alex Len (five points in 18 minutes on Saturday) are currently fighting for playing time at center. Jones and Len are both low-end streaming options for big man stats, but neither player can be relied on right now.