• The Lakers (25-34) take on the Hawks (18-42) on Monday in the first leg of a three-game road trip.

    Los Angeles will look to win their third game in a row, while the Hawks will try to earn a victory at home after enduring a three-game road losing streak.

    Atlanta is led by point guard Dennis Schroder who averages 19.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.1 steals on the season. He is coming off a rough game in which he accrued only nine points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and four turnovers. He was not alone in his struggles, as the entire team was blown out 116-93 by the Indiana Pacers.

    One glimmer of hope for Atlanta is rookie power forward John Collins, who recently moved into the starting lineup as the Hawks look towards the future. Collins started the last contest and finished with nine points, nine rebounds and two blocks. He is assured more playing time down the stretch as Atlanta agreed to a buyout with previous starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova so that he could sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    The Lakers were saved in their last game by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who scored 17 points in the third quarter to help Los Angeles overcome a double-digit deficit to the Sacramento Kings. He finished with season-highs in points (34) and 3-pointers (8). This game will be a homecoming of sorts for Caldwell-Pope, as he played at the University of Georgia.

    Brandon Ingram continues to improve; over his last 20 games he is averaging 16.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 50.4 percent shooting from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range. He doesn’t even turn 21 years old until the beginning of next year and his ceiling is unlimited. He has started at point guard while Lonzo Ball has been recovering from a sprained MCL, demonstrating his versatility and broad skill set. Ball is expected to play in this game, though he will likely still be on a minutes restriction.

    The most consistent Laker of late has been Julius Randle, who collected his fifth career triple-double two games ago and has been a dominant force down low for Los Angeles. The Lakers are 14-12 with him in the starting lineup this season.

    The Lakers have crept up to 11th place in the Western Conference but are still eight games back of a playoff spot. Although the chances of them making the playoffs are almost non-existent, the strong recent play and palpable improvement in their young players continues to foster a positive aura and sense of optimism for the franchise going forward.

    The last time these two teams met was January 7 and the Lakers trampled the Hawks 132-113 to snap a nine-game losing streak. That victory sparked a four-game win streak and Los Angeles is 14-7 overall since that game.

    Key Stats

    -The Lakers score 107.6 points per game (10th) vs. Atlanta who scores only 103.5 points per game (23rd).

    -Los Angeles leads the league with 53.4 points in the paint per game in contrast to Atlanta who averages 40.5 points per game in the paint (28th).

    -These two teams do not take good care of the ball with the Lakers committing 15.9 turnovers per game (29th) vs. 15.4 miscues per game (25th) for the Hawks. Consequently, they are also two of the worst teams with regards to opponents’ points off of turnovers with Los Angeles conceding 18.8 points per game (29th) and Atlanta 17.3 points per game (23rd).

    -Controlling the glass will be crucial in this game as the Lakers are tied for allowing the most second chance points in the league with 13.8 second chance points per game while the Hawks allow 13.4 second chance points per game (25th).

    -Defense is paramount for the Lakers who have a 97.9 defensive rating in their victories and a 111.1 defensive rating in their losses. For the season, the Lakers own a 105.6 defensive rating (14th) compared to 108.0 (22nd) for Atlanta.

    – Both teams average 23.7 assists per game.

    Projected Starting Lineups

    Lakers

    Brandon Ingram (PG)

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG)

    Josh Hart (SF)

    Julius Randle (PF)

    Brook Lopez (C)

    Hawks

    Dennis Schroder (PG)

    Kent Bazemore (SG)

    Taurean Prince (SF)

    John Collins (PF)

    Dewayne Dedmon (C)

    Injury Report

    Lakers

    Channing Frye (appendectomy) – OUT

    Hawks

    Malcolm Delaney (knee) – OUT

    Tyler Cavanaugh (knee) – OUT

    DeAndre’ Bembry (abdominal strain) – DOUBTFUL

    Antonius Cleveland (ankle) – OUT

    Isaiah Taylor (ankle) – PROBABLE

    Broadcast Information

    Time: 4:30 PM PST, 7:30 PM EST

    Television: FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST РATLANTA, SPECSN/SPECD

    Radio: 92.9 FM “THE GAME”, 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Fantasy News

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    In a recent fan question session Bucks' GM Jon Horst hinted towards signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a supermax extension when eligible.

    Horst mentioned that he cannot technically discuss an extension until he is eligible, but said Antetokounmpo will be a Buck for a long time. The Greek Freak will be eligible next summer and is all but sure to get a supermax extension.

    Source: Fox Sports Wisconsin on Twitter

  • Tacko Fall
    C, Boston Celtics

    Tacko Fall (mild knee sprain) is expected to miss one week after a collision in workouts.

    With training camp two weeks away, Fall should be ready to roll by then. He is currently on an Exhibit 10 contract, battling for the final roster spot with Javonte Green (partially guaranteed) and Kaiser Gates (Exhibit 10). Fall is an intriguing talent at 7'7" but is not expected to be fantasy relevant in his first season even if he does make the team with the Celtics already carrying four center eligible players on guaranteed contracts.

    Source: Jared Weiss on Twitter

  • Nicolas Batum
    SG, Charlotte Hornets

    According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have been informed that, "The agenda is youth and development."

    The article adds that both players will have a chance to compete for minutes but the Hornets' top priority will be to develop their younger players which bodes well for Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, Devonte Graham, P.J. Washington and Willy Hernangomez. Miles was already putting up near top-100 value to close the season at around 25 minutes per game while the rest of the players could all produce fantasy value if given the minutes so they should at least be put on the watch list to see how the preseason plays out.

    Source: Charlotte Observer

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting and drained seven triples as Serbia topped Czech Republic 90-81 to finish in 5th place.

    Bogdanovic also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block and was certainly one of the most impressive players in the tournament. Although he has the talent to be a successful full-time starter, the 27-year old will likely be relegated to a similar 25-27 minute, off-the-bench role he played last season with Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and newly added Trevor Ariza also on the wings. Nikola Jokic also did his usual thing this game with seven points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Boban Marjanovic and Nemanja Bejlica were not really involved in this one, playing only two and eight minutes, respectively.

    Source: FIBA

  • Donovan Mitchell
    SG, Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points with 10 assists as US beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh place in the tournament.

    Mitchell was an efficient 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from downtown but the bigger story of course was USA's disappointing showing as this was only the second time that they finished outside the top-3 in the FIBA World Cup since 1978. Kemba Walker (neck), Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Marcus Smart (hand/quad/calf) all sat out the final game as they now have two weeks to rest before the start of training camp.

    Source: FIBA

  • Evan Fournier
    SF, Orlando Magic

    Evan Fournier scored 16 points to lead France in their semifinal loss to Argentina by the score of 80-66.

    This was a really poor showing all around in an elimination game by the French team. Fournier scored an inefficient 16 and was joined by Frank Ntilikina's 16 as two of just three French players in double figures.

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert was invisible in France's loss to Argentina in the semifinals of the FIBA World Cup, scoring just three points and pulling down 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.

    This just wasn't enough from Gobert, who couldn't impose his will against a weaker Argentina squad on paper. Joining him in the "forgot there was a game" club was Nicolas Batum, who consistently finds a way to do nothing in heavy minutes. Batum's line in this one was a paltry three points (1-of-6 shooting), five boards, one assist and a block.

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills was the star for Australia, scoring 34 points and hitting four triples against Spain, but Australia fell in double overtime 95-88.

    Mills did as much as he could but he just didn't get enough help from his supporting cast. Joe Ingles couldn't find the basket and only had four points (to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists). With that off night of shooting from Ingles, the Aussies needed someone like Matthew Dellavedova (six points) or Aron Baynes (six points) to step up.

  • Ricky Rubio
    PG, Phoenix Suns

    Ricky Rubio approached a triple-double in the semi-final win over Australia with 19 points, seven boards and 12 assists in 38 minutes.

    It was another big line for Rubio in the semis, who has been a stalwart for this Spanish run to the finals. He was inefficient from the field (6-of-19) but ran the offense well and should be a factor again in the final game.

  • Marc Gasol
    C, Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol carried Spain to the FIBA World Cup Final in a double-OT win over Australia, finishing with 33 points, six rebounds and four assists.

    Gasol had a great outing to lift Spain here and they should have a great shot at winning the title against Argentina. We'll see how this high workload summer affects him going into the new season.