April 10, 2018, 6:31 pm
The Rockets (64-16) head to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers (34-46) on Tuesday night.
The Lakers, who are limping to the finish line amidst a plethora of injuries, will be without Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Without those key contributors, Los Angeles will be without 42.4 points, 18.5 rebounds and 12.9 assists per game — a significant amount of production to overcome.
One player who has been the antithesis of injury this year is Julius Randle, who is the only Laker to play in all 80 games to date. Along the way he has shown tremendous growth with 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 55.7 percent from the field (up from 48.7 percent the prior season). He has put himself in a tremendous position as an impending free agent, likely forcing the Lakers to find a way to keep him in the Purple and Gold regardless of their other offseason aspirations. Expect Randle to hear the fans’ admiration early and often Tuesday night.
Another pleasant surprise this season has been No. 30 overall draft pick Josh Hart, who has provided the team great defense, good outside shooting and impressed with his maturity and poise. He is coming off consecutive 20-point games including a performance where he went toe-to-toe with Rookie of the Year candidate Donovan Mitchell, including blocking a dunk attempt by the high-flying phenom.
A feel good story for the Laker franchise is the signing of 32-year old Andre Ingram, who thought he was headed for his exit interview with the Los Angeles G-League affiliate before finding out he was getting signed for the Lakers’ final two games of the season. His calling card is his ability to shoot from 3-point range where he connects on 47.5 percent of his attempts — hopefully he gets a chance to knock down a few for the Lakers tonight.
The Rockets may not play their key players a full complement of minutes tonight, but they are expected to give them some run. They are led by MVP candidate James Harden, who is having his best season with averages of 30.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He has played better defense this year than in previous campaigns and deserves all the accolades he may receive.
-The Rockets have made 1227 3-pointers on 3377 attempts (36.3 percent) on the season compared to 795 makes on 2309 tries (34.4 percent) for the Lakers. That means that for the season, the Rockets are a plus-1296 from distance compared to Los Angeles. Houston has already set a record for most 3-pointers made in a season, breaking their own mark from one year ago.
-Houston leads the league with a plus-702 plus/minus on the season vs. Los Angeles who owns a minus-136 plus/minus rating for the year.
-The Rockets lead the league with a 112.7 offensive rating compared to 104.2 (23rd) for the Lakers. What is even more impressive is that Houston has a defensive rating of 103.9 (sixth) vs. 105.8 rating (14th) for Los Angeles. Their offense has been good for several seasons but the marked defensive improvement is the reason why the Rockets have the league’s best record.
-Houston opened the season 32-1 when Harden, Clint Capela and Chris Paul all started the game together — that trio has proved to be devastating for the rest of the league.
Projected Starting Lineups
Alex Caruso (PG)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG)
Josh Hart (SF)
Julius Randle (PF)
Brook Lopez (C)
Chris Paul (PG)
James Harden (SG)
Trevor Ariza (SF)
P.J. Tucker (PF)
Clint Capela (C)
Lonzo Ball (knee contusion) – OUT
Kyle Kuzma (ankle) – OUT
Brandon Ingram (concussion) – OUT
Luol Deng (ankle) – OUT
Eric Gordon (ankle) – OUT
Ryan Anderson (ankle) – OUT
Tarik Black (back) – QUESTIONABLE
Time: 7:30 PM PST, 10:30 PM EST
Television: TNT, TNT-SAP, SPECSN/SPECD, AT&T SPORTSNET – SOUTHWEST, SPORTSNET ONE
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES
July 21, 2019, 7:49 pmDarius MillerSF, New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have officially re-signed Darius Miller to a two-year deal.
Miller will be playing behind a plethora of young assets at the Pelicans' disposal. Given that the team has entered a full-blown youth movement, it is unlikely that he will earn enough meaningful minutes to make a splash in fantasy in 2019-20.
Source: Pelicans on Twitter
July 21, 2019, 7:35 pmBonzie ColsonPF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have waived Bonzie Colson.
Colson only played 98 minutes during his rookie season, but when he played he was a DFS favorite. Colson could play multiple positions and is young enough where a few teams would likely be interested in taking a flier on him.
Source: Eric Nehm on Twitter
July 21, 2019, 5:11 pmKostas AntetokounmpoPF, Dallas Mavericks
Kostas Antetokounmpo has signed a two-way deal with the Lakers on Sunday.
The Mavericks waived Antetokounmpo last week and most knew the younger brother of last season's MVP would not last long before another team took a shot on him. He is still a developmental player, but he should have ample opportunity playing for the Lakers' G-League team, the South Bay Lakers.
Source: Shams Charania
July 21, 2019, 10:09 amAnthony DavisPF, Los Angeles Lakers
When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.
Source: Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKenny WootenPF, New York Knicks
The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.
Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post
July 20, 2019, 3:09 pmOshae BrissettSG-SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 2:32 pmJordan McLaughlinG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.
McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.
Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 1:26 pmEmmanuel MudiayPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.
All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.
July 20, 2019, 12:59 pmCJ McCollumSG, Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:51 pmFrank MasonPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.
Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter