The Los Angeles Lakers are bad. They’re next to last in the Western Conference standings, and unlike the Knicks, who somehow only sit a few games out of an actual, real, not even being hyperbolic playoff spot, the Lakers ain’t making the playoffs. They’re buried behind too many teams, and the Western conference is actually good.
The Lakers, who are on a five-game East Coast swing, had a few days off after losing to the Wizards and Celtics in back-to-back nights. In both of those games, their opponents’ respective point guards went beast mode and led them to wins.
John Wall had 31 points and 11 assists on Thursday, and Isaiah Thomas dropped 38 points on Friday.
In that loss to Boston, the Lakers got absolutely terrible performances from their starters. Luol Deng scored 3 points, Timofey Mozgov and Tarik Black each scored 4.
Brandon Ingram scored 14 points, Larry Nance Jr. scored 18 and also had 11 rebounds and Lou Williams scored 21 points and had 4 assists. I think the Lakers are going to change their lineup tonight #analysis.
In a season that appears all but lost for the Lakers, it is probably in their best interest to give some of their talented young pieces a little run.
Or they can keep playing this lineup and activate Jose Calderon too just for tonight, then change their lineup tomorrow. That would be cool too, but whatever.
Well, guys, here’s some good news. According to Ian Begley, D-Rose, who scored 25 points when these two teams first met all the way back on December 11th, is playing tonight.
Jeff Hornacek said Derrick Rose practiced today & 'looked good.' He's likely to play tomorrow vs Lakers. Joakim Noah (hamstring) is out.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 5, 2017
Jennings more than held his own in relief of Rose, recording double-doubles in two of those four starts. Oddly enough, the worst of those starts was against the Nets, where he only scored 6 points, but also had 10 assists and 5 steals. Regardless of those numbers, though, it is nice to get Rose back, and it would be great to see him have a repeat of his large game against Los Angeles from December.
Also, if he could be the third straight starting point guard to destroy the Lakers, we’d be fine with that too.
While the news of Noah being out isn't good news, it will likely give future HOFer and the people’s MVP Willy Hernangomez (whom, if you haven’t noticed, is loved dearly here at P&T) a start. He’s scored in double-digits three straight times, including a nice 16-point, 5-rebound and 5-assist game against the Cavs on Saturday night.
The rest of the Knicks lineup should remain the same as it was against Cleveland.
Bold prediction: Sasha Vujacic is gonna play a lot tonight and he’s going to have one of those “I’m gonna make them regret letting me go” chips on his shoulder that literally nobody will care about.
So many streaks are on the line tonight. So, so many.
The Knicks have beaten the Lakers 5 straight times, apparently. I know the Lakers probably haven't been all that great over the span of their last 5 meetings, but the Knicks haven’t either. I can’t confirm this, but want to believe that this was the last time Los Angeles beat the Knicks:
Another important streak on the line tonight is LA’s 13-straight road losses. 13!!! Let’s please, pleeeaaaseeee for the love of God make it 14.