12/7/14: Pelicans at Lakers, Sunday at 630PM Pacific

(Photo: via siliverscreenandroll.com)

New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers

12/7/14

6:30 PM Pacific time /9 :30 PM Eastern Time

Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA

TV:   Local: TWC Sportsnet, TWC Deportes (Los Angeles), Foxsports New Orleans (New Orleans) National: NBA League Pass

Line: Los Angeles Lakers + 2.5

2014-15 Records:

Los Angeles Lakers: 5-15, 14th in the Western Conference

New Orleans Pelicans: 8-10, 11th in the Western Conference

Record vs. each other (2013-14 season): Lakers were 1-2 versus the Pelicans last season and 0-1 versus them this season.

Injuries:

Lakers:

Out: Steve Nash (back), Julius Randle (leg), Ryan Kelly (Hamstring), Xavier Henry (Achilles)

Pelicans: 

Out: Eric Gordon (labrum)

*injury updates via Rotoworld.com

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a very bad loss to a team that had been struggling equally as much in the Boston Celtics. The Lakers were thoroughly beat in almost all categories on Friday by the Celtics, ultimately losing 113-96.
  • The Celtics lapped the Lakers in fastbreak points on Friday night, scoring 27 to the Lakers 7 points.
  • Kobe Bryant is now 77 points away from passing Micheal Jordan and overtaking the 3rd spot in the NBA All-Time scoring list.
  • The Lakers have two games at home before going on the road to play the San Antonio Spurs on Friday which is where Bryant will likely reach the milestone.
  • If Bryant was to achieve the scoring feat at home he would need to average 38.5 in the next 2 games which isn’t outside the realm of possibility, but highly unlikely considering how he’s been playing so far this season.
  • Bryant averages 28.2 points per game against the New Orleans franchise which is his highest against any team in his career.
  • The Pelicans come in struggling, having lost 2 in a row including a 120-100 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.
  • A change in the starting line-up is expected for Sunday’s game but as to who coach Byron Scott intends to replace has still not been announced. Coach Scott stated last week if the Lakers struggles continue he would shake things up with the starting unit but the Lakers reeled off a few wins which put that move on hold but that was until the ugly 113-96 loss in Boston on Friday.
  • The players struggling the most in the starting line-up are Carlos Boozer and Wes Johnson, but it would be unlikely that Scott moves a well respected veteran like Boozer to the bench.
  • Boozer has averaged a woeful 6 points in 22 minutes in the last 2 games while shooting 40 percent from the field, but Boozer has been one of the more consistent scorers all season for the Lakers, averaging 12.4 points which ranks 4th on the team. and shooting an efficient 49.8 percent.
  • Johnson has been absolutely awful in the last 2 games, averaging 3 points and shooting 18 percent from the field. Based on the recent performance that Johnson would be the most likely candidate to move to the bench, possibly in favor of Wayne Ellington or Nick Young.
  • If Scott is looking to make a couple of moves another player that can be replaced is point guard Jeremy Lin for back up Ronnie Price who has played better of late. In the last 2 games Price is averaging 9 points and shooting 50 percent from the field and 57 percent from the 3-point range.
  • Lin hasn’t played poorly but has been a bit inconsistent of late and has openly stated that he is struggling playing in Scott’s offense. “Houston was the ideal system for me,” Lin told reporters last week “personally as a player in terms of spreading the floor, running and making plays and having guys with a lot of space, stretch fours. That’s the ideal system, but that’s not what we have here.”
  • Lin moving to the bench would do a few things for him: it would allow him more time with the ball in his hands if his minutes are staggered with those of Kobe Bryant, allowing him to do more of the creating on offense and running more pick and roll sets which is where he excels. It would also pair him with current reserve Ed Davis which whom he had great success in the pre-season; having both players come in off the bench should increase their playing time on the court together.
  • Update: Byron Scott announced the starting line-up changes:

  • Anthony Davis continues his stellar player for the Pelicans, averaging 25.3 points per game which is second to only the Lakers Kobe Bryant in the NBA. Davis also ranks 1st in the league in blocks and 2nd in steals which is unique for a big man.
  • The Pelicans beat the Lakers 109-102 in their previous meeting in New Orleans on November 12.
Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom