Pregame Breakdown Lakers vs. Pelicans
Three things to look for tonight as the Lakers play the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.
- Lonzo Ball-Like most nights Lonzo Ball leads off the discussion, as his play will be essential into determining whether or not the Lakers are successful tonight against the Pelicans. His match-up in the back court will be Jrue Holiday. Holiday is no slouch and has developed a reputation as being a very good NBA point guard, above average, but not quite an all-star. He is a veteran player who is crafty and plays with plenty of poise. He won’t be prone to make silly mistakes and he will probably try to put a lot of pressure on Ball, as that seemed to work against him in the first game of the season. Last game Ball had freedom to play his game and he killed the Suns, but he was going against a highly unmotivated Eric Bledsoe.
- Defense – Caught up in the euphoria of the Lakers coming out victorious and Lonzo Ball’s near triple double, was the fact that the Lakers still looked pretty wack on defense overall. Giving up 130 points to the Phoienix Suns hardly qualifies you as a defensive juggernaut. The Pelicans don’t have a ton of people who scare you offensively, but Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins are both top 10 players in the league, and both are killing t in the first 2 games. Demarcus is averaging 31 & 12 with 3.5 blocks AD is getting 34 & 17! But the team is collecting losses as those performances have not led to any wins. Lakers are weak on the interior defensively. But they have to make things difficult for those two, and make sure they keep the rest of the Pelicans at bay.
- Brandon Ingram – Brandon Ingram had his most productive game as a Laker on offense against the Suns. IF your offense is struggling playing the Phoenix Suns can definitely remedy things. Brandon Ingram had a lot of success finishing around the rim, but that won’t be so easy with Davis and Cousins down low protecting the paint. Dante Cunningham is a decent defender, but Ingram should be able to handle him, but he might have to rely on his jumper to score points, or look to drive and dish to the open man. Another solid game by Brandon is going to be in order if the Lakers are going to win tonight.
Overall I’m expecting a game, a little similar to the Suns game, but I believe the Pelicans will be a tougher test overall, especially when it comes to dealing with Davis and Cousins. I’m going to say the Lakers win their second game in a row, and come out victorious 111-102. – JD