The Los Angeles Lakers will look to bounce back in their return home to the Staples Center following their 109-92 loss to the Utah Jazz for the second time in six days. The purple and gold struggled to get any solid looks at the basket against a solid defensive unit for the Jazz.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets will also try to solve their offensive woes after scoring a season-low in points in their 77-91 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite being a team that was expected to make a deep playoff run this year, the Rockets have struggled thus far this season even after firing coach Kevin McHale at the beginning of the season.
Headlining the frontcourt for the Rockets is former Laker, Dwight Howard. Although he is a double-double machine, Howard has seen a dip in his production each year since his departure from Los Angeles.
At small forward is another former Laker, who fans around here actually have fond memories of in Trevor Ariza. After winning the championship with the Lakers in 2008-2009, Ariza has bounced around from a few teams though he continues to produce at a consistent level.
Houston poses a uniquely effective 1-2 punch in offensively-gifted James Harden and the defensive-minded Patrick Beverley. Harden, to no surprise, is second in the league in with 27 points per game. It is no secret that he is the one the Rockets try to get going night-in and night-out.
Beverley, was actually selected by the Lakers back in 2009 before his draft rights were traded away to Miami. He has established a reputation as a tenacious defender, and will most likely take on the task of guarding Lou Williams.
Keys To Victory:
Shutting Down the Beard: Though Harden is likely to get his 30 more often-than-not, he can be shut down if he gets taken out of his rhythm early. In their last outing vs. the Cavs, he scored 11 points on 20 percent shooting. His ten attempts were just half of his season-long average of twenty.
Figure out the Offense: With no set lineup rotation, everyone that’s dressed seen double-digit minutes last game. However, no one has been able to step up and fill that void on offense that keeps it from consistently going on scoring droughts throughout the game, outside of Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams. Though offensive struggles were to be expected, the Lakers don’t make things any easier for themselves by constantly taking difficult shots.
Los Angeles Lakers (9-33) vs Houston Rockets (21-20)
6:30 PM PST, January 17, 2016
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: TWC SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN / 1330(Spanish)
Rockets Projected Starting Lineup:
SG: James Harden
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Clint Capela
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: SF Corey Brewer, PG Jason Terry, PF Terrance Jones
Lakers Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Jordan Clarkson
SG: Lou Williams
SF: Kobe Bryant
PF: Julius Randle
C: Roy Hibbert
Key Reserves: PG D’Angelo Russell, SF Anthony Brown, PF Brandon Bass