The Los Angeles Lakers have won nine of their last 11 games, including three in a row, and they’ll hope to continue their hot streak against one of two teams that’s beaten them in the last three weeks, the Orlando Magic.
The Lakers are coming off of one of their ugliest wins of the season, a 90-83 sloppy fest against a gritty Utah Jazz team. L.A. relied on their defense Friday night, and will look to slow a Magic team that dropped 130 on them a week ago.
While Orlando hit a bit of a hot streak after a slow start to the season, they are just 3-4 away from home.
Defeating them starts in the middle, where their big-man duo of Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon terrorized the Lakers in the first meeting. Vucevic went off for 36 points and 13 rebounds. Containing him will again fall on JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler.
The Lakers and Magic two teams are pretty similar statistically so far, except for two glaring advantages for L.A.: rebounding and fastbreak points. The Magic are near the bottom of the league in both categories whereas the Lakers are an above-average rebounding team and one of the best on the break.
In order to win this game, the Lakers will have to come out strong and emphasize play to their strengths. The team will also need to see the continuation of the aggressive play of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who are both coming off of back-to-back solid performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jazz.
When those two are aggressive and fighting for touches, the Lakers a completely different and much better team.
While the Lakers are a better team on paper than the Magic, last week’s blowout loss was a clear example of what happens when you look past a team on the schedule.
Los Angeles Lakers (11-7) vs. Orlando Magic (9-10)
12:30 P.M. PT, Nov. 25, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Brandon Ingram
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Tyson Chandler, Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Projected Magic Starting Lineup:
PG: D.J. Augustin
SG: Evan Fournier
SF: Wesley Iwundu
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Vucevic
Key Reserves: Terrence Ross, Jonathan Simmons, Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac