The Los Angeles Lakers have been all over the national media in the last week, but the story in the minds of head coach Luke Walton and the whole team will be defeating a Minnesota Timberwolves team that defeated them just last week.
The Lakers have gotten out to a very inconsistent start to their season, sporting a 4-6 record with convincing wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets, but also a horrible 121-107 loss to the Toronto Raptors in which they were run off the court.
However, the Lakers will look to put that loss out of mind and focus on things they need to improve on from the most recent loss to the Timberwolves. “When we win games, we rebound the ball well, keep teams off the free throw line. That will be the top priority going against them,” Walton said of a rematch with Minnesota.
That loss also hinged on the Lakers allowing the Timberwolves, and specifically Jimmy Butler, to catch fire behind the arc. “The 14 threes, that’s too much. I know Jimmy Butler got hot and he’s a heck of a player, but we went under on some of those screens we weren’t supposed to go under on. To me, that’s how he found that rhythm,” Walton said.
LeBron James shared a similar sentiment, saying, “Three-point line was not what hurt us. It was the 20 offensive rebounds that hurt us. Jimmy hit four in the fourth quarter, but the offensive rebounds is what allowed them to get extra possessions.”
Butler will be a player to watch in this game. After sitting out the previous game, he’s expected to be available against the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Tyson Chandler is due to make his debut since signing with the team on Tuesday. Chandler went through practice and while Walton confirmed the veteran center would receive an opportunity to play, how extensive that will be is unclear.
“We’ll see how he is physically,” Walton said. “No expectations. We have to get him comfortable with the guys, comfortable with us. We’ll throw him out there tonight and gauge from there.”
Los Angeles Lakers (4-6) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-7)
7:30 P.M. PT, Nov. 7, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
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, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson
Projected Timberwolves Starting Lineup:
PG: Derrick Rose
SG: Jimmy Butler
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Taj Gibson
C: Karl Anthony-Towns
Key Reserves: Gorgui Dieng, Tyus Jones, Josh Okogie, Anthony Tolliver