The Los Angeles Lakers have little leeway as they climb up the Western Conference standings. The New York Knicks, meanwhile, look to finally return into the win column.
Catch the game tomorrow at 9:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (33-34, 18-15 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Malik Beasley
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- Anthony Davis
As opposed to what we’ve seen prior to the trade, the Lakers now have some pep in their step. They have won three in a row and eight out of their last 11 games, averaging 114.5 points and a league-best defensive rating in that span.
With LeBron James (foot) still out, Anthony Davis will be the focal point. He laid low on offense in the recent win against the Toronto Raptors (4/5 for 8 points), but look for him to be more involved tomorrow. He had three consecutive 30-plus point games prior to that and posted 27 points in their 128-123 overtime win over the Knicks last January.
The recently returned D’Angelo Russell, meanwhile, is sure to keep firing away. He sunk five threes vs. Toronto en route to a game-high 28 points and is overflowing with confidence.
Plenty of the other guys are in rhythm as well, including Austin Reaves (15.5 PPG, 5.7 APG in his last six), Dennis Schroder (15.4 PPG, 7.3 APG in his last 12), and Rui Hachimura (16.5 PPG in his last two, had 19 vs. the Knicks in Jan 31).
The Lakers are 5-1 in their last six games at home ATS.
AWAY: New York Knicks (39-30, 20-14 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Jalen Brunson (day-to-day) / Immanuel Quickley
- Quentin Grimes
- RJ Barrett
- Julius Randle
- Mitchell Robinson
The Knicks were the hottest team in the league just a week ago with their nine-game winning streak. Now, it has been flipped upside down as they have dropped three-straight, one of which was against the lowly Charlotte Hornets. Tomorrow is the back-half of a back-to-back too, so it’ll be telling how resilient they are now.
Jalen Brunson (foot), who missed the Sunday game vs. the LA Clippers, is still day-to-day. They are missing him terribly. He’s second in the team in scoring at 23.8 PPG and first in assists at 6.1 APG. Immanuel Quickley, who’s up-and-down as of late, will draw the start if Brunson is unable to suit up. He had 19 points and eight assists in their aforementioned loss to the Lakers.
One key for the Knicks is Julius Randle hopefully rising from his slump. The two-time All-Star and team leader in points is a combined 18-for-63 from the field in his last three outings. It’s a horrific 28.5% clip on an average of 21 attempts per game.
Lastly, Josh Hart and Mitchell Robinson. The former will be in his 12th game as a Knick, averaging 11 points, 6.7 boards, and 3.5 assists per game on 62.3% shooting, while the latter, a lanky rim protector, will be in an interesting matchup opposite Davis.
The Knicks are 8-3-1 in their last 12 games ATS.
Handicap: The Lakers (-2) should be able to get this, but note their tendency to play flat in winnable games.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (228).