It’s East meets West this Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, where the Los Angeles Lakers lock horns with the New York Knicks in a battle between two storied NBA franchises that are currently struggling to get their rhythm.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, November 24, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Los Angeles Lakers (9-9/2-4 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Avery Bradley
- SF: Talen-Horton Tucker
- PF: Carmelo Anthony
- C: Anthony Davis
It’s been bloody of late for the Lakers, literally and figuratively. They are just 2-4 over their last six games, but at least Los Angeles was able to come away with a win in its most recent game, which was a 121-116 come-from-behind road win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday. LeBron James was not able to finish the game due to a flagrant foul 2, mustering just 10 points in 21 minutes. The good thing for the Lakers, who are 3-1 in their last three visits to the Big Apple, was that they were still left with Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, as the pair combined for 56 points, 19 rebounds, and 16 assists.
James had just been handed a one-game suspension which he’ll serve right away, so the Lakers definitely need AD and Westbrook to sustain their form. But don’t sleep on the impact of Carmelo Anthony and Talen-Horton Tucker in a potential LeBron absence. The two own the best offensive rating among all two-man Laker combos with at least 100 minutes logged, plus Anthony might be extra motivated to show up with a good performance in his old stomping grounds.
Home: New York Knicks (9-8/4-5 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kemba Walker
- SG: Evan Fournier
- SF: RJ Barrett
- PF: Julius Randle
- C: Mitchell Robinson (questionable)
Similar to the Lakers, New York is having an up-and-down campaign. After starting the season with five wins in six games, the Knicks have gone 4-7 in 11 games, putting them on the verge of hitting .500 for the first time this season. The last time they saw action, the Knicks absorbed a 109-103 road loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday. Nevertheless, the Knicks must feel encouraged by the performance of Julius Randle against the Bulls, with the former Kentucky Wildcats star dropping 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting to go with 10 rebounds in 39 minutes.
It was Randle’s best showing in quite a while, and the Knicks are hoping that it would spark a great trend for the one-time All-Star going forward, who also averaged 32.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in two games against the Lakers last season. As for the other Knicks, they can’t just stand around and hope Randle carries them. The Knicks got just a total of 10 points from Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in the loss to Chicago, so the focus will also be on whether those two can recover right away for the Knicks, who have seen the total hit the Under in all of their last four home games.
Spread: Even without LeBron, I’m taking the Lakers to cover (+4).
Over/Under: The Lakers’ bench will step up, while Walker and Fournier bounce back with much better performances. Take the over (215.5).