(Photo By: Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)
Lakers vs. Knicks: 3 Things to Know (1/21/18)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers host the New York Knicks for an afternoon game.
1) JC is simmering
Jordan Clarkson is coming off one of the top performances of his career, hanging up 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in Friday’s win over Indiana.
The combo guard was particularly effective in pick-and-rolls, finding offense for both himself and others. Clarkson exploited Indiana when it threw passive P&R coverages against him, and mostly kept his head when they went aggressive.
He was also hot across the floor, scoring at the rim, with his mid-range pull-up and from 3-point range.
A repeat of that blend of individual and team playmaking will certainly be useful for the Lakers, who will Lonzo Ball out for a fourth straight game.
2) B.I. could be back
Another key will be the potential return of Brandon Ingram, who had stepped up his game until being hit by an ankle sprain.
Ingram is considered questionable for this contest — a chance to show how much he has learned since facing the Knicks in New York.
Ingram had one of his worst games of the season at Madison Square Garden, shooting just 2-of-12 agains the elite rim protection of Kristaps Porzingis.
Since then, he has developed more counters to his game, particularly his pull-up jumper and passing out of double teams. Since the first meeting with the Knicks, he has shot 56.7 percent on pull-up jumpers and averaged 4.0 assists.
Ingram’s driving is still his greatest talent, but those two additions will serve him well against shot blockers like Porzingis.
Pump fake into the finger roll. Brandon Ingram was scoring from everywhere tonight.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) January 12, 2018
5 buckets off mid-range jumpers, 4 going to the basket and a pair of 3-pointers, all toward 26 points. pic.twitter.com/s4oJoCEq5n
3) Knicks have some weapons
For New York, it all starts with Porzingis, who is one of the league’s best post-up threats but can also stretch it out to 3-point range and take slower players off the dribble.
On the other side of the ball, Porzingis — who had 37 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in his last game against the Lakers — is as formidable as they come, leading the league with 2.38 swats per game.
He also has a good amount of help.
Enes Kanter is a bruiser on the offensive glass and has a tough-to-defend hook shot. Courtney Lee is a top-10 3-point shooter. Tim Hardaway Jr. is coming off a 31-point performance in which he drained six triples.
A victory for the Lakers will mean containing more than just New York’s 7-foot-3 monster.
Lakers: Lonzo Ball (sore left knee) is out. Brandon Ingram (mild left ankle sprain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right Achilles tendon strain) are questionable.
Tip-Off: 12:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California