(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers at Knicks: 3 Things to Know (1/22/20)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers battle the Knicks in New York City.
1) Lakers looking for a bounce back
L.A. is eager to get back on the court after being blitzed by the rival Celtics on Monday.
The night initially looked like it belonged to the Lakers, who jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Boston turned on its afterburners. Rebounding was an especially rough area for the purple and gold, who allowed their rivals to grab 13 offensive boards in the first half alone.
One of the lone bright spots was LeBron James’ 13 assists on the night, but look for the Lakers to want to make a statement with their effort tonight.
2) Dwight’s getting ready to take flight
Superman has confirmed his return, as Dwight Howard announced on Tuesday that he will be taking part in the 2020 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.
Howard competed in the event for three straight years (2007-09) and won it in 2008. It’s only fitting that now — having thrown down the NBA’s 10th-most dunks this season (82) — he is back for another round.
And Dwight has been outstanding for the Lakers even outside of his thunderous jams. In fact, beginning with a five-block performance in a win over the Knicks two weeks ago, he has averaged 10.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last eight games.
It's official: Superman will take flight at the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest! pic.twitter.com/fBpNAH8wXq— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 21, 2020
3) Beware of New York’s size
Given how badly rebounding burned the Lakers last game, they will need to bring extra physicality against a New York team that leads the NBA in offensive rebounds (11.9).
The Knicks boast several bully-ball players. Former Laker Julius Randle is averaging 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last five games. 7-footer Mitchell Robinson tops the league in field goal percentage (70.6). And Marcus Morris is having a career year, with 19.0 points a night and the NBA’s third-best 3-point percentage (45.7).
New York may have won only two of its last 10 games, but also just beat Cleveland by 20. Last time out, the Knicks dared LeBron to shoot, and he responded with 31 points, six 3-pointers and a 30-point Lakers win. We’ll see if the approach differs any this time around.
Lakers: Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) and Rajon Rondo (non-displaced fracture, right ring finger) are probable. DeMarcus Cousins (right knee rehabilitation) is out.
Knicks: Marcus Morris (right ankle sprain) and Dennis Smith Jr. (left oblique strain) are questionable. R.J. Barrett (right ankle sprain) is out.
Tip-Off: 4:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Madison Square Garden — New York, New York
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