Lakers vs. Pelicans: 3 Things to Know (2/25/20)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers host the New Orleans Pelicans.
1) Last game lived up to the hype
The Lakers’ fifth straight win was as sweet as they come, with a last-minute victory over the dreaded Boston Celtics.
At first, it seemed that the Lakers had no answer for a blistering Jayson Tatum (41 points) — that is until they shifted their strategy midway through the third quarter. Kyle Kuzma took over most of the assignment from there, and the Lakers also forced Tatum to give up the ball by throwing constant double-teams at him.
The Lakers’ stars took control from there. Anthony Davis dropped 32 points and 13 rebounds, while LeBron James put up 29 points and nine assists. Bron also had the biggest moment of the night, backing down Jalen Brown for the go-ahead, Dream Shake fadeaway with 30 seconds left.
Nothing like your first game-winner for the purple and gold against the green and white pic.twitter.com/q79n6C9U1G— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 24, 2020
2) Matchup to Watch: New Orleans’ Past vs. Future
One of the most heavily anticipated rookies in league history will play the Lakers for the first time tonight.
Zion Williamson has been nothing short of amazing in his first 12 games in the Association. So far, he’s averaged 22.8 points on 59% shooting — and he’s hit another level in his last four games (29.0 points on 60%). Zion may be only 19 years old, but he’s an absolute bully on the floor, manhandling opponents and getting up for already 28 dunks this season.
We’ll see what the Lakers throw at him, but positionally Davis — a seven-year Pelican — is the most likely matchup against Williamson. AD has put together an impressive Defensive Player of the Year case based largely on his ability to defend all positions, but Zion is a one-of-a-kind challenge.
Welcome to the Show pic.twitter.com/oO9PUrYbYM— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 23, 2020
3) Pelicans are taking flight
Could this be a potential playoff preview? With 25 games left in their season, the Pelicans are only 3 games back of the 8th seed in the Western Conference (and a potential first-round series with the Lakers).
While Zion’s introduction has been massive, former Laker Brandon Ingram has been the key to his new team’s surge. The 1st-year All-Star is averaging 24.5 points — 13th in the league — and shooting 40% from 3-point range (compared to 33% in three years with L.A.).
New Orleans has been legit since the turn of the new year, ranking 5th in offensive rating (115.1) while running at the NBA’s 2nd-fastest pace. But it’ll likely need an A-game against the Lakers, who have been 3rd in offense (115.6) and 6th in defense (108.1) since the start of 2020.
Lakers: Anthony Davis (right index finger sprain) is probable.
Pelicans: Kenrich Williams (right lower back soreness) and Darius Miller (right Achilles surgery) are out.
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. PT
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California
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