Honestly, if you told me you’ve come from the future and that the Lakers lose tonight’s game against the Nets by 40 points, I would not bat an eyelash. Sure, the Nets are without James Harden (hamstring) but with Kevin Durant returning earlier this week, that blow is softened. Of course, the Lakers are down Bron and AD, and all three of Kuz, Caruso, and Gasol are listed as questionable. If none of that latter trio plays, the Lakers may need to ask Jason Kidd and Phil Handy to suit up and give some minutes.
Honestly, I wish I had more to say about this game, but I really don’t. Will it be interesting to see how well the Lakers can defend? Do I want to see how, if at all, Drummond can impact the paint vs. LaMarcus Aldridge and his former Pistons teammate Blake Griffin? Do I want to watch Dennis do battle with Kyrie? Sure, to all 3 of those things. That said, it interests me far less than it would should both of these teams be healthy — which just isn’t the case.
I do expect the Lakers to compete hard tonight. I also expect, however, for the Nets to score well and for it to be somewhat demoralizing for the Lakers as they scramble and work their tails off defensively only to see the ball get rotated one more time to an open shooter who nails a 3. And, over the course of the game, I expect that stuff to takes its toll. The Lakers know they’re shorthanded and they’ve been competing very hard through the final buzzer pretty much every night. But when you face a really good team, things have a way of getting out of hand when there’s this much disparity in talent. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I don’t think I will be.
Anyways, that’s how I see tonight’s game going down. Maybe the Lakers keep it close through a quarter or even the first half. But, I’ll be surprised if this game is close at the end. I would love to be surprised, though. I really did love how hard the Lakers competed against the Heat and if they can bring that same effort again tonight, I’ll be even more proud of them for gutting it out.
Where you can watch: 5:30pm start time on ABC.