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Lakers vs Rockets: Game Preview

Austin Reaves looks to continue his stellar play today against the Rockets

We’re down to 5 games left in the rolller coster of a regular season and it is all play to play for for the Los Angeles Lakers. They have climbed to above .500 for the first time in over a year and have a very real chance at escaping the play in and securing a top 6 seed. 

They’re focus however now shifts to what is in front of them , the Houston Rockets who last time out beat the lakers albeit with no Lebron or Anthony Davis but the Lakers have made it clear they want that game back. Anthony Davis has called this current 5 game road trip the “get back” trip , as every team on it has beaten them this season. The lakers are currently 2-0 on the trip. A win for Los Angeles would put them back into the 7th seed as they owe the tiebreaker Vs the pelicans who would have the same record as them should LA win tonight. 

Injury report 

Anthony Davis is probable and the ankle tweak he suffered Vs Minnesota isn’t on the injury report . Lebron James is questionable but said postgame Friday that he would play. Mo Bamba remains out. 

Jae’sean Tate is out for the Rockets. 

Intensity early 

Although the Rockets are a team with only 19 wins we saw what happened the last time the Lakers played Houston. With James and Davis available this time around the Lakers need to come out with urgency early and not let the Rockets stick around and get any hope of winning. This game is just as important as the Minnesota game, if they don’t win this one the Minnesota win doesn’t mean nearly as much so it’s imperative that the lakers come out with the right attitude to start off the game. 

Paint defense 

The last time the two teams faced of the Lakers got killed by their paint defense or lack thereof. This time around Anthony Davis and Lebron James should be able to affect that in a positive way and negate the Rockets offense at the rim. Especially Davis who is an incredible defender and rim protecter. 

Davis will have his hands full with Rocket center Alperen Sengun. Sengun is a really talented offensive center and is extremely good in playmaking and post up situations and absolutely dismantled the Lakers last time out. 

Rui Hachimura 

After suffering a DNP to Chicago last Sunday Rui Hachimura has worked his way back into the rotation and he deserves to stay there. As well as his mid range mastery Hachimura development on the defensive end has been a real welcome sight. His size gives the Lakers an extra wing option and he showed this on Friday night doing an expert job on Wolves big man Karl Anthony Towns. 

Tip off is at 7ET and is sure to be another pivotal matchup down the stretch of the season. We will see if the lakers can go 3-0 on their ‘get back ‘ trip and seek some revenge on Houston.

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