Wednesday afternoon is a prime opportunity for the Los Angeles Lakers to pick up a win against a struggling Detroit Pistons team that has lost 14 straight.
The Lakers are now halfway through their four-game road trip, currently 1-1 and coming off a 44-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. That loss is tied for the fourth-worst loss in franchise history.
This is the first night of a back-to-back for the Lakers and it will be a key opportunity for L.A. to handle their business early and rest up for their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday to close out the trip.
The purple and gold have been shorthanded throughout this four-game roadie, rolling with an eight-man rotation, but one player is returning in this one. Cam Reddish, who has missed the last three games with left groin soreness was listed as probable coming into Wednesday’s matchup and is now ready to re-claim his starting spot. Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent still remain out as they recover from their respective injuries.
For the two stars, Anthony Davis and LeBron James are good to go today. James is continuing to deal with a left calf contusion and Davis dealing with his left adductor injury, which should hopefully be a night of rest if the Lakers handle business.
The Pistons enter Monday with a 2-15 record, 1-7 at home, so if the Lakers come out with energy and effort right out of the gates, this should be an easy, much-needed win after the trouncing on Monday. However, Detroit still does have some good young talent in Cade Cunningham, who is averaging 22.2 points and 7.1 assists, Ausar Thompson chipping in with 11.4 points and 9.5 rebounds and lastly big man Jalen Duren with 12.6 points and 11.2 rebounds.
Accompanied by some other young talent in Jaden Ivey, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III and veteran scorer Alec Burks. It is important for the Lakers to not allow the Pistons to have any confidence that they can beat them as once they have that, it may become a closer game than needed.
Look for James and Davis to assert themselves early against a rebuilding team, especially for Davis as he usually kickstarts the offense. Duren has the strength to match up with Davis, but he should still be able to dominate the 20-year-old. Simply, Detroit does not have anyone who can check L.A.’s two stars.
In Reddish’s return, he is getting eased back into things as he is coming off the bench with Max Christie remaining in the starting lineup. Both are expected to take on the matchup of Cunningham, being responsible for trying to keep the head of the snake in check. All things considered, it comes down to how much the team cares to take care of business early and the first quarter will most likely show their care factor.
The purple and gold are going to have to get out to a quick and early start today, which is something they’re not typically accustomed to. But, it is necessary as they have an explosive Thunder team waiting for them on Thursday.
Los Angeles Lakers (10-8) vs. Detroit Pistons (2-15)
4:00 p.m. PT, Nov. 29, 2023
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers starting lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Max Christie
SF: Taurean Prince
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Austin Reaves, Cam Reddish, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes,
Projected Pistons starting lineup:
PG: Cade Cunningham
SG: Jaden Ivey
SF: Ausar Thompson
PF: Isaiah Stewart
C: Jalen Duren
Key Reserves: Alec Burks, Killian Hayes, Marcus Sasser, Isaiah Livers, James Wiseman
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