Without their two All-Stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Purple and Gold will be hard-pressed to climb up from their current standings in the coming weeks.
The LA Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns 111-94 on Sunday, the first complete game that LeBron James missed due to a severe ankle sprain. Though they made a valiant effort to avoid getting blown out, the team was simply lacking in firepower. The Lakers are currently in third place in the Western Conference, but that could quickly change with a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.
The LA Lakers’ defense will be tested when they go up against the New Orleans Pelicans, one of the best offensive teams in the league.
The relatively healthy New Orleans Pelicans are coming off an astounding 113-108 win against the streaking Denver Nuggets on Sunday. The Pels were powered by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, who scored 30 points apiece.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who played a starting role in place of the injured Lonzo Ball, added 20 points in 31 minutes.
How to watch LA Lakers vs New Orleans Pelicans
Time: 7:30 PM (Eastern Time); 5:00 AM (Indian Standard Time)
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Live stream: NBA League Pass
LA Lakers: Team News
The LA Lakers’ injury report consists of three current and former All-Stars plus a valuable role player.
The biggest name on that list is 17-time All-Star LeBron James (high right ankle sprain), who is expected to miss not just the New Orleans Pelicans game but also several other matches. Given that James is generally a quick healer, the timetable for his return may be shorter than the recovery time by other players who suffered the same injury. At least, this is what the LA Lakers are hoping for.
Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol (conditioning) needs time to regain his stamina following time away from the team due to NBA’s health and safety protocols. While he is a game-time decision by the coaches, Gasol is likely going to miss the New Orleans Pelicans game tonight.
Jared Dudley (torn right MCL) is likely skipping surgery and will rehab his knee to see where he will be in three to four weeks. An MCL tear is generally a career-ending injury, so the veteran forward is hopeful to be a presence in the locker room instead.
Eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis (calf strain/Achilles tendinosis) is expected to be out for three weeks or more. The LA Lakers have chosen caution over haste and have decided to re-evaluate Davis on March 26 before any further decisions can be made.
Injured: Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Jared Dudley
Unavailable: Marc Gasol
New Orleans Pelicans: Team News
The New Orleans Pelicans are a bit thin in the backcourt following injuries to two key players.
J.J. Redick (right heel inflammation) will be sidelined for the game against the LA Lakers. The New Orleans Pelicans guard is dealing with inflammation in his heel, which has kept him from returning to action for two weeks now.
Lonzo Ball (right hip flexor strain) is questionable to play on Tuesday. The former New Orleans Pelicans starting point guard missed Sunday's matchup with the Denver Nuggets but is probably 50/50 for the LA Lakers game. His return to action will be dependent on how the hip feels within the next few hours.
Injured: J.J. Redick
Doubtful: Lonzo Ball