Date & Time: Friday, December 18th, 10:30 PM ET (Saturday, 9 AM IST)
Venue: PHX Arena, Phoenix, AZ
The LA Lakers have very much looked like the defending champions considering their domination in preseason games so far. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns are struggling for consistency but that's expected given the slew of roster changes they went through this offseason.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers should largely be at full strength in their final game before the official season tips off. LeBron James and Anthony Davis should feature for a longer duration with fringe players expected to take a backseat. Having said that, it'll be interesting to see how Frank Vogel handles Talen Horton-Tucker's minutes.
There are a lot of positives for the LA Lakers to draw from whatever they've displayed so far. Marc Gasol is playing like his horrible bubble run never happened. Montrezl Harrell has already acclimatized to his new surroundings. Both AD and LeBron feel ready to go as well.
Key Player - Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma has had a tremendous run in the preseason. He's managed 22 points on nearly 47% shooting from the field. Kuzma's clocked over 36 minutes per outing which signifies his amazing fitness level. He's also played good defense and could really be looking at heavier minutes in the LA Lakers' rotation this season.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
LeBron James, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns haven't really synchronized well as a unit so far. Individual performances from the likes of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are positives but the bench has failed to turn up to the party. Few players are still unavailable for selection.
Jae Crowder looked good in his preseason debut for the Phoenix Suns, managing 11 points on 50% shooting from the field in limited minutes. He'll be looking to build on the same. Chris Paul has had a mixed run though. Paul's playmaking has been on point but his shooting boots are still missing,
Key Player - Devin Booker
Devin Booker seems like the most prepared player for the upcoming 2020-21 campaign. Booker has averaged 19.7 points per game on nearly 49% shooting from the field and also showcased a good range of passing skills. He will be hoping to lead the Phoenix Suns to their first preseason win on Friday.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton
Lakers vs Suns Match Prediction
The LA Lakers have shown the ability to both dominate games and dig deep in the preseason. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be hoping to get some playing time under their belt before the new campaign so they'll only be more difficult to beat. For the Phoenix Suns, it's been a case of individual brilliance so far. They need cohesion to pull off an upset but as things stand, the Purple and Gold are the favorites for winning this game.
Where to watch Lakers vs Suns?
Local telecast of the game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet and FOX Sports Arizona. For catching the national broadcast, you can tune in to ESPN. Like always, NBA League Pass remains the go-to option for live streaming the match-up.
Published 17 Dec 2020, 23:00 IST