NBA 2018-19: Predicted Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers resume their playoff push after the All-Star break, as they prepare to host James Harden and the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center.
The Lakers are currently lying at the 10th position in the Western Conference playoff standings with a 28-29 record. They are 3 games behind of the 8th placed Clippers and 2 games behind the 9th placed Sacramento Kings. These are now high-pressure matches for the Lakers, as not making the playoffs with LeBron James in the lineup would be catastrophic for the most glamorous franchise in NBA history.
Lonzo Ball is set to miss the game, as he continues his recovery from the injury that he suffered in the previous match against the Rockets. Josh Hart and Muscala are going to be game-time decisions.
LeBron James is ready to go all-in during this final stretch of the season. He told the media that his Playoff intensity is now activated and he will give his everything to make the playoffs this year. The new signing Reggie Bullocks is again expected to start alongside the young core of Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma recently won the Rising Stars MVP and he will also be a crucial part of Lakers success.
The Rockets are currently 5th in the Western Conference playoff standings. They have a 33-24 record and have won all three games against the Lakers this season.
Chris Paul is fully recovered for the Rockets. Clint Capela is also expected to return back from injury against the Lakers. James Harden is on an absolute scoring tear. He has erupted for 31 consecutive 30 plus games and is averaging 36.6 points per game this season.
Let's have a look at the predicted starting lineups for the two teams:
Houston Rockets: Chris Paul (PG), James Harden (SG), Eric Gordon (SF), P.J. Tucker (PF), Clint Capela (C).
Los Angeles Lakers: Reggie Bullocks (PG), Brandon Ingram (SG), LeBron James (SF), Kyle Kuzma (PF), Javale McGee (C).
The Lakers are under tremendous pressure at this point due to the reasons mentioned above. The Rockets have won the first three matches between the two teams, but all three matches were very close.
I predict LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to win in a close encounter against the Houston Rockets.