The Los Angeles Lakers will conclude their preseason against the Phoenix Suns at 7:00 PM PST on Spectrum Sportsnet. The Lakers (2-5) will look to end their four-game losing streak on Friday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers showed flashes of brilliance and sloppy play throughout the preseason. The inconsistency isn’t a shock to most because Luke Walton is still trying to finalize his rotations. The Lakers had multiple changes in starting lineup. As the regular season is swiftly approaching, we could see Walton with a tighter and stricter rotation on his lineups against the Suns.
Brandon Ingram had one of his best games against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. He displayed his full versatility as he scored 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds and four assists. Ingram had a commanding control of the offense when he was on the court. Ingram looked smooth on offense and solid on defense against the Warriors. With the starting lineup up in the air, it will be interesting to see if Walton decides to plug Ingram in with the starters.
One of the key match-ups to pay attention to is the guard duel between D’Angelo Russell and Devin Booker. The two guards are leading their teams in scoring in the preseason. Booker is the leading scorer at 21.5 points while Russell leads the Lakers with 18 points per game. Russell and Booker have a similar statistical rookie season. Recently, Booker was voted the most likely to have a breakout season by NBA GM’s at 31 percent. Conversely, Russell was chosen by 6.9 percent.
Russell has been somewhat inconsistent throughout the preseason. With a new offense and heavy responsibilities, it is understandable to see a 20-year-old kid have on and off nights. Russell is coming off of three consecutive sub-par performances. It should be interesting to see how well he bounces back against his buddy, Booker.
The conclusion of preseason also brings the trimming of the roster. The Lakers currently have 17 players. They would need to cut two more players to finalize their roster. Thomas Robinson, Metta World Peace and Yi Jianlian are the players competing for the final roster spot.