Before going out onto the road for their longest road trip of the season, the Lakers have a date with Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks as they come into town for their lone visit against the Lakers.
The contest will be the first of the series between the two NBA glamour teams, with the second ledger being hosted by the Knicks on February 6th at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks, who have fared about as good of a start as the league expected following the acquisitions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, will be coming into tonight’s game with a ton of confidence. They’ve gone 7-3 over their last 10 games including a strong defensive effort against the Kings in their last matchup.
Something to watch for: It’ll be interesting to see who has the hotter hand among the two teams – Carmelo Anthony and Lou Williams in particular. Although Anthony has only hit the 30-point scoring mark in two of his last five games (three if you count the 29-point game against the Wolves), it shouldn’t otherwise be difficult for him to get it going against the Lakers and their 27th ranked defense in the league.
On the contrary, Lou Williams has been shooting stars for the Lakers as of late, shooting a combined 54% from the field over the span of his last four games, with three being 35+ point performances. It should be interesting to see which of the two players has the stronger hot hand, and who is able to defend said hot hand as it will likely play a large role in deciding who wins the game.
On a lighter note, the team announced that there is now a possibility that D’Angelo Russell may suit up tonight against the Knicks, after having been out for almost a month with a sore knee.
Whether he plays or not, it’s certainly nice to see that we’re closer to the end of his absence from the team than the beginning of it. The team has struggled to keep up with opponents since he’s been gone, so having him back on the team will certainly bode well for the Lakers as they try to get back on track.
Catch the game live at 6:30 pm tonight on Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN LA 710 Radio.