The Los Angeles Lakers hope to prevent the Indiana Pacers from getting its eighth win on the road this season on Thursday night in LA. Here are three things to watch for.
Victor Oladipo’s status for Pacers
Oladipo has missed four straight games for the Pacers with a sore right knee, but his status for Thursday night is uncertain. It’s likely we won’t hear his official status until right before the game, but I would expect the 5th year, 26-year-old guard to play. His production on both ends of the floor is crucial to Indiana, who has gone 2-2 without him.
Start of the second quarter
The Lakers went 11-9 in the first quarter of the season, and our own Honi wrote about how they fared in the first 20 games. The season still has 72 more games, but so far the Lakers start has been mediocre. They have played well at times, and they have played horribly. Thursday’s game is an important game for the rest of the season, as it sets the tempo. The 14th seed in the west sits only five games back of the 1st seed, and the Lakers sit right in the middle of that pack. Now is their time to shine or fail.
Lonzo Ball’s status
Lonzo Ball remains a game-time decision for Thursday. If he doesn’t play, the Lakers are without a true starting caliber point guard. There are multiple players on the team who can assume the role of point guard, but leaving those duties to Ball or Rajon Rondo (who is currently out with injury) is always the better course of action when it can be taken. We’ll be seeing a lot of point-Lebron, Brandon Ingram, or Lance Stephenson with the ball in the case the Ball doesn’t play.