Preview: Lakers take on the explosive Rockets

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers (33-8) and Houston Rockets (26-14) are coming off disappointing losses on Wednesday night. The similarities continue: both defeats came at the hands of teams with losing records. Superstars named “James” (pictured above) both underperformed. Players that haven’t had much success this season were the only reason their respective teams were in the game.

Starting a new win streak may be difficult for the Lakers as they potentially may miss some players. Rajon Rondo is questionable for the game while recovering from a hand injury. Alex Caruso was negative for a concussion protocol but still had neck soreness. However, there could be a return for a player the Lakers have sorely needed.

Anthony Davis has missed every game since a scary fall against the Knicks on January 7. Yes, they won three and only lost one of his four missed games but having him back against a playoff team like Houston would be a huge boost.

Basketball fans are familiar with the sort of firepower that Houston has, as they rank fourth overall in offensive rating (Lakers are fifth). James Harden is currently leading the league in scoring (37.2 points per game) while Russell Westbrook continues to fill the stat sheet (24.6/7.8/7.2). There is a glaring issue when looking at Westbrook’s numbers as he is shooting just 23.6% from beyond the arc.

Houston is surprisingly in the bottom 10 of 3-point percentage (34.9%) which may be due to the sheer volume of attempts (44.3 a game). The Lakers take only 30.5 attempts per game but are shooting better at 36.2% from beyond the arc.

Harden and Westbrook will not be the only players the Lakers need to watch for. Clint Capela will be looking to control the boards. He averages the second-most in the league at 14.5 per game. Capela is second in field goal percentage. Having Davis back will be sure to make life more difficult in the paint for him; if Davis does not play, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard will be tasked with boxing out the center.

The Lakers are 17-3 as an away team which is the best in the league. With their undefeated against sub .500 teams record broken, hopefully they can keep this intact.

The Lakers and Rockets will tip-off at 5:30 PM. Be sure to follow us on twitter for updates.

Author: Kendrew

The Filipino guy

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