Tuesday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans have the makings of a late season blockbuster. You’ve got a unique opportunity to see three of the league’s most athletic marvels in LeBron James, Zion Williamson, and Anthony Davis. The two teams will forever be connected after a season and a half of trade posturing before an exchange that shook the NBA to its core. Williamson missed the first visit to Staples Center before a return to action on January 22nd. He’s putting up one of the most impressive rookie campaigns since the Kid From Akron made his NBA arrival. Tuesday marks the second meeting of both squads and the first that the two phenoms will share the floor.
The Kids Come Home
Despite the acquisition of Davis, many fans are still attached to the budding trio of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram. Once considered the future of Los Angeles basketball, they’ve moved on to anchor the emerging Pelicans along with Williamson. Ingram has budded into the all-star that the Lakers anticipated when they took him with the 2nd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He presents the Lakers with the task of game-planing against one of the league’s premiere wing players. Lonzo Ball is also enjoying some uptick in improvement. He’s shooting a career-high from three at 36.7 percent on the year. Hart is averaging a career-best of 10.6 points per game.
A Playoff Preview?
The Lakers sit atop the Western Conference at 43-12 with a sizeable lead of five games to the 2nd place Denver Nuggets. If they maintain their success, the Pelicans just may be waiting for them in the playoffs. In 13 games since Williamson returned, they are 8-5. They’re three games back of capturing the eight seed. The series would be one of the most anticipated first rounds in years.
Markieff Morris Debut
The Lakers recently added combo forward Markieff Morris on Sunday. His addition provides the Lakers with some much-needed perimeter size in a pinch and more shooting. Morris will be active tonight, but it’s unclear if he sees action per Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell. Morris will wear #88 for the remainder of the year.
The Lakers look to extend their win streak to six games. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.