The last time the Los Angeles Lakers (7-3) saw the Houston Rockets (3-4), it ended in a 4-1 series win. Now, both teams have had makeovers and identity changes. Trades and free agency were great for both teams. All of the new personnel get to lock horns as Western Conference foes. Today’s game will be the first of back to back matchups this week.
The Lakers are coming off a close win against the Chicago Bulls, 117-115. They went into the game without Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Despite the big holes in their starting lineup, performances from their role players helped. Tonight, they will be possibly be faced with the same odds if their injuries remain.
James Harden and the Rockets have had an up and down season. Outside of trade requests, they are working on establishing chemistry under new Head Coach Stephen Silas. This is a very different team than the Lakers saw in the playoffs. They’ve add John Wall and former Laker DeMarcus Cousins. Along with those additions, they brought in rising star Christian Wood. Wood seems excited to possibly match up with Davis, per the Athletic’s Kelly Iko:
Christian Wood on the prospect of matchup up with Anthony Davis on Sunday:
There are a few games I’ve circled on the calendar. Going against him and the Lakers is definitely one that I circled. I’m going to go against him with everything I’ve got.
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) January 9, 2021
I love the chirping and hope the Lakers do, too. If Davis is available, this will be an interesting game within the game to watch. Both LeBron James and Davis averaged double-doubles in their series against the Rockets. James put up 25.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. AD added 25.4 points and 12.4 boards. If this duo shows up, the Lakers should improve their 7-3 record and maintain the league’s best record.
Tip-off for tonight’s game is scheduled for 4 PM PST/7 PM EST.