Sure — another huge blockbuster trade has happened in the NBA. And sure — the Lakers may now have an extremely formidable foe in the Eastern Conference now that the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden have teamed up on the Brooklyn Nets. But you know what’s way more important right now? Actually playing the game of basketball (which Kyrie Irving and James Harden are yet to do this season). With that being said, here’s our preview of the Los Angeles Lakers’ game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers will be looking to close out a second perfect road trip of the season, as they come into tonight 6-0 in their road games after two straight wins in Houston against the Rockets. They will be coming into Oklahoma City on the second night of a back-to-back, as they will look to muster enough energy to take a 7-0 road record back to L.A.
Here is our preview.
Thunder on second night of back-to-back as well
Although the Lakers will be on very short rest, it should be noted that the Thunder are doing the same. They played the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday evening, losing 112-102. They will have home-court advantage on their side, but as evidenced above that just doesn’t matter to the Lakers.
The Thunder come into this contest 5-5 on the season (current 9th seed in the Western Conference), although they did win three in a row prior to their Tuesday night loss (against the Pelicans, Knicks, and Nets). They’ve lost a lot of firepower on the offensive end between last season and this season, as the absences of Chris Paul, Dennis Schröder, and Steven Adams have had an immense impact. They currently have the second-worst Offensive Rating in the NBA and will have plenty of troubles tonight against a Lakers’ defense that is starting to roll now after some shaky performances to start the season.
Lu Dort a.k.a. Ray Allen
Don’t be surprised tonight if you confuse Luguentz Dort to Ray Allen. The talented rookie defender of last year is now apparently a sharpshooter, making 2.1 threes per game on 4.8 attempts per game (43.8%). Although the percentage of made three-pointers is insane, the volume of his attempts is probably even crazier considering he only attempted 2.8 threes per game in last year’s regular season. The 2020 Playoffs didn’t really give us any reason to believe this improvement was coming, as he did take a lot of three-pointers in the bubble but with less-than-stellar results, making only 26% of his 8.3 attempts per game in the first round.
Tip-off is at 5:00 p.m. PST and will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet.