The Los Angeles Lakers just lost their fourth game of the season on Monday night. The Lakers played the Golden State Warriors, who battled back to beat the Lakers. While the Lakers controlled most of the game, the Warriors came back from a deficit and won the game in the last few minutes. In the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, the Lakers almost looked like a different team compared to the rest of the game. The team has been on a high in their recent success and franchise record for their perfect road game record so far. This game can hopefully just be a bump in the road for the Lakers squad.
Now the Lakers have a little bit of time to regroup. With not another game until Thursday, the Lakers have some practice days to get themselves ready to face the Milwaukee Bucks. With the shortened offseason and the number of games being played, the Lakers are looking for as much rest as they can get. Their recent blowout wins on the road have allowed for players like Anthony Davis and LeBron James to rest in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, on Monday night, the game came down to the wire. This meant that Davis, James and Dennis Schroder played close to a full 40 minutes. These big minutes do not allow the stars to steal any extra amount of rest that they can. Luckily, in this case, the Lakers had two nights off from a game for rest.
Lakers vs. Bucks Preview
When looking specifically at the matchup between the Bucks and the Lakers, there are a few basic statistics to discuss. The Lakers have an 11-4 record while the Bucks stand at 9-5. In January, the Bucks are averaging 118.3 points per game, with a 38.9% three-point percentage. Their team may be averaging 13.8 turnovers per game but they are also averaging 26.2 assists per game. These stats put the Bucks in second place in the Eastern Conference. Now looking at the Lakers statistics in January. The Lakers are averaging 112.7 points per game, with a 37.9% three point percentage. They are also averaging 14.3 turnovers but are averaging 25.1 assists. The Lakers are sitting in first in the Western Conference. On paper, it seems like this game could really go either way because the numbers are so close.
The Lakers need to keep up their hustle for a full four quarters on Thursday. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks superstar, won both the MVP Award and Defensive Player of the Year Award last season. Since the Bucks were kicked out of the NBA Bubble in the first round of playoffs, Antetokounmpo is eager for this season. Antetokounmpo wants a championship. If he beats the defending champions, the Lakers, Antetokoumpo will send a powerful message to the rest of the league about how serious he is this season. Similarly, the Lakers need to win to send a message that they are ready to repeat their championship, even against the reigning MVP.
While this game is not the end all be all, a win for the Lakers will help. A win could boost the team confidence and morale. The loss to the Warriors was a tight game and it seemed as though the Lakers gave up. To avoid a losing streak, the Lakers need to shake off their lose from Monday and work hard on Thursday.
Statistics gathered from nba.com.