The Lakers are set to face the Knicks this Tuesday in New York. Both teams have been preparing for this game, with the Lakers coming off of a 125-121 overtime loss against the Celtics and the Knicks after falling to the Brooklyn Nets, 122-115. With tipoff at 7:30 PM EST in Madison Square Garden, this first meeting of the season between the two teams is sure to be a heated battle.
The Lakers currently hold 13th place in the Western Conference, 11 games back from the first-place Denver Nuggets. On the offensive end, the Lakers are scoring an impressive 117.1 points per game and have a shooting percentage of 48.2%, which ranks as the fifth highest points per contest and eighth-highest shooting percentage in the NBA. This is due in large part to the efforts of Lebron James, who continues to lead the team with 30.2 points per game and a shooting percentage of 50.7%. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the injury report, as both James and Anthony Davis were out for Monday night’s game against the Nets. The Lakers are most successful when they attack the basket, as they have only shot 33.6% from behind the arc, which ranks 26th in the league. On the bright side, they have a free-throw shooting percentage of 78.8%, which ranks 13th in the NBA.
Defensively, the Lakers are giving up 118.1 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot 47.2% from the floor. This ranks as the 27th most points given up per game and the 13th-lowest shooting percentage allowed. However, the Lakers have consistently shown their ability to close out on open jump shooters, as they are only allowing their opponents to shoot 34.7% from deep, which is the third-lowest three-point shooting percentage allowed in the league. The Lakers are also snatching 44.9 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth in the NBA. They will need to crash the offensive and defensive glass in order to stay competitive in this game.
As for the injury report, Lonnie Walker IV is probable with a knee injury, while Anthony Davis and Lebron James are questionable with foot and ankle injuries, respectively. Austin Reaves is out with a hamstring injury.
The Knicks currently hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference, nine games back from the first-place Boston Celtics. On offense, the Knicks are scoring 114.3 points per game and have a shooting percentage of 45.8%, which ranks as the 16th most points scored per contest and 24th-highest shooting percentage in the NBA. Julius Randle continues to lead the way on the offensive end, scoring 24.7 points per game with a shooting percentage of 46.1%. While the Knicks struggle to consistently make shots from behind the arc, with a 34.5% three-point shooting percentage, which ranks 23rd in the league, they have a free-throw shooting percentage of 77.3%, which ranks 22nd in the NBA.
Defensively, the Knicks are giving up 113.4 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot 45.3% from the floor. This ranks as the 12th least amount of points given up per game and the second-lowest shooting percentage allowed in the NBA. The Knicks have adjusted defensive rating of 113.9, which is the 16th lowest in the NBA. They have also shown their ability to contest shots near the rim and on the perimeter, with opponents only shooting 34.9% from deep, which is the sixth-lowest three-point shooting percentage allowed in the league. The Knicks have also grabbed 47.3 rebounds per game, which is the third most in the league.
Additionally, the Lakers will need to improve their performance on the road if they want to challenge the Knicks in New York. So far this season, the Lakers have a 6-10 record on the road and they will need to bring their A-game if they want to leave Madison Square Garden with a win. The Lakers have a solid offensive attack with Lebron James leading the way, but their defense has struggled at times. If they can get more stops on defense, they will give themselves a better chance of winning this game.
On the other hand, the Knicks have been strong at home this season, with a 12-10 record. They have a balanced attack on both ends of the court and they will need to bring their best game if they want to beat the Lakers in front of their home crowd. Julius Randle has been a key player for the Knicks on offense, as he leads the team in scoring and has been efficient from the field. The Knicks will need to improve their shooting from beyond the arc, as they have struggled from deep this season. On defense, the Knicks have been solid, giving up the 12th-least amount of points per game and holding their opponents to the second-lowest shooting percentage in the league.
Injuries will also play a big role in this game. The Lakers will need to be cautious with Lebron James and Anthony Davis, who both missed Monday’s game against the Nets with ankle and foot injuries, respectively. Meanwhile, the Knicks will be without Mitchell Robinson who is out with a thumb injury.
This matchup between the Lakers and the Knicks promises to be a great battle, with both teams looking to get a win. The Lakers will need to turn around their performance on the road and get more stops on defense if they want to challenge the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. On the other hand, the Knicks will need to be more efficient on offense and continue their strong play at home if they want to take down the Lakers. With both teams having key players on the injury report, it will be interesting to see how this game unfolds. So make sure to tune in to this exciting matchup between the Lakers and the Knicks on Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST!
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