While it is early in the season, NBA teams like to avoid losing streaks, as it might set the tone for the upcoming weeks. That is where the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers both stand. On Tuesday night, the two teams play one another, as reported by Fox Sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers created a bit of a buzz with their fan base when they opened the season with a shocking victory over the James Harden-led Houston Rockets. It gave them faith that their favorite team might be further along in their rebuilding period than initially thought. The fans were then brought back down to earth with back to back losses against the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder, leaving the franchise with a 1-2 record at the moment.
When a team is filled with young players, winning games on the road is a really hard task. The Los Angeles Lakers have a chance at doing that against the Indiana Pacers. Grabbing a victory tonight will do a lot for the confidence of the Lakers. Los Angeles also has three straight road games after this one to try to get their first road game.
The task of beating the Indiana Pacers might be a little easier for the Los Angeles Lakers since Jeff Teague has yet to get acclimated to his new teammates. The former Atlanta Hawks starting guard needs to get used to playing with Paul George and Myles Turner. Teague was not able to put up any points when the Pacers played against the Chicago Bulls.
Defensively, the Indiana Pacers back court is not particularly strong on defense, so this is a great opportunity for guys like Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Nick Young. Of course, getting past the guards does not necessarily mean that it will be an easy path to the bucket for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thus far this season, Myles Turner has shown signs of being the next great big man in the NBA. The second year center has improved drastically from his rookie season. Turner is capable of scoring in a multitude of was inside and actually a decent mid-range jumper. Defensively, the former Texas Longhorns star can block shots, so the Los Angeles Lakers guards might not be able to get much done inside.
Timofey Mozgov was the big free agent signing by the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer. Though he showed signs of being a solid defensive player when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers, defending a player like Myles Turner might be too tough of an assignment.
Another potential issue for the Los Angeles Lakers is that they do not have a lot of front court depth coming off the bench. The Indiana Pacers have an offensive weapon coming off the bench in Al Jefferson, formerly of the Charlotte Hornets. He is a veteran center who knows how to score effectively in the low post. Jefferson might be too physically imposing for someone like Larry Nance Jr.
The best player on the court will most likely be Paul George. That is the case on most nights. Luol Deng is going to have his hands full trying to contain George. The veteran forward was specifically brought in by the Los Angeles Lakers for tough assignments like this because they do not want to throw Brandon Ingram into the fire too quickly.
One team is looking to find chemistry so that the can take their rightful place as a contender in the Eastern Conference, while the other team is hoping to speed up their rebuilding period and become relevant again in the Western Conference. That should make for a good battle.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]