Los Angeles Lakers vs Indiana Pacers Preview and Prediction: Stop the Slump

The Los Angeles Lakers (15-31) will look to put an end to their five-game losing streak tonight against the Indiana Pacers (22-19).

January was supposed to the month the Lakers pulled away from the rest of the pack and got themselves back into the playoff picture. So far, that has not been the case.

With more than half of the season’s games played, LA will look to turn things around tonight if they want to compete for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The eighth-place Denver Nuggets, who the Lakers lost to on Tuesday, are only two wins ahead of the Purple and Gold.

It wouldn’t be a complete disappointment if LA doesn’t make the playoffs, however, if it is within striking distance there’s no harm in having a little optimism. Tonight would be a great place to start, but they’re up against some pretty tough competition.

The Indiana Pacers struggled to start the season, but a kind midseason schedule and the emergence of second-year pro Myles Turner has them sitting pretty at the No. 6 seed in the East.

Turner is averaging 15.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game this season. That’s pretty good for a kid that isn’t even old enough to drink yet.

The Pacers also have a guy named Paul George. He’s pretty good too.

Here’s where you can catch the game tonight:

Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Lakers

Date: Friday, Jan. 20
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Arena: Staples Center
TV Info: TWC Sportsnet
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Radio: Here

Injury Report

Los Angeles Lakers: Larry Nance Jr. – Knee (Out), Luol Deng – Wrist (Out)

Indiana Pacers: Rodney Stuckey – Hamstring (Out)

Prediction

It’s going to be tough, but something tells me the Lakers finally get it together tonight. Nick Young has been in a slump lately and the effort from D’Angelo Russell just hasn’t been there. Tonight would be a perfect opportunity for them to break out of their funk.

As talented as the Pacers are, they lack a solid guard rotation. The Jeff Teague Experiment hasn’t exactly gone to plan and Monta Ellis is hardly the scorer he used to be. Then there are the reserves, led by C.J. Miles and Aaron Brooks. If there’s on advantage the Lakers have tonight, it’s in their firepower in the backcourt.

That’s just about where their advantage ends, though. Myles Turner will very likely set Mozgov on fire. If Brandon Ingram starts in place of the injured Luol Deng, he’s going to have a tough time containing Paul George. Thaddeus Young has become a capable 3-point shooter this season and whether or not he has a big night depends on which Julius Randle the Lakers get tonight.

However, one thing fans can look forward to tonight is seeing more from Ivica Zubac. Zubac made the most of his minutes on Tuesday, posting his first career double-double. His play has created a good problem for head coach Luke Walton in the frontcourt. Will we see less Tarik Black? Will he move to power forward to help Zubac on the boards? We’ll find out more tonight.

Regardless, the already dominant bench just added another key piece, and that will hopefully be enough for the Lakers to upset the Pacers tonight.

Los AngelesLakers

102

IndianaPacers

96

What do you guys think? Are the Lakers going to come out and play tonight? Or will it be another long night in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below or send us a tweet @TheLakeShowLife! We’ll be live tweeting the game and partaking in other shenangins as per usual.

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