Time: 10 p.m. ET
Venue: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
Where to watch: TNT
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Suns -7
FanDuel: Suns -7.5
BetMGM: Suns -7.5
Caesars: Suns -7.5
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Lakers - Suns preview, prediction and analysis
Lakers: won 3 straight; won 123-92 vs. Spurs on Sunday
Suns: won 116-95 vs. Knicks on Sunday
Take what you will from the Los Angeles Lakers three-game winning streak and apply it to the belief that maybe they are trying to turn the corner. But then you try and imagine the fact that they are trying to turn the corner without LeBron James and you wonder if it's actually sustainable. But at the very least we will find out where the Lakers really are and everything on Tuesday when they visit the Phoenix Suns, who are off to a pedestrian start of their own this year.
James has missed a number of games with a thigh injury and he did not play in Sundays victory over the San Antonio Spurs. It's unclear whether LeBron will actually play in this game against phoenix, knowing that the Lakers actually need him, but the Lakers could also be without there's six man point guard Russell Westbrook. The former MVP had an evaluation on his right thumb and he could possibly miss some time due to that as well.
But the facts remain that the Lakers are a 5-10 team that has underperformed among the greatest of situation this year. Los Angeles has not looked great on either side of the ball, at most times they've looked disinterested. The key thing here is that new coach Darvin Ham is trying to implement a defensive system that should rank the Lakers near the top of the league, but when they struggled to shoot the basketball the way that they have it makes for a complete offset.
It does help matters when the Lakers have a healthy and energized Anthony Davis leading the fold, has the superstar had 30 points and 18 rebounds to contribute to the third straight victory for the Lakers. Even before Westbrook left the game with his thumb injury, he had 10 assists in 22 minutes. Clearly something is working with the Lakers. It's just a matter of wondering if it's sustainable.
“Everybody's confidence is very high, while not getting too high,” Davis said. “Feels good to get three in a row. Now we've just got to carry it over to the road. Got to put some more wins together.”
The Suns are not where they should be either sitting at 10-6, but the Suns are in a weird position where they can take over at anytime. Even without Chris Paul, the Suns still have hey very good contingent of star players that should be able to handle the load. But it almost has the feel of the phoenix teams of yesteryear when Devin Booker was on an island and had to basically carry the team himself. You already have a very disinterested DeAndre Ayton on your team, and losing Paul means you are losing a key component of your depth.
Phoenix is coming off a 116-95 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday where Cam Payne had 21 points, and Devin Booker chipped in with 20. The Suns outscored the Knicks 61-42 in the second half.
“That is who we can be (every night),” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “No matter who we have on the roster we can play that kind of defense with the energy, effort and game plan discipline.”
If LeBron doesn’t play, it’s a big problem for the Lakers because they could use another body to play to Phoenix’s size. If not, it’ll be a rough night for the Lakers, and it’ll be the kind of game Phoenix needs to further get better. Suns by 10
Suns are 17-29 ATS after allowing 105 points or less the last two seasons.
Lakers are 13-26 ATS against division opponents the last three seasons.
Lakers are 4-14 ATS off 2 straight home wins the last 3 seasons.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Patrick Beverley
SF: Lonnie Walker IV
PF: Wenyen Gabriel
C: Anthony Davis
PG: Cam Payne
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Torrey Craig
C: Deandre Ayton
Lakers: LeBron James (thigh, out), Russell Westbrook (thumb, doubtful)
Suns: Chris Paul (heel, out), Landry Shamet (concussion, out), Cameron Johnson (knee, out)
Points: Anthony Davis -- 25.6
Rebounds: Anthony Davis -- 12.0
Assists: Russell Westbrook -- 7.7
Points: Devin Booker -- 27.6
Rebounds: Deandre Ayton -- 8.1
Assists: Chris Paul -- 9.4
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