The Los Angeles Lakers are set to take on the Houston Rockets on NBA’s opening night on Tuesday.
The game at Staples Center is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. PDT (10:30 p.m. EDT).
The game will be broadcast on TNT.
Live streaming will be available through TNT.
The Lakers already faced a tough game but it will be harder with the injuries the team is dealing with. Nick Young, the team’s likely sixth man, is out, while starting point guard Steve Nash was recently declared done for the season, and likely for good.
The Lakers will probably start Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Jordan Hill.
The Rockets will probably start Patrick Beverly, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Terrence Jones, and Dwight Howard.
Lakers Nation notes that to get a victory, the team will need to keep Harden from getting lots of free throws, as well as taking advantage of the Rockets lack of depth after losing several players–including Lin.
“This has left them with a pretty thin bench that the Lakers will need to capitalize on when the starters are catching a breather. Julius Randle and Ed Davis will need to be particularly aggressive against a thin second string frontcourt,” it said.
And the Lakers should attack Howard to try to take him out with foul trouble.
The team will need to rely heavily on Bryant and Lin, especially with all the injuries. Rookie Jordan Clarkson should see some time, along with Ronnie Price if he’s able to play.
“Lin had a strong preseason, primarily playing with the second unit, which was in desperate need of the point guard’s playmaking. Clarkson has been groomed as a shooting guard through the exhibition season. The Rockets will likely turn to former Lakers forward Trevor Ariza to defend against Bryant, freeing up Harden by putting him against a lesser threat, such as Wesley Johnson,” the Los Angeles Times said.
“Patrick Beverley is a strong, on-the-ball defender with experience practicing against Lin. If Houston can slow Bryant and/or Lin, the Lakers will have a difficult time scoring.”
The Lakers have a back-to-back, playing the Suns on Wednesday night before another back-to-back this weekend, with a game against the Clippers on Friday and against the Warriors on Saturday.
The Rockets also have a back-to-back, playing the Jazz tomorrow. After that, they’ll play the Celtics on Saturday.