The Los Angeles Lakers host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night at Staples Center, but what may have seemed like a winnable game on the schedule to start the season looks like another opportunity to disappoint home fans.
The Lakers have been horrific at home.
In 11 games at Staples Center, the Lakers have only won twice. To put that in perspective, only two teams in the NBA have a worse home record: the Detroit Pistons and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Kings' road record is 5-5 may not seem at all special until one realizes the Kings have as many road wins as the Lakers have total wins.
Through 21 games, the Lakers have failed to provide much of anything to feel good about, and Lakers coach Byron Scott recently opted to take dramatic steps to shake up the lineups. Although the Lakers lost big against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night with the new lineup, installing changes without a practice made it easy to comprehend the lack of understanding between players that have not been playing together.
With Ronnie Price taking over the point guard position, the Lakers have a player that competes on the defensive end and specializes in passing on the offensive end. Price is not a guy who will win a game by scoring 20 points and dishing 20 assists, but he also is not a guy who will commit 10 turnovers and lose a game by failing to find teammates.
Ed Davis may not be household name, but he's been LA's best offseason addition through the first quarter of the NBA season. Davis earned the opportunity to start games, and his tenacity on defense is only matched by his ability to roll to the basket and finish around the rim.
Incidentally, the two areas where Davis excels, interior defense and finishing at the rim, are the two areas where Carlos Boozer struggled most through the first 20 games.
Luckily for Davis, Kings' star player DeMarcus Cousins is suffering with viral meningitis and expects not to be available against the Lakers. Cousins has missed six games with the illness after starting the season averaging 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, which were all team highs.
In Cousins' absence, the Kings have lost four of the six games they have played.
Sacramento will look to Rudy Gay and Darren Collison to step up on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Sacramento's no. 2 and no. 3 options combine for 37.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. With Cousins out, those numbers will need to inflate further for the Kings to come out with a win on Tuesday night.
The Lakers and Kings tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.