Lakers (16-30) vs. Bobcats (20-27) Game Preview – 01/10/14

PHOTO: Basket Session
PHOTO: Basket Session

Could the Lakers finally get a win tonight?

The Charlotte Bobcats are fresh off a victory against the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City, so they’ll definitely be gunning for a win in L.A. tonight, while the Lakers will be hoping someone can catch alight and have a 60-plus game like Carmelo Anthony did against these very ‘Cats last Friday night.

Seeing as Kemba Walker won’t make his return from an ankle injury tonight, Ramon Sessions will start against his former team and will most likely be looking to have a decent outing.

Sessions is averaging 10.8 points and 3.5 assists in 23.4 minutes per game, yet he’s shooting an awful 18 percent from three-point range. If the Lakers want to win this game they’ll want to avoid letting someone like Sessions from having a career game, which is something they’ve made a habit of this year.

Josh McRoberts is also an ex-Laker who’ll start against L.A. tonight. You probably won’t recognize him from his days in the purple and gold though: The early 2000s Justin Timberlake look is long gone for McRoberts, who looks like he actually hasn’t had a hair cut since he got traded to the Orlando Magic in the Dwight Howard deal in 2012.

Also in the reunion category: Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford makes his first return to Staples tonight since leaving last summer. Clifford spent one year in Los Angeles as an assistant coach and has since turned the Bobcats in a respectable team, especially on the defensive end.

The Bobcats are 6th in the league in points allowed at 97.2 per game, though they’re just 28th in points per game at 94.1. Still, for a team that won just 21 games last year, Clifford has done a great job so far and Charlotte can actually match that win total with a victory over the Lakers this evening.

Clifford can’t take all the credit, though: Offseason addition Al Jefferson is playing some great basketball and is coming off a 35-point performance in Denver and had 32 in a loss versus the Chicago Bulls the game before that.

Big Al’s averaging 19.3 points, 10.5 and 1.3 blocks per game this season. If the Lakers’ bigs can slow him down tonight, L.A.’s chances of winning will improve dramatically.

EXPECTED STARTERS

LAKERS
Kendall Marshall
Jodie Meeks
Wesley Johnson
Ryan Kelly
Pau Gasol

BOBCATS
Ramon Sessions
Gerald Henderson
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Josh McRoberts
Al Jefferson

The game starts at 7:30 pm PST and will be broadcast live on TWC SportsNet.

Written by Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering