The New Orleans Pelicans will be home this Christmas, watching the three teams closest to them in the Western Conference standings do battle. While it’s important to keep tabs on the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Suns, don’t forget about another squad that deserves attention despite a subpar record.
The Los Angeles Lakers sit 13th in the West, hovering near the cellar since the start of the season. They’re on pace for a very similar finish to the last campaign, making their selection to this Christmas Day slate all the more laughable, but there is upside for New Orleans fans.
ESPN Sources: The pain has subsided in past several days in Anthony Davis' foot and he's expected to rest it for another 7-to-10 days and have it re-evaluated and see if he can return to play. For now, there's hope that a procedure can be avoided. https://t.co/4B2RXiAZTV— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2022
Davis has missed four straight contests and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return from a stress injury in his right foot.
The Lakers have won only twice in seven games when Davis has been sidelined this season.
If you may recall, the Pelicans have the choice of swapping 2023 first-round draft picks via the Davis trade that brought a slew of assets and good young players to New Orleans, including Brandon Ingram and the Lakers’ 2022 first-rounder which resulted in Dyson Daniels.
The Lakers currently have the seventh-worst record in the league, which carries 7.5% odds of becoming the first overall pick, along with 31.9% top-4 odds.
A slide down the standings and those odds would increase, but either way, the Pelicans are expected to receive a very good draft asset from the Lakers this summer. We’re nearly half way through the regular season and they still remain outside of even the play-in tournament seedings.
So on this NBA Christmas Sunday, be sure to check in on the Lakers. Every Los Angeles loss brings New Orleans a step closer to adding another substantial piece to an already promising roster.
Full Christmas Day schedule:
- 76ers vs Knicks (11:00 a.m. CT, ABC/ESPN)
- Lakers vs Mavericks (1:30 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN)
- Bucks vs Celtics (4:00 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN)
- Grizzlies vs Warriors (7:00 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN)
- Suns vs Nuggets (9:30 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN)