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Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers Live Game Thread: The ‘what coulda been’ game

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (37-36) at Los Angeles Lakers (31-40)

WHAT: All-Star D’Angelo Russell returns to Los Angeles to take on LeBron James and the tanking Lakers; Nets need a win, Lakers don’t want one. But, as they say, be careful of the trap.

WHERE: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

WHEN: 10:30 p.m. EST

HOW: YES, SPECSN; NBA League Pass

THE STORY: Game Preview

D’Angelo Russell truly went Sicko Mode against the Kings in the fourth quarter and you know he’s going to want to ride that hot streak into the Staples Center to potentially knock the Lakers out of the playoffs. The last time he played against his former team, he put up 22 and 13 and hit an absolute dagger to give the Nets the win. Another big performance might elevate this run by D’Angelo to legendary status following that 44 and 12 game against the Kings and even a 32 and 10 performance against the Clippers. DLo is enjoying California so far.

We will be watching a depleted and largely unmotivated Lakers team in this one. LeBron has thrown in the towel, playing limited minutes in the games he chooses to participate in, and with Lonzo and Ingram out, even their young core is weaker than normal. That means we’re going to see a lot of Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Kuzma is pretty good, averaging 18.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, but other than him the rest of this team is filled with guys who are decidedly Not Scary. Who else is a big scoring threat? JaVale McGee? Reggie Bullock? Mike Muscala? Not the most intimidating bunch.

For more on the Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll