Have the Lakers turned the corner this season?
Lakers survived and escaped to their second straight win as Russell Westbrook continues to shine off the bench.
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1. Have the Lakers turned the corner this season?
It’s only two games but the Lakers look like a different team with Russell Westbrook coming off the bench and embracing his new sixth man role. Not only have the Lakers won back-to-back games after starting 0-5 but they have beaten two of the more talented teams in the West in the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans. The hero of the Lakers’ 120-117 overtime win over the Pelicans on Tuesday was Matt Ryan, who hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the game into extra period. But The Sporting Tribune’s Rey Moralde continues to be impressed by Westbrook.
“Once again, Russell Westbrook from the bench came to the rescue. With Westbrook on the court, the Lakers moved the ball more. He was a big part of a 12-0 run that ended the half. Westbrook would have 11 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds in the first 24 minutes of the game.”
2. LAFC faces Philadelphia Union in MLS Cup
This Saturday could mark the potential beginning of a new era for LAFC, as they host Philadelphia Union in a battle of the titans for supremacy in MLS. The Sporting Tribune’s Chandrima Chatterje has the latest before the “Battle at the Banc.”
LAFC and Philadelphia Union share many traits and timelines. Both teams are No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences. Both teams were tied for points at the end of the regular season. Both just won their first conference title last weekend after coming close just once before. Now, both teams are playing in their first MLS Cup Final. Both are coached by 43-year-old men. For all their similarities, however, they are starkly different. Different cultures. Different coaching styles. Different team strengths.
3. There is room for optimism in Anaheim
The Anaheim Ducks season has gotten off to a rocky start, with the team amassing 7 points (3W-6L-1OTL) in 10 games, and having a -18 goal differential, but there’s reason for hope according to The Sporting Tribune’s Jake Rudolph.
When you dig a bit deeper past the surface level there is room for optimism with this team, not only for the future but also this season… The first big reason that patience will be key after the start of the season is that the Ducks faced a tough schedule. As of writing this article, seven of the ten teams that the Ducks have faced are in the top half of the league in terms of 5v5 xGF% (expected goals for%), and five of those seven are in the top eight teams in the league and in addition to that, the Ducks had to instantly go on an East Coast road trip and play a lot of those tough matchups.
4. Keenan Allen frustrated by latest hamstring setback
The Chargers hoped the bye week would give players like receiver Keenan Allen a chance to rest his hamstring injury and be ready to return but that has not been the case, according to The Sporting Tribune’s Fernando Ramirez.
Keenan Allen has hit a snag in his recovery yet again. Allen missed Wednesday’s practice with the same hamstring injury that hasn’t allowed him to play but two games this season. “I don’t think it was a restrain or anything,” Allen said. “It is just some more scar tissue that is trying to break off, and whenever it is ready to heal, just got to let it do its own thing.” He returned during the week seven matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, making two catches and only playing in the first half. It was speculated that he may have re-aggravated the hamstring.
5. Despite injury, Kupp is a fantasy football lock
With CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper both on bye weeks, which wide receivers will step up in their place to win for your fantasy team? The Sporting Tribune’s Brandon Deutsch has you covered.
Cooper Kupp anytime touchdown is as much of a lock as any bet in the history of bets. However, there are doubts that Cooper Kupp will be 100 percent or even play at all in this game. Therefore, Kupp remains a WR1 but with not as much upside because of health concerns.
6. Clippers outlast Rockets behind Paul George
Paul George scored 28 points, Marcus Morris Sr. added a 21-point double-double and the Los Angeles Clippers staved off the Houston Rockets for a 109-101 win on Wednesday. The Sporting Tribune has more from the Clippers win in Houston.
As he did in the Clippers’ home victory over the Rockets on Monday, George carried the offensive load down the stretch. His finger roll with 5:26 left built the lead to 98-89, and George added two point-blank baskets before assisting on a Morris 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 105-93 with 3:02 to play. Morris, who scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half, grabbed 10 rebounds.
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by TickPick
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game this week:
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers (Friday): $58
9. On the Air presented by Pirnia Law
Here are the game times and channels for professional teams in the region today:
5:30 p.m. – Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks – Bally Sports West
7:00 p.m. – Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks – Bally Sports SoCal
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
On Wednesday’s show, the crew talked about the Rams not making a trade at the deadline and the current state of the Lakers and Clippers entering critical games.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Fan in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you all tomorrow!