Two familiar Western Conference rivals will lock horns on Saturday.
Clearly these two teams are not the former juggernauts they once used to be. Given the seemingly ageless Dirk Nowitzki is in his age 39 season, and we are a year removed from Kobe “Bean” Bryant calling it quits, that’s understandable.
Struggle is almost a formality if you want to reach the mountaintop again. And it has been painfully ever present with these squads.
Both teams sit in the Western conference cellar, tying for the conferences third worst record and the fifth worst marks in the entire association. The Lakers (14-27) are coming off an ugly eight game losing skid, while Dallas (15-28) started out the season winning only three of their first 18 contests.
That’s just where the franchises are these days. Every team must rebuild, it’s all part of the cycle of life in the NBA.
At the forefront of both teams new direction are two tantalizing rookies.
For the Lakers, it’s Lonzo Ball. The passing dynamo with the outspoken father has shaken off some horrid early season shooting struggles and is starting to find some comfort in the NBA game. He is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.1 assists.
For Dallas, Dennis Smith Jr. Is the straw that stirs the drink. Folks fall in love with his explosive, flashy athleticism and for good reason. But, there is more to the young guard than just that.
For instance, his Dec. 29th triple double against the Pelicans, making him the third youngest to ever do so. Or the personal 12-0 run he engineered during the closing moments of a Maverick win in OKC a few nights later.
These two youngsters are beginning to find their NBA footing, and are a big reason why both teams will bring a a winning streak into Saturday’s matchup.
You can catch the two rookies debut meeting on FSSW, or via the Fox Spots mobile app. It’s is a rare Matinee game, so tip-off is at 1:00 p.m CST.
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