Bryant has rested the last two games and five of the Lakers' previous eight, dealing with the rigors of old age (at least in the basketball world). The Lakers have lost their last five and eight of 10 in January.
The Pelicans expect to have
New Orleans is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, trying to overcome a four-game deficit behind the
The Lakers will play without Tarik Black (ankle), Julius Randle (knee) and
Davis, in just his third year, may already be the best power forward in the game.
The competition is certainly stiff with players like Blake Griffin,
Additionally, Davis is averaging 24.2 points a game, shooting 56.1% from the field. He's also pulling down 10.4 rebounds and blocking 2.9 shots per contest.
The Lakers will try to combat him with
Offensively, the Lakers would benefit from Hill and Boozer's ability to shoot the outside shot, potentially pulling Davis away from the basket.
Bryant has had more success this season when he's a willing passer. In his last game, a 109-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bryant dished a career-high 17 assists to go with 19 points on 50% shooting from the field (7-14).
Through four appearances in January, Bryant is averaging 9.0 assists a game but is still shooting just 34.2% from the field with a pair of difficult games (two-for-12 against the Clippers and three-for-19 vs. the Miami Heat).
Coach Byron Scott is limiting Bryant to 32 minutes, along with a light work schedule including sitting out games, with hopes that he'll be able to preserve his body in the future.
If Bryant isn't rusty against the Pelicans, the extra rest could help the All-Star give the Lakers a boost.
With a number of his teammates hurt in recent games, the Pelicans'
On the season, Evans is averaging 17.1 points with 5.3 assists and 5.6 rebounds.
Anthony Davis' return should trump Kobe Bryant's as the Lakers drop their sixth straight.