Preview: Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans

Lakers head to New Orleans to face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans

The Lakers (1-6) nearly pulled off the upset on Tuesday night, falling to the Grizzlies in Memphis, 107-102.

A quick turnaround on Wednesday will bring the Lakers to New Orleans to face the Pelicans (3-3).

The Lakers are hungry for a win, but a back-to-back against power forward Anthony Davis may not be an easy task.

Ryan Kelly may return from a hamstring strain. The Lakers will also be without Wayne Ellington (personal matter), Nick Young (thumb), Julius Randle (broken leg) and Steve Nash (back).

Key matchup

Through six games, Davis is averaging a tremendous line with averages of 24.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.2 blocks and 2.5 steals.

If he had a better team around him, Davis would be in talks for the league's most valuable player.

The Lakers will need to use a tag team of power players against him, including Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Robert Sacre and, if available, Kelly.

Boozer has played well for the team of late, especially offensively.  Getting Davis in foul trouble would be a significant help for the Lakers.

X-factor

The Lakers will need to contain guards Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans.

The brunt of that will fall on Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Ronnie Price and Wesley Johnson.

The bigger threat may be Ryan Anderson, who is an explosive outside shooter.

On Monday, in a 118-111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anderson scored 32 points while shooting a stunning 8-12 from three-point range (8-12).

The Pelicans can be defended, but when Anderson is hot, they can be a handful.

Offensively, the Lakers need Lin to stay aggressive.  Bryant is going to get his points -- but the team has better floor balance when Lin is also attacking the paint and setting up his teammates.

Outlook

The Lakers will beat the Pelicans at some point this season -- but on the second night of a back-to-back on the road with Davis as the opposing star?

They may be in for a long night.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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