There will be plenty of familiar faces on both sides Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans clash in their first matchup of the season.
The meeting is significant because of the blockbuster trade made between the teams in the offseason, which saw Anthony Davis go to the Lakers for a massive package that included Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.
Anthony Davis spoke on what it will be like to face his former team after the Lakers victory against the Grizzlies on Saturday.
“I mean, it’s going to be me against the Pelicans and then the three guys, if they play, against the Lakers, so it’s going to be a great battle,” Davis said. “Those guys are going to try to take our heads off just to prove a point, and I don’t want to say I want to take their heads off. I just want to win it.”
Ingram responded to that statement, while talking to reporters on Tuesday.
“I look at it as a regular game,” Ingram said. “It’s no bad blood. Nothing but respect to that organization. That’s the organization that drafted us, so they made our dream come true. We know in any game we have to be the aggressor coming in every single night, on the defensive end first of all. I think that helps out the rhythm of our offense. We are going to try to come in aggressive and have that be our identity.”
Brandon Ingram Expects Exciting Matchup
The Lakers and Pelicans are going different directions at this point in the season — L.A. with the best record in the NBA at 15-2, while the Pelicans are treading water at 6-11, trying to stay out of the basement of the Western Conference.
Ingram has seen some of Lakers’ games this year, and commended them for their level of talent and success.
“I watch basketball,” Ingram said when asked if he’s seen any Lakers games this season. “I watched a bunch of Lakers, Spurs — whatever teams are on TV. I know the Lakers are a really, really good team. They have really, really good pieces on their team. It’s going to be an exciting game.”
Ingram wasn’t shy about complementing his former team, dumping praise on the franchise that didn’t make the playoffs during his three years.
“It’s a better team,” Ingram said. “They have better players. I think Frank Vogel is doing a really good job in meshing everyone together and helping everybody do what they do well. I think it’s run very well.”
Both Brandon Ingram, Anthony Davis Thriving in New Homes
Ingram seems comfortable out of the spotlight of Los Angeles. He is averaging career-bests of 26.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game with the Pelicans.
Davis has helped turn the Lakers into a defensive force with his ability to protect the paint, averaging 2.9 blocks per game. He’s adding 25.1 points, nine rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
The Lakers are a six-point road favorite for the game that has a total of 230.5.