Report: New Orleans Pelicans could be without pair of star players in huge matchup vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Lakers Daily

Report: New Orleans Pelicans could be without pair of star players in huge matchup vs. Los Angeles Lakers

C.J. McCollum Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have a crucial battle against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

The Lakers could have an advantage in the matchup, as New Orleans reportedly could be missing some key players.

Brandon Ingram has played a huge role for the Pelicans this season. He has appeared in 50 games, averaging 22.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per contest. It sounds like he’ll likely be able to play on Sunday.

C.J. McCollum, meanwhile, is a newcomer for New Orleans. The Pelicans acquired him in early February. Since the trade, the 30-year-old has played well for his new squad. He is posting averages of 26.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per match. He’s questionable for Sunday.

Jonas Valanciunas is questionable as well. If he can’t play, the Pelicans’ chances against L.A. will take a hit. He has appeared in 68 games this season, averaging 18.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per contest.

The Lakers themselves are dealing with injuries. Their most notable player currently on the shelf is Anthony Davis, who has not played since Feb. 16 and will hopefully return by the first week of April.

Los Angeles and New Orleans are currently in a battle for the No. 9 seed in the West. It is important for the Lakers to get a win on Sunday to increase their chances of landing in ninth place in the conference.

When the regular season ends, the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds will face each other in the play-in tournament, and the higher seed will have home-court advantage in the match. The winner will then battle with the loser of the matchup between the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds for the final spot in the playoffs.