Preview: Clippers Open Season Versus Lakers

 

Despite an early start to the 2017-18 NBA season, the wait has been far too long for Clipper Nation. Injuries derailed a chance for Doc Rivers’ team to build chemistry during the pre-season, and the same can be said about the Lakers with Lonzo Ball, the highly heralded point guard from Chino Hills High School and UCLA, missing extended time.

Along with injuries, sharing a city and stadium, both franchises are also debuting new faces that have fans buzzing. The Clippers have a higher roster turnover than anyone in the league not named Sacramento, having brought in Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic, Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Willie Reed and much more. Along with Ball, the Lakers will be debuting Kyle Kuzma, a late first round pick that is hoping to jump into the Rookie of the Year consideration.

Projected Starters:
Clippers: Patrick Beverly, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
Lakers: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., Brook Lopez

Key Reserves:
Clippers: Milos Teodosic, Lou Williams, Willie Reed
Lakers: Alex Caruso, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle

Injury Report:
Clippers: Patrick Beverly (Knee), Austin Rivers (Glute), Danilo Gallinari (Foot), Sindarius Thornwell (Shoulder) & Sam Dekker (Oblique) are PROBABLE.
Lakers: Lonzo Ball (Ankle), Julius Randle (Ribs), Andrew Bogut (Groin) are PROBABLE, Josh Hart (Achilles) is QUESTIONABLE, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is SUSPENDED.

Key Match-up:
It would be futile to not recognize that Beverly and Ball is the most intriguing match-up of the night. A highly anticipated rookie making his debut against one of the league’s premier defensive point guard, what more can you ask for. Both individuals making their first start for their new franchises.

Keys To The Game:
1] Ball Movement. With Chris Paul’s departure, the Clippers displayed great fluidity, allowing for Jordan to continue his exceptional field goal percentage, Blake to work as he wishes and Gallinari to show his repertoire.

2] Rebounding. Despite Jordan being among the league leaders in rebounds, the Clippers have continually struggled on the defensive glass. Thankfully, the Lakers are one of the few opponents that won’t punish the Clips on the offensive glass.

3] Hitting Free Throws. Already one of the league’s leaders in free throw attempts, thanks in part to the Hack-A-Jorda, the addition of Gallinari gives the Clippers one of the league’s elite at free throw rate. Getting to the line is half of the game, hitting the freebies is what will count.

Prediction:
Clippers walk out with a 111-98 victory, covering the spread (-5.0) but not meeting the over/under (220.5)

About MikeK520

Avid sports fan looking to share opinions and thoughts. Fan of the NBA (Los Angeles Clippers), Soccer/Football (Armenian National Team, United States National Team, Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Tucson), College Sports (UCLA Basketball/Football, Cal State Northridge Basketball), NFL (Green Bay Packers), NHL (Detroit Red Wings), MLB (Atlanta Braves).
This entry was posted in Los Angeles Clippers, National Basketball Association, NBA 2018 Season. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s