The NBA is set to return to action on July 30 with two exciting matchups. One of these matchups will include the battle for Los Angeles. The Clippers and Lakers have dominated this season and will look to get back on track with a win as the season returns. This game will tip off at around 9:00 PM Eastern time in Orlando.
The Clippers earned a record of 44-20 this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Western Conference. Los Angeles has a one and a half game lead on the third place Denver Nuggets. The Clippers won seven of their last eight games before the season came to a halt. Los Angeles will look to beat their rival as the season resumes.
The Lakers posted a record of 49-14 throughout the regular season. This was good enough to earn Los Angeles the top spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers have a five and a half game lead on the Clippers for the lead in the West. Los Angeles had eight wins in their last ten games before the season paused.
These two teams were the powerhouses in the Western Conference this season, which should lead to a great matchup on July 30. Both teams are favorites to take home the Finals this season, so an early matchup between them should help set the stage for this season’s playoffs.
The Lakers and Clippers started out the season series in the first game of the season. Danny Green earned 28 points, while Anthony Davis dropped 25 points and 9 rebounds. LeBron James finished out the matchup with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, but it was not enough. Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points and the Clippers bench combined for 60 points to help give the Clippers a 112-102 win.
The second game of the season series was on Christmas Day. Kyle Kuzma earned 25 points off the bench, while Anthony Davis and LeBron James both earned over 20 points as well. It was not enough though as Kawhi Leonard earned 35 points and 12 rebounds. Paul George finished with 17 points and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points to give the Clippers a 111-106 win.
The most recent game of the season series was on March 8. Paul George had a strong night posting 31 points. Kawhi Leonard earned 27 points, while Montrezl Harrell finished with 20 points. Anthony Davis earned 30 points and LeBron James put up another 28 points. Avery Bradley added another 24 points for the Lakers to help lead them to a 112-103 win.
The Clippers were able to take the first two games of the season series, but the Lakers bounced back with a win in the most recent game of the season series. All three games were relatively close, which could help lead to another great matchup. I expect both teams to rely on their stars to step up early to set the pace in this game.
Field Goal Shooting
The Clippers had a solid season shooting, earning eleventh in field goal percentage and tenth on three point shooting percentage. Los Angeles held their opponents to the third worst field goal percentage this season. The Clippers opponents shot 34.1 percent from behind the arc and 49.8 percent from inside the arc, which was second and fourth best defensively.
The Lakers made 48.5 percent of their shots from the field, which was best in the league this season. Los Angeles made 55.6 percent of their shots from inside the arc, which was second best. The Lakers held opposing teams to a 44.4 percent shooting percentage from the field, which was sixth best. Los Angeles had the fourth and seventh best defense from deep and inside the arc, respectively.
These two teams have had a solid season on both offense and defense. The Clippers had a slightly better season on defense, while the Lakers offensive numbers were a bit better. Both teams will look to control the paint early to try and set that pace before shooting the three ball. If the Clippers can start hitting from deep early though, it could mean trouble for the Lakers.
Kawhi Leonard has been the top player for the Clippers this season, averaging around 27 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Paul George has had a strong season, averaging 21 points per game. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are both averaging around 18.5 points per game off the bench.
The duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James has been lethal this season. Davis has averaged around 26.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. James is averaging 25.5 points, 8 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game. Kyle Kuzma has averaged around 12.5 points per game coming off the bench.
Both teams have had their stars step up this season to help lead them to a strong record. The Clippers could be without Lou Williams in this matchup as he had to leave the bubble for personal reasons, which could affect this game. The Lakers have lost Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, which hurts their depth a bit coming into this one.
I expect this to be an exciting game to start back up the season. The Clippers were able to win two of the three matchups against the Lakers during the season, but the Lakers still finished out with a better record. The Lakers will look to keep a hold on their lead in the standings with a solid win in this one. If the Clippers are without Lou Williams though, it could leave the door open for the Lakers.
BetOnline has the Lakers listed as a -3 against the spread in this matchup. I believe that this is a reasonable line as the Lakers have been the better team this season. The Lakers finally knocked off the Clippers right before the season came to a halt and I believe the Lakers will use some of that momentum to earn a win in this one. I believe there is a lot of value on the Lakers against the spread in this one.