The Los Angeles Lakers will meet up with the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time this season, for a Christmas Showdown in L.A.
That matchup would ultimately go to the Clippers and would set the stage for what many people thought would be a likely Western Conference Finals. Tomorrow the two teams will meet up again, here’s what to look for in this matchup.
One intriguing storyline of tomorrow’s game is going to be the health of LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. LeBron missed the Lakers’ last matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night as L.A. dropped their third game in a row.
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Davis has been dealing with an ankle injury he sustained against the Atlanta Hawks on December 15th. Both of them are expected to play tomorrow, so their health will be something to keep an eye out for when thinking about the number of minutes they play.
Tomorrow will also see Paul George playing against the purple and gold for the first time this year. George missed the opener in L.A. still battling an injury, but he is back now and has looked pretty good for the Los Angeles Clippers. His play will change how the Lakers defend, and his defense could cause problems for the Lakers Offense.
By the same token, Kyle Kuzma also missed the first matchup in L.A. due to an injury. Now Kuzma is probably not as integral to the Lakers as George is to the Clippers, but he is important coming off the bench.
He is capable of helping score when the starters are out and provides a good defensive presence on the floor. Even though there has been talk of using him as a trade piece, at this moment, the Lakers are definitely better with him than without him.
Something else to consider in this game is just how much each team wants to figuratively show their hand. There is a good chance these two teams will meet again in the playoffs, and while you want to win this game, it may be a good idea to save a few things for down the road.
Offensive strategy, an idea to shut down Kawhi Leonard, or anything else may be something the Lakers would want to keep to themselves for the playoffs to help give them an edge.
Even though in the grand scheme of things this game isn’t all that important, it does seem like a win the Lakers need to pick up. Losing three in a row has stirred up some concern about the purple and gold.
Their record against teams .500 and above is 8-6 which has raised some questions about the Lakers’ ability to win against the best teams, so this game could help put some of those concerns to bed.
The game starts tomorrow at 5:00 pm with the Lakers favored by two points, according to the Action Network. The second time around, I am going to give this matchup to the Los Angeles Lakers.
I see a close hard-fought game that changes in the second half, as the Lakers will come out of the locker room firing and take control of the game in the third quarter and win 119-107. A win should help the Lakers get back on track and calm the fan base a little bit.