After a four-day break in the schedule, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally set to return to the court. Welcoming them back are their L.A. rivals, the Clippers, who gave the Lakers a rude awakening on opening night in the form of a 16-point loss.
Of course a matchup with the Clippers means a meeting with former teammate Lou Williams, one of the premier bench scorers in the history of the NBA. This season has been more of the same for Williams, who is averaging 17.3 points per game, second-most on the Clippers.
Considering he coached him just last season, Lakers head coach Luke Walton has a pretty good idea on the scouting report. “We may have brought up the fact that he likes to go left, and that he’s pretty good at going left,” Walton said with a laugh following practice.
Jordan Clarkson, who will surely spend plenty of time guarding Williams, knows one thing he can’t do and that’s foul him going left. “Man, that’s on the scouting report, for sure,’ Clarkson said. “If you do it, you’re going to get in trouble.”
Of course, with someone as good as Williams, knowing the scouting report and actually implementing it are two different things. “Don’t foul him. Don’t let him get to his left,” Julius Randle said.
“But, he’s been in the league so long, it’s easier said than done. He’s obviously done it for a long time. You just have to make it tough for him. He can get hot.”
Thanks to the injuries in the Clippers’ backcourt, Williams has been moved from his normal bench role and inserted into the starting lineup. That will put the onus on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a noted strong defender, to prevent Williams from beginning the night on a scoring note.
For a Clippers team without many scorers, containing Williams will be key for the Lakers to come out with a victory.
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