Lakers vs. Clippers Game Preview: Lakers Look To Start Season With Bang

Gasol-PaulComing into the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers were the ones with championship expectations after the offseason acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. We all know how that turned out. Coming into this season, it is the team down the hall in Staples Center with the championship expectations. For the first time since…well, ever, the Clippers are expected to legitimately compete for a title this season.

The Clippers embarrassed the Lakers in all four of their meetings last season, sweeping the series for the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles. The games were not close either, as the Clips won by an average margin of 13.2 points per game.

In hiring one of the top three coaches in the league in Doc Rivers, the Clippers are looking to instill a winning mentality into their franchise. In tonight’s opener, the Lakers have a tall task ahead of them in trying to defeat their hallway rivals without the services of Kobe Bryant.

Frontcourt: Blake Griffin’s development, and in particular his offensive repertoire, is one of the keys to the Clippers’ championship hopes. An All-Star in each of his three NBA seasons (not counting his rookie season when he sat out with an injury), Griffin remains one of, if not the most, explosive player in the league. Pau Gasol has had some success in the past defending Griffin (despite getting posterized on a couple plays) due to his length and Griffin’s subpar jumpshot. However, it looks like Coach D’Antoni is going to start Shawne Williams at the four in tonight’s matchup. Williams’ effort in defending Griffin will be important if the Lakers want to pull out a win.

DeAndre Jordan is back again as the Clippers’ starting center, and he has thrived under Doc Rivers’ guidance in the preseason in averaging 3.4 blocks per game. His development on the defensive side of the ball is the other key for the Clips. Rivers is schematically one of the best defensive coaches in the league, and he has made it a point to emphasize the importance of quarterbacking the team’s defense as well as timely rotations with Jordan. Jordan’s extreme athleticism gives him the potential to be one of the league’s best anchors on defense. Pau Gasol must be aggressive as the Lakers’ centerpiece on offense and go at DeAndre to try to get him into early foul trouble.

—–Check out the Lakers Nation store to get your LN gear and show off your Lakers pride!——

Backcourt: When Doc Rivers first got the job, he had a meeting with Chris Paul and told him that he has yet to accomplish anything of significance in the NBA. With that, Rivers immediately gained Paul’s respect. CP3 is without a doubt the best point guard in the league today and can takeover a game with both his scoring and playmaking ability. Look for this perennial All-Star to have one of the best seasons of his already outstanding career. As for the Lakers, look for them to try to avoid having Steve Nash guard Paul. If the Lakers start Steve Blake at the two, which seems likely, look for him to start out on Paul rather than Nash.

JJ Redick and Jared Dudley, two of the Clippers’ primary offseason additions, are set to start at the two and three for them. Both are two of the better knockdown shooters in the league (39 percent career from three for JJ, 40 percent for Dudley) and they figure to be excellent compliments to Paul as well as Griffin offensively. They are both solid enough defenders to fit in to Doc’s defensive schemes and are high IQ players that Paul will enjoy playing with. Jamal Crawford, one of the best sixth men in the league a season ago with the Clippers, returns and will likely fulfill the same role this season. The Lakers must do their best to slow down Crawford when he enters and not allow him to gain significant offensive rhythm as he can carry a team for short stretches.

Keys to Lakers Victory: 
Limit Turnovers: Though the Clippers will play a more disciplined style of play under Coach Rivers, they still have many of the same pieces that dubbed them the nickname “Lob City” from the last two seasons. What this means is that if the Lakers turn the ball over early and often, the Clippers will be able to run out and get easy layups and dunks that could doom the Lakers quickly. Though the Lakers have gotten more athletic this offseason and actually might match up better with the Clippers this season than last, they still can’t get caught trying to run with the Clippers.

Continued Bench Momentum: The Lakers bench was one of the positives to take away from the preseason. With the additions of Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Chris Kaman, and Wes Johnson, the Lakers have a stronger bench than they did last season. The Clippers have one of the best benches in the league headlined by Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Darren Collison. The Lakers must be able to keep the game even with this group while both units are in the game.

Pau Gasol: The Lakers need Pau to be aggressive early and to look for his shot. While he is a great distributor out of both the high and low post, the Lakers need him to assert himself if they want to get victories over top-notch teams like the Clippers. They also need Pau to be active defensively, as signs point toward D’Antoni pairing Shawne Williams with him in the starting lineup. He must control the boards and be disruptive in the paint.

Los Angeles Clippers (0-0) at Los Angeles Lakers (0-0)
7:30 PM PST, October 29, 2013
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet, TNT
Radio: 710 ESPNLA

Clippers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Chris Paul
SG: JJ Redick
SF: Jared Dudley
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan

Key Reserves: PG Darren Collison, SF Matt Barnes, SG Jamal Crawford


Chris Kaman Talks About The Lakers’ Chemistry

I just want to say I’m beginner to blogging and site-building and truly liked your web blog. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You definitely come with exceptional well written articles. Kudos for sharing your website.

  • Certainly with your thoughts here and that i love your blog! I’ve bookmarked it making sure that I can come back & read more in the foreseeable future.

  • Oh my benefits! an amazing write-up man. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t understand why Not able to register for it. Is there anybody obtaining the same rss problem? Any person that knows kindly react. Thnkx

  • Oh my goodness! an impressive write-up dude. Thank you Nevertheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t understand why Incapable to sign up for it. Exists any individual getting the same rss issue? Anyone who understands kindly react. Thnkx

  • There are some interesting points in time in this post but I don?t recognize if I see every one of them facility to heart. There is some legitimacy however I will hold viewpoint till I look into it even more. Excellent short article, thanks and also we desire a lot more! Contributed to FeedBurner too

  • Youre so trendy! I don’t expect Ive read anything like this prior to. So nice to locate somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this internet site is something that is required on the internet, a person with a little creativity. useful task for bringing something brand-new to the web!

  • Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  • I?m satisfied, I must claim. Actually seldom do I encounter a blog that?s both informative as well as enjoyable, and also let me inform you, you have actually struck the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that insufficient individuals are talking wisely about. I am really satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  • Youre so great! I do not intend Ive review anything like this before. So great to locate someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this site is something that is required online, somebody with a little creativity. helpful job for bringing something new to the net!

  • I am often to blogging as well as i really value your material. The short article has really peaks my passion. I am going to bookmark your website and keep looking for brand-new details.

  • This is the right blog for any individual who wishes to learn about this subject. You recognize so much its almost difficult to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You absolutely put a brand-new spin on a subject thats been blogged about for many years. Great stuff, simply excellent!

  • Oh my goodness! an impressive short article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t know why Incapable to register for it. Is there any individual getting the same rss problem? Any person that understands kindly respond. Thnkx

  • There are some fascinating points in this article yet I don?t know if I see all of them facility to heart. There is some credibility however I will hold opinion up until I explore it better. Great write-up, thanks as well as we want a lot more! Included in FeedBurner as well

  • Wonderful article. I discover something a lot more difficult on various blogs daily. It will constantly be promoting to read material from other writers as well as practice a little something from their shop. I?d choose to utilize some with the content on my blog site whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a web link on your web blog site. Thanks for sharing.

  • I?d have to get in touch with you below. Which is not something I typically do! I take pleasure in checking out a message that will certainly make individuals think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  • After research a few of the post on your site currently, and I genuinely like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and also will certainly be examining back quickly. Pls check out my internet site too and let me know what you think.

  • I am typically to blog writing as well as i actually appreciate your material. The short article has actually peaks my rate of interest. I am mosting likely to bookmark your site as well as keep checking for brand-new details.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.