The battle for Los Angeles is finally here as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Los Angeles Clippers to begin the 2019-20 NBA season.
Both teams enter the new season as championship contenders after their eventful summers as the Lakers flanked LeBron James with Anthony Davis while the Clippers stunned the league by landing Kawhi Leonard and pairing him with Paul George.
The All-Star power in Staples Center is undeniable and in a game that will feature James, Davis, and Leonard, each person on both roster is no slouch either.
The Lakers have legitimate role players in Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Quinn Cook while the Clippers employ what looks to be one of the deepest benches in the league that is headlined by Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
The Lakers put together a strong 2019 NBA preseason outing as James and Davis already look to be in lockstep with each other on the offensive end. The pairing’s chemistry in the pick-and-roll should be the focal point of their attack and will open up the rest of the floor for their teammates.
While Leonard will likely carry the offensive load for his new team, the Clippers project to be one of the toughest defensive teams in the NBA. Leonard is by far-and-away the league’s best perimeter defender and he will be flanked by Patrick Beverley, Rodney McGruder, and Maurice Harkless.
The difference in the two teams may come down to the play of their big men as the Lakers have a clear advantage here with Davis. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard showed in the preseason they are more than capable of playing alongside Davis and the trio should be able to dominate on the boards against a relatively small Clippers team.
Unfortunately, both teams will not be at full strength on Opening Night as Kyle Kuzma and Paul George are both rehabbing from foot and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Regardless, the first round between the two Los Angeles teams should be an exciting one.
Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) at Los Angeles Clippers (0-0)
7:30 P.M. PT, Oct. 22, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso
Projected Clippers Starting Lineup:
PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Patrick Patterson
C: Ivica Zubac
Key Reserves: Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Maurice Harkless