LA Clippers VS LA Lakers (PREVIEW) (PICK COMING SOON)
With Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverley (most likely out) the Clippers are in a tough spot here tonight.
Yes, The Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George starting. They're also almost 3 deep at every position and can work around losing 3 key rotation players, but only to a certain extent. Joakim Noah takes Montrezl Harrell’s place, Reggie Jackson steps up for Patrick Beverly, but no Lou Williams is where it’s really gonna get rough for them. There's no one who is capable of filling his shoes.
Without Lou tonight, the Clippers should absolutely not win. This isn't just some kind of key player on the second unit who provides scoring. Lou Willaims is the greatest 6man of all time. He takes running a second unit to a whole new level. If the Clippers win the bubble it'll be because they have Lou Williams on their roster making $8M a year. 8 million dollars a year for what he provides night in and night out, which quite frankly is disgusting compared to what other useless players are making. The Clippers can easily have players step up and steal this game, but is it worth dying out there for a meaningless regular season game? Lou is a certified closer and when players see him with the ball at the end of games, they are tweaked.
Second biggest issue with this game is the Anthony Davis eye poke. Davis is listed as questionable and expects to play, but I assume the Lakers will be cautious with him. He's known for being fragile and it would be a nightmare if something were to happen in a meaningless game like this. The only people who know what to expect from AD and how many minutes he'll be playing tonight are Frank Vogel and the coaching staff.
Paul George is fully healthy and I'm extremely excited to see what he does throughout the playoffs. Never sleep on Paul George, I actually see him having a better game then Kawhi tonight. I'm looking for Paul George to come out firing and let everyone know he's back.
As far as Lebron goes, we all know what he brings night in and night out. There's certain levels to this shit, I just don't know what level Lebron will take it too tonight. I'm always concerned about his play in games that don't matter. There's no home court advantage in these playoffs and it's not like he cares what anyone thinks. If he doesn't show up out there tonight it'll be because he chose not to.
The turnup crew... Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith have an opportunity to be the reason why Lebron doesn't have to wear himself out. The Lakers can preserve Lebron and AD and still grab a quick win. No team wants to head into the bubble playoffs playing inconsistent and losing basketball. A win still has some sort of value here tonight. J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters are absolute nut jobs but I love what I'm seeing from them. If they continue their hot scrimmage shooting tonight, we could be seeing an actual blowout.
If the Lakers were to start pulling away in this game, the Clippers have serious players who can keep them alive besides Kawhi and Paul George. Marcus Morris was an insane pickup for them. I don't know exactly what happened earlier this season, but Marcus Morris woke up one day and decided he's Steph Curry.
Landry Shamet is no joke either. I've seen him do wonders behind the 3 point line all year, but he's expected to be rusty from missing those scrimmage games.
I truly don't know what to expect from Joakim Noah. All I know is even if I bet my mom's mortgage on Lakers, I'm still hoping he shows out. I would die for anyone who played on the Bulls from 2008-2016.
Also Kyle Kuzma, fuck off.
The Clippers are better off taking a dive tonight. Yeah go out have fun try to get something going, but they're looking forward to seeing the Lakers in the playoffs fully loaded. Tonight is just to kick off this bubble and get loose. I will not be judging anything going on in this game.
Clippers +5 isn't a bad pick. Im also expecting the spread to close at 6. If I'm right and the Clippers are given 6 whole points. Thats where we'll revisit the betting conversation on this game tonight. We now wait for the official starting lineups and injury updates.
Until playoffs start, games like this will not be easy to analyze or predict. 2020 is wack.
We are the LA Lakers, we know how to party, we punch people, and we win ball games.