We’re in the home stretch of the 2022-23 NBA season, and this one’s a key game for the LA teams. They want to strengthen their place in the standings, but everyone’s a little cautious getting the fifth seed, where the loaded Phoenix Suns are waiting.
Catch the game tomorrow at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: LA Clippers (41-38, 21-18 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Russell Westbrook
- Paul George (out) / Norman Powell
- Kawhi Leonard / Terrence Mann
- Nicolas Batum
- Ivica Zubac
The Clippers have lost back-to-back after going 7-3 in their 10 previous games. In that combined 12-game stretch, they are putting up 116.8 points per game with a +3.3 net rating. Interestingly enough, they mirror that scoring (116.7 PPG) in the season series with the Lakers, whey are up, 3-0.
With Paul George still out, Kawhi Leonard remains as the main man, though given his load managing tendencies, he’ll be a game-time decision. Nevertheless, Leonard is averaging 19.5 PPG in the season series, including a complete line of 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks on 11-for-16 shooting in the most recent meeting last January. Norman Powell, who’s taking PG’s spot in the starting lineup, chipped in 22 off the bench in that game, so he’s one to watch out for as well.
Former Laker Russell Westbrook also has the spotlight. He’ll look to show up his ex-teammates after that rough stint with the team. He’s coming in with four-straight games with 10 or more assists, one of which also had him pouring in 36 points with a 72.2% clip.
AWAY: Los Angeles Lakers (41-38, 20-20 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell (day-to-day) / Dennis Schroder
- Austin Reaves
- LeBron James (day-to-day) / Lonnie Walker
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- Anthony Davis (day-to-day) / Wenyen Gabriel
The Lakers enter as winners in seven of their last eight, including four in a row – in those eight outings, they have 128.2 PPG with a +12.5 net rating. They are on the heels of an overtime victory over the Utah Jazz, 135-133, and will be on zero days rest tomorrow.
Since it’s on a back-to-back and the team having some leeway compared to before, LeBron James (28.9 PPG) and Anthony Davis (26.4 PPG) may possibly rested, or at least one of them. James had 46 points with a career-high nine three-pointers in his recent matchup with the Clipps, granted they lost in double-digits. AD, meanwhile, has 23.0 points and 8.5 rebounds on 56.3% shooting in the season series.
Austin Reaves has been rising over the last few weeks, and he’ll be eyed to fill the possible absence of at least one of the stars. He has 20.4 points and dishing out 6.3 dimes over his last 10 games.
The Lakers are 5-2 in their last seven games ATS.
Handicap: The Clippers (-3) continue their reign on the Lakers and also cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total goes under 231.