The LA Clippers have blanked the Los Angeles Lakers, 2-0, so far this season. Will the Lakers avoid getting swept by their STAPLES Center housemates?
Catch this game live on Friday, May 7, at 10 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: LA Clippers (44-22, 25-9 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
The Clippers are coming off a 105-100 home victory over the Toronto Raptors last Wednesday, which averted a four-game winless streak for the LA team. Paul George, Marcus Morris, and Reggie Jackson teamed up to cover for the letdown performance of Kawhi Leonard against the Raps.
George and Morris each had 22 points, while Jackson scored 18. Leonard went just 3 of 6 from the field and finished with 13 points, well below his season average of 25.3 points. But Leonard also clearly did not force the issue, electing to trust his teammates to deliver. Morris and Jackson have both elevated their play on offense of late, leaving a lighter load on George and Leonard.
Over the last five games, Jackson has put up 14.2 points, while Morris has put up an average of 15.3 points in his last four appearances. On the season, the Clippers are 22-20 against the spread in games after a win. They are also 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games as the home team.
ROAD TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (37-28, 19-13 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Alex Caruso
- SG: Wesley Matthews
- SF: Kyle Kuzma
- PF: Anthony Davis
- C: Andre Drummond
The Lakers are in a tight spot right now, as they are flirting with an appearance in the play-in tournament. That being said, there’s a good chance that LeBron James will not be out there on the floor when the Lakers face the Clippers for the third and last time in the regular season.
James is currently day-to-day with an ankle injury, and if he will not get green-lighted, at least the Lakers have Anthony Davis this time around. Davis was inactive in April’s 104-86 loss to the Clippers, leaving the Lakers with just Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell manning the middle. This Friday, the Lakers will not only have Davis but Andre Drummond in the frontcourt. Davis led the Lakers with 25 points in their 93-89 humbling of the Denver Nuggets last Tuesday at home.
That frontline depth should very much favor the Lakers, especially since the Clippers still don’t have Serge Ibaka back. Dominating the glass and limiting the Clippers’ points inside the paint are keys to success for the Lakers, who are limiting opponents to only 86.8 field goal attempts per game — 9th best in the NBA.
The public could find the spread too favorable for the Lakers even though they’re banged up and going up against a healthier title contender. Let’s go against them and take the Clippers to cover -8.
Leonard and George will get their usual numbers here, but don’t expect a back-and-forth affair between two teams who are in the bottom 10 in terms of pace. Take the Under 211.5.