There seems to be turmoil within the Los Angeles Lakers organization, but will that affect the team in their quest to beat the Los Angeles Clippers this coming Saturday? Or, will the Clippers pounce on the seemingly brittle ground the Lakers are on and topple the Purple and Gold – again?
Catch this game live on Saturday, February 26, at 11 AM, Manila time.
Away: Los Angeles Clippers (30-31/12-18 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Terance Mann
- SF: Nicolas Batum
- PF: Marcus Morris
- C: Ivica Zubac
Even without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers are finding ways to win. They entered the All-Star break with a strong 3-1 straight-up record in four games, which included back-to-back wins over the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors. Then LA gave the Phoenix Suns a run for their money while covering the double-digit spread in a 103-96 road loss before closing out the first half of the season with a 142-111 demolition job of the Houston Rockets at home. Marcus Morris Sr. has stepped up big time for the Clippers of late, and they are going to need him producing going forward, especially with Norman Powell out indefinitely with a broken foot.
Morris has averaged 20.4 points on 51.9 FG% in his last five games, and there’s probably no better opponent for him to sustain that form than the Lakers. Morris loves punishing the Lakers this season, against whom he’s averaged 25.0 points on 64.3 FG% and 75 3FG% in two wins this season. The Clippers are 2-0 (1-1 ATS) this season against the Lakers but their success versus the Purple and Gold stretches way back to 2020. Since December 2020, the Clippers are 5-0 (4-1 ATS) in meetings with the Lakers.
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (27-31/18-13 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Malik Monk
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Trevor Ariza
- C: Dwight Howard
Reports and rumors have made it clear that LeBron James isn’t happy with the Lakers front office’s lack of moves ahead of the trade deadline. And with Anthony Davis out for multiple weeks with a foot injury, things are simply not looking good for James and the Lakers. They are 1-4 straight up in their last five games, but their gutsy 106-101 home win in that stretch against the Utah Jazz just before the All-Star break offered hopes that the Lakers can get things done so long as LeBron is healthy – and locked in. James scored 33 points in that game on 14/23 shooting, while Russell Westbrook and Malik Monk combined for 30 points.
James was not around the last time the Clippers and the Lakers met (111-110 Lakers loss on Feb. 3), so he must be raring to go against their LA rivals this Saturday. The Lakers are also hoping that Carmelo Anthony’s hamstring will heal up just in time for the Clippers game, especially since he could be slated to play a bigger role with Davis sidelined. James and the Lakers will kick off the second half of the season with a 5-2 ATS record in their last seven games overall.
The long break must have taken away all the heat from the hands of Marcus Morris Jr. Taking the Lakers to cover (+1).
Don’t expect offensive brilliance from either side. The Under (223.0) hits in this game.