Date & Time: Tuesday, December 22nd, 10 PM ET (Wednesday, 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
The LA Lakers have thoroughly dominated the LA Clippers in the latest era of this crosstown rivalry. The two preseason games have painted a sorry picture for the latter but new head coach Ty Lue will be hoping to break the shackles on opening night.
LA Clippers Preview
It's been a story of individual brilliance – albeit in patches – for the LA Clippers leading up to the new season. They've lacked rhythm for extended periods though and much like last year, lost all their preseason games.
Paul George's renewed physicality in the scrimmages is a positive though. His shoulder issues may finally be behind him. Luke Kennard has massively impressed for the LA Clippers as well. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard doesn't seem like the same defensive behemoth but is known to flick a switch in games that matter.
Key Player - Paul George
Despite the trolls, Paul George is very much the superstar LA Clippers expect him to be. The main issue with him is consistency. So far though, PG13 has looked confident and much more physical than the previous campaign. If he can get his offense going regularly, a lot of pressure will be taken off Kawhi Leonard.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka
LA Lakers Preview
The NBA is divided into two categories right now- the LA Lakers and the rest of the league. The Purple and Gold have seriously strengthened their roster with the acquisition of Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol in the offseason. All these names have already shown glimpses of what they can do in the preseason. Schroder may miss the game due to an ankle injury though.
The two-punch combo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is really tough for anyone to handle right now. Kyle Kuzma also looks like a man on a mission while Talen Horton-Tucker is grabbing eyeballs with his fearless play. The LA Lakers are as ready as they could hope to be entering the new campaign.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is the most lethal scorer in the NBA when it comes to big men and the same was reiterated by his 35-point effort against the Phoenix Suns. AD already looks ready to dominate the paint on both ends of the court for LA Lakers and his early-season form will allow LeBron James to ease into top gear.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol
Clippers vs Lakers Match Prediction
All the evidence so far points towards an LA Lakers win. They just look unbeatable right now based on their form and roster. However, the LA Clippers did hold the edge on their rivals in the regular season last year. Expect this to be a hard-fought affair with the Purple and Gold eking out the win.
Where to watch Clippers vs Lakers?
The game will be broadcasted nationwide on TNT. You can also live stream the same on NBA League Pass
Published 21 Dec 2020, 14:47 IST