A lot is expected from the “younger brother” the Clippers this season after their moves in the offseason and the return from injury of one Kawhi Leonard. The Klaw missed the entire season last year, it’ll be interesting to see how many minutes per game he plays and if he load manages this time around. On paper the Clippers are the superior team here and they have the head-to-head stats to show for it. Over the last 10 meetings they’ve beaten the Lakers 8 times, covering the spread in as many games.
The Lakers didn’t stand much chance in their season opener at Golden State. Even though the game was somewhat close early, the Warriors were never in doubt as they cruised to a 14 point victory. The LA big 3 of Davis, James and Westbrook put up solid numbers combining for 77 points, but a lot of those were empty stats as the game was pretty much out of hand in the 3rd quarter. What is worrying for the Lakers is their outside shooting as they converted on just 10 of their 40 attempts from the perimeter, good enough for only 25%. I know it’s early in the season, but this is a very limited roster when it comes to shooting the ball and their bench production is one of the worst in the NBA.
I’m expecting the Clippers to assert themselves and send out a clear message in tonight’s game. With impressive records in head-to-head games (7 wins in a row) and the Lakers already having internal issues with Westbrook, I think backing the Clippers to cover here is a no-brainer.