TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers vs. Clippers

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Ridin’ High!

No, that’s not Snoop Dogg’s next single, that’s the Lakers Nation after Wednesday’s six-point victory over the newly “free-throw-crippled” Phoenix Suns. Today I was looking back at the highlights of that game. It was great to see that the Lakers had control of the contest for most of it. When Phoenix was manufacturing a run, our Kobe would shoot a trey or Gasol would drive to the rim; effectively killing it. It was truly, an awesome game.

My day, however, hit a road block. It all started while thinking about the play where Bell threw the ball to Shaquille in the paint and he turned and saw our lone defender in front of him: D.J. Mbenga. D.J. got immediately “posterized” like many of the players before him. Thinking about that brought me to this point…

We need Bynum back!

The latest I’ve heard is that he’ll be back late March (GRRR!) I swear March can’t come fast enough. Trevor Ariza still has 8 (Eight!) weeks to go. I guess Lamar’s feet are lethal weapons now. I’ve read a bunch of you guys write that when we get Ariza and Bynum back, we will be unstoppable. I have to agree except for one thing. What is that going to mean for our man LUUUUKE?

As some of you know, we are a pretty deep team, especially at the small forward position. Here is the question, when Bynum comes back and Lamar moves to the 3, where are Luke, Vlad and Ariza going to get there minutes? Well, if we need a shooter; we have Vlad “Rad.” If we need defense and slashing; we have Ariza. Lamar can do everything that Luke can do with better post moves, shooting, slashing, and rebounding. This is a problem guys and although I don’t want Luke to go, I think he just got placed in the Javaris Crittenton boat; good player but not enough playing time.

I just hope that the Lakers win a championship for him before they decide to let him go.

As you can see, I was feeling a bit melancholy today. Then I had this neat little idea. I decided to go to a Clipper fan site to see what they were saying over there. I want to show you guys a little something I call contrast. Check out the titles of some of their threads…

1. Clippers always on the outside looking IN.

2. Its official, I am very disappointed in the CLIPS.

3. 3…2…1 Trade deadline has come and gone.

And my personal favorite…

4. I hate to say it but I want my team to lose!

Oh my, after reading those, my spirits once again soared with the eagles and I got excited again about our team. The Lakers are going to use the Clippers to wipe that red, white, and blue logo off of the court my friends. This is a time to be excited, kids! We have the best team in the West. Maybe even the entire NBA. It took me going to the Clippers site to realize that Mitch Kupchak and Dr. Buss really care about the Lakers.

And while “other” teams seem to not want to take the necessary risks to bring a championship to L.A., there is a team that is willing to take the risks. Don’t get me wrong, the Clippers are still a good team and when Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston come back, they are going to be even better.

But for now, the Lakers need to show the world that they can defeat the not-as-good teams effectively. Let’s get hyped up Lakers fans, our team still needs to make a statement tonight. For the last two seasons, they have split season series with the Clips, but this year, we need to pull away.

So without further ado…

Da’ Gameplans:

What the Clippers will want to do -

Offense: Score one point. The Clippers are 27th in the league averaging a horrible 94.29 a game while allowing their opponents 98.58 a game. I’m not a genius (Yes, I am), but when you on average allow more points than you make, you are not going to win many games. Without Elton Brand in the line up, I don’t see that happening tonight.

Tonight I see Kaman going hard to the rim. If he does that, I’m afraid we might see Gasol sit in foul trouble. Which means undersized and the “overhearted” power forward Ronny “don’t call me Roney” Turiaf will have to man up against him. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing that.

Defense: Like every other team, stop Kobe. But wait, then who’s going to stop “Plan G” (Gasol)? The Clippers are going to have to play Gasol tough. He’s a quick finesse guy. So cut off his lanes, put Kaman’s hairy self in the way, and let them get tangled up. I have no idea how to stop Kobe. If I did, I would be coaching. But just like M.J. said when asked how he would play himself defensively if he had to, “I would turn me into a jump shooter.”

What the Lakers will want to do -

Offense: Dominate. The Lakers need to show that they can beat the bad teams, just like they did in Atlanta. The Lakers have traditionally been the team that pulls out the hard win in the final seconds but gives up the easy game to the worst team. This is one of the first years where they have been defeating the lesser teams. So look for them to establish their dominance early, then sit their starters and see if Coby Karl and pull off another Harold “Baby Jordan” Miner dunk at the end.

Defense: Look for the Lakers to practice rotating to the outside man better. It has been a known fact that the Lakers hate rotating to the wing on kick outs. That is one reason Phoenix kept defeating them in the playoffs. It’s also one reason the Lakers won Wednesday. In these last couple of playoffs the Suns would always cause the Lakers to close in on the driving guard, then kick out to the wide open shooter to kill them on the three point line. With the three point shooting PF Tim Thomas (another guy who killed the Lakers last postseason), Quinton Ross, Cuttino Mobley, and Corey Maggette, the Lakers will need to rotate quickly and often.

Potential Starters -

Clippers: Sam Cassell / Quinton Ross / Corey Maggette / Tim Thomas / Chris Kaman

Lakers: Derek Fisher / Kobe Bryant / Vlad “Rad” / Lamar Odom / Pau Gasol

Key Match-Ups:

Jack Nicholson vs. Billy Crystal

Diane Cannon vs. Penny Marshall (I heard Diane “Two Cannons” Cannon has a mean sky hook but Penny “lights out’ Marshall has a good left hook)

Amber’s Game Prediction: Lakers! Today she asked me, “Papi, why do the Lakers always win?”

I love you too, Amber! :)

Mack’s Game Prediction: Chris Kaman will grab all 30 rebounds for the Clippers but then he will attempt to dribble the ball and lose it out of bounds – Lakers win!

Next 3 games: @ Sonics, vs. Portland, vs. Miami

Game Preview Questions for Discussion:

1. Can Gasol score 40 tonight over Chris Kaman?
2. Will P-Jax keep Vlad in the line up when Corey Maggette starts scoring at will over him?

Game Time: 7:30 PM Lakers Standard Time

Local Broadcast: KCAL HD

National Broadcast: NADA. What the deuce! It’s a blank screen! Marge, what the sam-hill is goin’ on with this dad-gum thang?

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

  • http://www.lakerfreak.homestead.com lakerfreak

    dont worry about luke he is too good not to play more in PJ’s book then my own Phil loves him and Vlad will proably be the back up PF woth Luke and Ariza battling or proably trading off the back up SF position and LUke will defintiely get a championship before the Lakers think about trading him away seeing the Lakers will be 08 Champs!!!!

  • erickson

    you made few mistakes where potential starters, you put suns instead of clippers and the play from where shaq posterized mbenga, raja bell inbounded it. and luke im sure hes gona stay a laker. HE works very well in the triangle, his stats arent spectacular but he does work out nicely.

  • lakaluva

    Luke is toast, and it is painfully obvious!!! Luke looked like a decnt player over the past couple of years playing on a mediocre team; now that we have upgraded, and our youth has improved drastically, Luke has become expendable… thank God!!! Even though he is probably the most likeable Laker, he has failed at improving his game to help this his… thats his fault. The Lakers are goig to have to make a decision about Luke and that long-term horrible contract he has. I can hardly see the Lakers paying him that much money playing 0 minutes once Ariza gets back.

  • http://lakers.topbuzz.com Lakers2410

    Definitely lakerfreak! P.S. (this is to the LakersNation Staff) why can’t I talk in the chatbox anymore, but I can still talk in here, I’m just wondering because I haven’t talked there forever, and I miss it!

  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    I have a Feeling Amber will be choosing the lakers alot

  • MackCombs

    Good catch erickson! Taken care of.

  • ryc3

    YES AS SAD AS IT SEEMS LUKE HAS A LOT TO THINK ABOUT. SHOULD HE HAVE RESIGNED WITH THIS TEAM LAST YR. SURELY WE THOUT WE WERE GETTING THE 11.4 PPG LUKE WALTON FROM A FEW YRS AGO BUT I GUESS WE WERE WRONG. THE EMERGENCE OF ARIZA’S ATHLETICISM AND LAMAR’S GROWTH DUE TO GASOL HAS LEFT LUKE IN THE J-CRITT SEAT AT TIMES. SURELY I HOPE EVERYTHING WORKS OUT WITH P TIME BECUZ I DONT C HIM GETTING ANY P-TIME WITH THIS LINE UP COMING.

    STARTER: PG- FISH, SG-KOBE, SF-LAMAR, PF-GASOL, C-BYNUM

    BENCH(BACUPS): PG-FARMAR, SG-SASHA, SF-ARIZA/VLAD/LUKE, PF-TURIAF/VLAD, C-TURIAF/MBENGA

  • http://getgarnett.com jonasjulienjoseph

    CASSEL IS NOT PLAYING TODAY, LOL WE SHOULD WIN MORE EASILY NOW, BUT I THINK WE SHOULD JUS KEEP LUKE FOR CHEMISTRY WISE, CUZ OUR PLAYERS NEW EACHOTHER FOR WHILE NOW DAT ALWAYS HELPS

  • lakersisbomb

    sam cassel is injured

  • BIGAL

    SUNS SUCK

  • MILO

    The other LA team beat Utha last night but the Lakers are as focused as can be and will kill them tonight.NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!!

  • http://pregame.com JW Stringer

    Los Angles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers (NBA | 10:30 PM ET)

    The Lakers will be looking to match their best winning streak of the season at 7 games after beating Phoenix 130-124 on the road Thursday. They have averaged 116 points in the last 6 games and have beaten opponents by an average of almost 14 points per game. EDGE: LAKERS

    The Clippers have won back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 4-0 after beating Utah 114-104 on Friday. It was their 14th attempt at consecutive victories and happened thanks to Corey Maggette and rookie Al Thornton, who each scored 27 points. “I’m glad it happened,” LA head coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Now we have to go for three in a row. Utah has been playing great basketball, but our guys played for the whole 48 minutes.” EDGE: CLIPPERS

    Lakers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall
    Lakers are 4-2 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

  • True Lakers Fan

    Lets Go Laker Mack keep up doing the good work Amber is our good luck charm ur pre-games are good but can u make them funny like fatty did before he bail out on us? :)

  • mar

    i think its airing on NBA TV? isnt that national brodcast?

  • SILO

    So, Lukes had a bad season. It happens to every player for one reason or another. Hes a role player, he does his part to help the team. Unlike last year where he was a scorer as well as a passer. This year his role has been smaller because of the depth of the bench. Hes not depended on to do as much as before. Our small forward position is packed with talent. Vlade the shooter. Ariza the slasher. Lamar the full package. Theres nothing really Luke can do thats not already being done. All Luke can do is just play hard and do what is asked of him. Just play hard. Its all you can ask of any player in the league.

  • SILO

    So, Lukes had a bad season. It happens to every player for one reason or another. Hes a role player, he does his part to help the team. Unlike last year where he was a scorer as well as a passer. This year his role has been smaller because of the depth of the bench. Hes not depended on to do as much as before. Our small forward position is packed with talent. Vlade the shooter. Ariza the slasher. Lamar the full package. Theres nothing really Luke can do thats not already being done. All Luke can do is just play hard and do what is asked of him. Just play hard. Its all you can ask of any player in the league.

  • bc18

    i predict the game will be close all the way till the third quarter, but then the clippers will find a way to lose lol =D

  • Envision4

    Luke has never had a good season… he was decent because we had players like Kwame and Smush starting. I’m over the HE’S INJURED excused, he just sucks period. Everytime he gets on the floor i sh!t bricks and we go down or what not. So you say..

    1. He’s injured
    2. He’s got a high basketball IQ!!!!
    3. He’s having a bad year

    I say..

    SO F-ING WHAT, HE SUCKS. Any human who watches this scrub play this entire year can he’s worthless and getting worst with minimal IQ. I can’t wait for Steve A. Smith to tell Bill Walton to STFU and Luke your son is now a BONAFIDE Scrub.

  • ricky

    once the lakers are completely healthy, they will have the most imtimidating front line and deepest bench in the entire league.

    for instance, IF ALL THE PLAYERS ARE HEALTHY ENOUGH TO PLAY, this is what the lineup and rotation would be:

    starters:

    C Bynum
    F Gasol
    F Odom
    G Bryant
    G Fisher

    bench:

    C Mihm, Mbenga
    F Turiaf, Radmanovic
    F Ariza, Luke
    G Vujacic, Karl
    G Farmar

  • LakersPride24

    Blowout tonight. The purple & gold hot streak continues. The Lakers will beat the Clippers by 25+.

  • goodfella

    i like luke, but i think the extensin and money got to him, someone needs to inject this kid with passion, he looks like he doesn’t bring “it” to the game like he used to.

  • kushking

    win or lose i am always ridin high

  • Phant0M

    Nice Pre-Game.

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    too bad Kaman is OUT! :-D

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    I don’t understand this comment:

    “It took me going to the Clippers site to realize that Mitch Kupchak and Dr. Buss really care about the Lakers.”

    Why did you ever think the Lakers owner and the GM don’t care about the Lakers? You had to go a Clipper site to realize that the Lakers owner and GM do care about the Lakers??? Why??

    The Lakers FO is a team that has delivered 8 championships since 1980 and you just now think they care about the Lakers.

    Some Laker fans really confuse me.

  • DCLAKER

    DO THINK THE FRONT OFFICE WOULD’VE MADE ANY CHANGES HAD KOBE NOT SAID ANYTHING,I THINK NOT,REMEMBER JIM BUSS??

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #27504 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yes I most certainly think the Lakers FO would’ve made changes even if Kobe had not said anything. Notice that the Lakers first trade for Ariza wasn’t until December (a good 6 months after Kobe b*tched like a little girl) and the Gasol trade wasn’t for another 9 months after Kobe b*tched like a school girl.

    If Kobe’s tirade would’ve made a difference, the Lakers would’ve make a kneejerk reaaction of a trade over the summer, which they didn’t. Unlike Kobe, the Lakers FO was being patient. They let their draft picks like Farmar, Sasha, Turiaf, and Bynum develop and look at them now.

    Also, the Lakers FO was being patient and looking for a trade that not only made them better in the short term, but also in the LONG TERM. Unlike, the Suns and Mavericks who traded their youth to “win now”, the Lakers traded for young players (Ariza is only 22 and Gasol is 27 – Notice the Lakers have no starters that are over 30 years of age). If Kobe would’ve had his way, he would’ve traded a 20 year old pure center (that’t not easy to find) for Jason Kidd (a 35 year old point guard).

    Hate to you break it to you DCLaker, the Lakers FO realize there is Laker life beyond Kobe Bryant. Yes, the Lakers FO want to win, but they want to contend for YEARS (not just a year or two). Kobe’s tirade last summer did not make force the Lakers FO to change their plan (the only thing it did was make them shop Kobe around. I bet you Kobe is glad he is not in Chicago).