The Lakers are back to work tonight at the Staples Center to face the Clippers. There is no doubt that Los Angeles will win this match up, it is a home game for the Lakers who are 32-5 when sporting the gold or white jerseys.
The Lakers won their 60th game for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, and Phil Jackson’s first 60-win season in Los Angeles, by beating the Rockets. The Lakers are riding a seven-game winning streak against their Staples Center roommates, after sweeping the season series against them last year.
The Clippers are a team that plays hard but they’ve been besieged by injuries. The Clippers have lost 4 of their last 5 and seeing as this is a road game for them, 23 of their last 26. The Lakers aren’t sleeping on the Clippers; they’re prepared to earn a season-sweep over them and extend their streak to eight and win their 61st game.
A few interesting notes about this game, this will be the 1st time this season that the Lakers will face Zach Randolph in a Clipper uniform; he had a sore knee on 1/21. He has posted 28 double-doubles this season. The Clippers are a very good shot-blocking team averaging 5 blocked shots per game on the road.
The Lakers are making a playoff push as well as making a strong effort to earn the Association’s best overall record. According to Coach Jackson “We have to make an attempt for (the league’s best record); “I wouldn’t feel good about it, even with these players, if we didn’t. We really don’t have to threaten our well-being by doing it, I don’t think.”
As of this morning, the Lakers are one game behind the Cavaliers, a team they’ve swept this season; it will be two games by tip-off.
Tonight’s match-up will be against a talented but short-handed injury-plagued team. It’s the 4th game of the year against the Clippers. The Lakers beat them 117-79 on 10/29/08, 106-88 on 11/5/08, and 108-97 on 1/21 for an average margin of victory of 22.3 points.
In the last match-up Kobe Bryant dropped his 16th career triple-double on them, filling the stat sheet with 18 points, 10 boards and 12 assists. I’m looking forward to another stellar yet efficient as well as similar performance from Kobe.
The Lakers are playing better defensively and have held the Clippers to 38.7 percent shooting and an average of 88 points. The Lakers will play to their advantage and establish Pau in the post; he will set the table for everyone else in a balanced attack.
Tipoff: 6:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lanz)
- Los Angeles: KTLA the CW(Ralph Lawler & Michael Smith )
- Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Ralph Lawler & Brian Sieman)
- Andrew Bynum (Knee)
- Marcus Camby (Hamstring)
- Mardy Collins (Foot)
- Chris Kaman (Flu)
- Al Thornton (Foot)
- Ricky Davis (Knee)