The (40-19) Lakers host the (21-37) Clippers in game three of the Hallway series between the co-tenants of the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin had the opportunity to talk, get to know each other over the summer. I have a feeling that Lamar Odom and Ron Artest feel a little differently. Let us not forget that in the last meeting, won by the Clippers 99-92, there was a heated confrontation.
After the dust up the officials ran Ron Artest, Baron Davis, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom. The combination of Griffin and Gordon had a big hand in beating the Lakers on 1/16, but Gordon will not be in the lineup tonight. Granted the Clippers by virtue of a trade will have a completely different backcourt tonight.
Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye both have had success against the Lakers and need to be contained. The challenge for the Lakers is slowing down the Clippers front line. They will have to double-team Griffin at times and make him a passer.
The Clippers are one of those teams that have the size up front to match up with the Lakers. We’ll see another on Sunday. The Lakers defense has been solid and has led them to two wins since the All-Star break. That trend needs to continue.
The Lakers need to control the tempo of the game, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, get back in transition and quickly rotate out to open shooters. They have to continue to run their offense and move the ball. Excellent ball movement, player movement and execution down the stretch will be huge tonight.
Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have been making a statement to their opponents and the rest of the league that they will defend their crown. However, I do not think the league has gotten the message as of yet. As long as the Lakers play with consistency, a high energy, high activity level, receive a contribution by everyone wearing a purple and gold jersey as well as balanced scoring the message will be heard loud and clear.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, L. Odom, P. Gasol
Clippers: E. Bledsoe, R. Foye, R. Gomes, B. Griffin, D. Jordan
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
- Los Angeles: Prime Ticket (Ralph Lawler & Mike Smith)
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Los Angeles: KFWB 980 (Ralph Lawler, Mike Smith & Brian Sieman)
- Matt Barnes (Right Knee) Out
- Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
- SG Eric Gordon (Sprained Right Wrist/Small Bone Fracture) Out