LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Los Angeles Lakers kick off their title-defending season against city rivals the LA Clippers!
- The LA Clippers are looking to prove themselves against the Lakers, after being eliminated in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
- Filled with new pieces, both Los Angeles teams will be fielding some unfamiliar faces.
Clippers vs Lakers Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|LA Clippers||+2.5 -109||O 220.5 -113||+120|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-2.5 -112||U 220.5 -112||-148|
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Clippers vs Lakers Predictions and Picks
The LA Clippers remain mostly the same while the Los Angeles Lakers have improved with each of their additions this offseason. While the Clippers aren’t lacking in talent, the day one personnel difference will likely be too much for the Clippers to handle.
Los Angeles Lakers to Win (-148)
How to Watch Clippers vs Lakers
|LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers Information|
|What||LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers|
|Where||Staples Centre, Los Angeles, CA|
|When||Tuesday, 22 December 2020; 10:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
Head-to-Head: Clippers vs Lakers
|LA Clippers||Head-to-Head (19-20)||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Doc Rivers||Head Coach||Frank Vogel|
|49-23 (2nd in West, 4th Overall)||Standing||52-19 (1st in West, 3rd Overall)|
|113.9 (2nd of 30)||Off Rtg||112.0 (11th of 30)|
|107.6 (5th of 30)||Def Rtg||106.3 (3rd of 30)|
|101.5 (8th of 30)||Pace||100.9 (11th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|K. Leonard (27.1)||PPG||A. Davis (26.1)|
|I. Zubac (7.5)||RPG||A. Davis (9.3)|
|L. Williams (5.6)||APG||L. James (10.2)|
|K. Leonard (1.8)||SPG||A. Davis (1.5)|
|M. Harrell (1.1)||BPG||A. Davis (2.3)|
|J. Motley (.733)/K. Leonard (9.3)||FG%/FGM||D. Howard (.729)/L. James (9.6)|
|M. Kabengele (.450)/P. George (3.3)||3P%/3PM||D. Howard (.600)/L. James (2.2)|
Do the Clippers Really Have Enough to Compete?
Kawhi Leonard is infamous for his load management schedule, being able to pick and choose games that he participates in based on his health. While they still found success last season, their lack of depth hurt them in the playoffs when Leonard and George struggled.
They’ll have their hands full against the depth of the Los Angeles Lakers. Outside of adding Serge Ibaka, the Clippers were cash-strapped this offseason, forcing them to rely on Leonard and George even more. While defending is rarely an issue, scoring is an entirely different story.
It’s no secret that the Clippers covet a playmaker, but they couldn’t find one this offseason. Finding a way to breakdown an improved Lakers defense on the backs of iso-based players like Leonard, George, and Williams is key.
Have the Los Angeles Lakers Already Figured It Out?
According to the annual NBA GM Survey the Los Angeles Lakers are expected, by their peers, to repeat as champions for the 2021-2022 NBA season. That isn’t just off of the strength of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the key additions made by the Lakers front office.
The pieces that the Lakers added this offseason are far from inconsequential. Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell, Wes Matthews, and Dennis Schroder were all key contributors to their respective teams’ playoff runs last season. With the current Lakers’ makeup, they are one of the deepest and most talented squads in the league.
The Lakers’ bench will have the decided advantage over that of the Clippers and that’s where they should focus. Winning the battle of the reserves will be crucial, as the talents of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will surely create a closely contested affair with the starters on the court.
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Clippers Key Player: (C) Serge Ibaka
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will do their thing, but the acquisition of Serge Ibaka was one of pragmatism for the LA Clippers. While Montrezl Harrell was a fantastic hustle-piece, Ibaka adds a savvy to the frontcourt that the Clippers have been sorely lacking.
In four seasons with the Toronto Raptors Serge Ibaka averaged 14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on 50% from the field and 36.3% from deep. While he’s dropped off from his paint patrolling days, Ibaka has become an efficient offensive player.
The question for Ibaka is whether or not he will be able to contribute as he did in Toronto without top-tier playmakers. While the Raptors had Lowry and Vanvleet, the Clippers have significantly less talented facilitators in Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley. More than capable on the offensive end, Ibaka’s game will rely on how well the Clippers can find opportunities for him.
Lakers Key Player: (C) Marc Gasol
On a team like the Los Angeles Lakers, how can LeBron James or Anthony Davis not be the key player to look at? Well, with the 2019 NBA Champion and former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol in the fold, his possible contributions are under the microscope.
Gasol was a key contributor for the Toronto Raptors in their last two seasons but was absolutely dreadful for them in the 2019 Playoffs. Averaging just 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds on 39.1% shooting from the field, Gasol looked like a liability rather than a core piece.
His acquisition by the Lakers will be about his potential output, more than his recent form. At his best, Gasol is a fantastic defender, an intelligent passer, and a capable outside shooter at the center position. Paired with LeBron James, playmaking shouldn’t be an issue – if he can regain his form.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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