NBA Odds – L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Looking to avoid a third straight loss to the start the season, the Lakers will host their intracity rivals, the Clippers, tonight at (where else?) the Staples Center (10:30 p.m. Eastern).
Two weeks ago, there was a hint of optimism surrounding the Lakers’ season. With aging superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, new-comers Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, plus seventh overall draft pick Julius Randle, the Lakers were set to improve on their second-to-last place finish in the Western Conference in 2013-14. Then things took a turn. Nash was shut-down for the year (and likely his career) prior to the start of the season, and Randle broke his leg in his very first NBA game. Adding insult to the injuries, the Lakers were blown out in their first two games: 108-90 at home against Houston (failing to cover as six-point dogs), and 119-99 in Phoenix. While it seems clear to the rest of the league that the Lakers should be treating this year as a re-build, coach Byron Scott remains optimistic.
“I told them we have to hang in there and stay together as a team,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It is only two games.”
On the other side, the Clippers will try to stay perfect on the season after their 93-90 win over the Thunder on Wednesday. As usual, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led the charge for the Clippers, with 23 and 22 points, respectively. In the recent head-to-head, the Clippers have dominated the floundering Lakers, winning seven of the last ten, including the last three in a row. The Clippers have won by at least five in each of those seven wins and, in the last three, averaged a 23-point margin of victory. Look for the Clippers to continue their dominance, as they maintain almost the same squad as last year, and the Lakers have not shown much improvement, in particular on the defensive side of the ball.