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Lakers vs. Clippers Pre-Game Report: Battle LA Begins Anew Reviewed by Momizat on . The Lakers will look to rebound from a disastrous first two games of the season with a “home” game against their crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. Adding in The Lakers will look to rebound from a disastrous first two games of the season with a “home” game against their crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. Adding in Rating:
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Lakers vs. Clippers Pre-Game Report: Battle LA Begins Anew

The Lakers will look to rebound from a disastrous first two games of the season with a “home” game against their crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. Adding injury to insult, the Lakers will likely be without Steve Nash in this one. This is a huge opportunity for the Lakers to get in the win column while coming off an eight point loss in the home opener to the Dallas Mavericks minus Dirk Nowitzki, as well as a double digit loss to the rebuilding Portland Trail Blazers the next night.

Needless to say, this is not the way many predicted the start of the season would go in Laker-land. This will technically be a Laker home game, though there figures to be some Clipper fans in the building as they are co-tenants with the Lakers. With Chris Paul coming to the Clippers last season and leading the team to their best winning percentage in team history, the Laker-Clipper rivalry has begun to take shape. Paul leads a young, athletic team that had an outstanding off-season with new veteran additions in Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, and Grant Hill.

Let’s take a look at how the Lakers will match up.

Frontcourt: Outside of LeBron James, there may not be a more explosive player in the NBA than Blake Griffin. The former Rookie of the Year and two-time All Star enters his third season and looks to build on his first playoff appearance a season ago. Griffin has struggled with the length of Pau Gasol in the past, however, as Gasol has been successful in giving Griffin a gap and contesting his questionable jumpshot.

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Center DeAndre Jordan enters his fifth season in the NBA and he, like Griffin, provides an extremely athletic presence around the rim. Though his offensive game consists of nothing but put-backs and catching lobs, he does need to be accounted for on the offensive glass and around the rim. He and Griffin’s continued improvement is perhaps the biggest key for the Clippers to become a contender moving forward.

Dwight Howard, coming off a 33 point and 14 rebound performance, will have his usual advantage against Jordan and needs to focus on keeping him off the offensive glass.

Backcourt: Last season, Chris Paul was clearly the league’s best point guard. No one controls the flow of the game like Paul, and there really are no weaknesses in his game. He will be a very tough matchup for Steve Blake, with Steve Nash listed as doubtful. Paul makes this team go, and last year the team was often too reliant on him half court sets, particularly at the end of games.

The injured Chauncey Billups, who was brought back to the team this off-season, would normally man the two-guard slot for the Clippers but is currently out with an injury. Willie Green will start in his absence. Kobe Bryant should have a huge advantage over whoever is guarding him in this matchup, and look for him to establish himself on the block against the Clippers smaller guards.

Jamal Crawford, who exploded for 29 points off the bench in the Clippers’ opener, is a former Sixth Man of the Year. Crawford was one of the more underrated additions to any team in the NBA’s off-season, and he plays with a tremendous amount of confidence and can get hot in a hurry. It is quite possible for him to outscore the Lakers’ entire bench unit, and if this happens the Lakers will struggle to pull out a victory.

Keys to Victory:

Limit Turnover Total to 14 or Less - The Lakers are coming off a 24-turnover performance against Portland and ended up taking eight less shots in the game than the Trail Blazers. The Lakers attempted 11 less shots than the Mavericks on opening night as well, although they did attempt 13 more free throws than the Mavs (though they only converted on a miserable 38 percent of them). The Lakers must find a way to be more aggressive within their offense while limiting turnovers.

Princeton offense or not, there is no excuse for 24 turnovers. They are shooting nearly 50 percent from the field as a team in the first two games, but they must to find a way to get into their sets quicker so that they can get more attempts at the basket. Against a team as athletic as the Clippers, a turnover total in the high teens is almost certain to lead to a loss.

Energy on Defense – If giving up 99 points to a Dallas Maverick team without Dirk Nowitzki or its starting center wasn’t bad enough, the Lakers gave up 116 to Portland the next night. While Dwight Howard will eventually solve some of these problems once he is fully healthy from his back surgery this past off-season, there has been a lack of communication amongst players on defense with regards to rotations.

Shooters on opposing teams have had too many uncontested looks and lanes to the basket. The Lakers can make up for missed assignments once in awhile by playing with a better sense of urgency. If a game against the rival Clippers in the battle for Los Angeles cannot provide a spark of energy, it is difficult to imagine what will.

Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (0-2)

7:30 PM PST, November 2, 2012 

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

CA
TV: ESPN

Clippers Projected Starting Line-up

PG: Chris Paul 
SG: Willie Green 
SF: Caron Butler 
PF: Blake Griffin 
C: DeAndre Jordan

Key Reserves: G Jamal Crawford,  G Eric Bledsoe, F Lamar Odom

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About The Author

My name is Max Piner and I am currently a graduate student in the sport management program at Long Beach State University. I am also currently a sales coordinator for luxury transportation company Lux Bus America. I did my undergraduate studies at Chapman University in Orange, California where I was a business administration major as well as a four year member of the men's basketball team. I am originally from Northridge, California where I attended Chaminade High School in West Hills. Lastly, writing and basketball are my two passions, and as a lifelong Lakers fan I am very excited to be a contributing member to Lakers Nation.

Number of Entries : 46
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502464065 Ryan De Guzman

    The key to the game is to stop cp3 and mwp has the ability to stop him, their offence start on him, without him they completely useless even blake that doesn’t have a low post move or jump shot unlike pau and dwigh. Playing one on one has a chance to win against clipps, blake cant defend pau if pau will shoot from 15-18 ft and that was money ball for pau and limit blake’s rebounds. While Jordan will eat alive one on one by superman Dwight Howard. MVP against paul will limit his offense of clipps, kobe can match butler or grant hill and steve blake can match the smaller guards of clipps like willie green or even steve nash. The biggest chance of cliips depends on their bench especially to crawford and meeks and jamison must match the energy and offensive game of jamal. Pau must create a screen on meeks for him to take open shooter. Meeks is a reliable perimeter shooter he just need a lot of space to create his own shot like jj reddick while jamison need a lot of playing time for him to explode. In dallas he won best sixth man of the year playing 25-28 minutes but mike brown him playing below 15 minutes, how can he get his rhythm if his playing limited minutes. Common mike brown, you abusing the starters that why in the 4th quarter they are tired, they are not young like miami and okc except for dwight, you much give more minutes for the bench for them to gain confidence and in the 4th quarter the starter are fresh to match the energy of the opposing team.

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