The Lakers have a big matchup ahead of them on Friday night as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers who have dropped their past two games after going on a 17 game winning streak, the best in franchise history. The Clippers will take home stage as they look to extend a 10 game winning streak at home. Here’s what you should know from today’s practice.
1. Getting ready for their Lakers vs. Clippers matchup
According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, the Lakers practiced in a 5-on-5 contact practice that was clearly geared towards prepping the Lakers for tomorrow’s game.
D’Antoni acknowledged that the 5-on-5 contact practice was designed in part to get LAL ready for tomorrow. He was pleased w/the session.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 3, 2013
After mentioning that the Clippers might be the best team in the league in his interview on Lakers.com, head coach Mike D’Antoni also revealed what the Lakers are going to need to stop in hopes of a win tomorrow night: take away one of Chris Paul’s many offensive weapons.
“Make him [Chris Paul] a finisher instead of a distributor. You don’t want him to do both, which he can.
Chris Paul seems to statistically thrive against the Lakers, including 18 points and 15 assists in their win on November 2nd, plus totaled 40 points and 31 assists in their past two meetings.
2. Lakers will use adversity as motivation
In today’s interview on Lakers.com, D’Antoni also mentioned how his team has thrived in adversity, such as the firing of Mike Brown, his own hiring, and Steve Nash’s return. The Lakers started to turn things around recently, until winning only one of their past three games and D’Antoni hopes to use that as extra motivation tomorrow night.
“We have complacency and every time there’s adversity we kind of step up to the challenge…Obviously we’re in another bad point so I expect us to come out strong and somehow we’ve got to sustain it.”
Although it’s not exactly comforting to hear D’Antoni admit that the Lakers are in another slump, if he’s right the Lakers can use that to fuel their energy.
3. Injury Updates
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, although Steve Blake has not been cleared for contact, he has participated in shooting activities. Backup guard Chris Duhon is still a game time decision tomorrow night due to his back spasms.
Back-up PG news for LAL: Blake (abdomen) has resumed basketball shooting activities. Duhon (back) will be a game-time decision vs LAC
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 3, 2013
Other than Chris Duhon, all the Lakers in some form were out on the practice floor today. With the Los Angeles rivalry, a deep Clippers roster, and a young and upcoming team thriving to extend their 10 game win streak at home, the Lakers are going to need all the energy they can muster up to win at Staples Center, the home of the Clippers on Friday night.
Check out our preview for tomorrow night’s game.