Kobe Bryant – Randy Foye
Ron Artest – Ryan Gomes
Pau Gasol – Blake Griffin
Andrew Bynum – DeAndre Jordan
With Baron Davis shipped out of town last minute, the Clippers got in return point guard Mo Williams and forward Jamario Moon. What I believe is more significant in this trade is the Clippers gave up their unprotected 2011 lottery pick. Cleveland now has a chance in the draft to steal two solid players ranked in the top ten.
The 2011 Slam Dunk Champion Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers will face their in-town rivals the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. The Clippers stole a win in the last L.A. basketball battle on January 16th when young guard Eric Gordon dropped 30 points on the Lakers, including 4 shots from downtown. Late in that game, Griffin and Odom got into a small scuffle which resulted in four players being ejected. However, that is simply no excuse as Bryant told the press after the game the Lakers “didn’t put up much of a fight.”
Recently the Lakers have looked hungrier than ever. Not only is Kobe playing at a high level, but Ron Artest has stepped up as well, shooting 12 for 20, and connecting on six 3-pointers in the last two games. The Lakers have won back-to-back games in exciting fashion, blowing out the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, and a clutch performance by Kobe Bryant Wednesday night in Portland.
Keys to Lakers victory:
Rebound: Both the Lakers and the Clippers are tied as the 4th best in the league in offensive rebounds.
Run the rookie: Eric Bledsoe isn’t used to playing big minutes in games. With Brown, Fisher, and Blake guarding Bledsoe the whole night, the rookie should be slowed down and limited in his shots.