Offense (Lakers): It's LeBron time. Everyone knows playoff LeBron is the scariest. It was rumored LeBron held private workouts and practices with his teammates. LeBron leads the league in assists and his chemistry with his teammates is at an all-time high. With the Clippers having an undersized Montrezl Harrell at the center position, the Lakers will exploit it and push the paint. The Lakers constantly throw up alley-oops and as a result, have the highest FG% in the league.
When LeBron plays the one he constantly drives and kicks. This opens up their shooters like Danny Green, KCP, and Avery Bradley. When the shooters are not open they often kick it back to LeBron for a give and go which often opens up a big for an alley-oop or layup. Expect the Lakers to utilize their amazing frontcourt.
Defense (Lakers): With the Lakers' amazing frontcourt they rule in blocks. Javale Mcgee, Dwight Howard, and DPOY candidate Anthony Davis all rank top 20 in blocks. But, where the Lakers are most underrated is their guards. Danny Green and LeBron are both All-defensive players and with LeBron's incredible awareness he helps lead his team on defense. The Lakers will control the paint and force the Clippers to shoot the three. The Clippers are a very average three-point shooting team. Not to mention, that in their most recent game the Clippers shot 22% from three against the Lakers.
Offense (Clippers): The Clippers are a very deep team with Montrezl Harrell, Reggie Jackson, Landry Shamet, and Marcus Morris. However, their best bench player and 6MOY candidate Lou Williams was forced into a 10-day quarantine because of a visit to a strip club in Atlanta. This will force him to miss the first 2 games of the resumed regular season including this game against the Lakers. The Clippers do not rank in the top 10 in FG% or 3P%. The only way I see the Clippers winning this game is in the mid-range, in which Kawhi and PG-13 are the best in the game.
Defense (Clippers): The Clippers have the best defensive backcourt in the league with All-defensive players Patrick Beverly, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. Though, the Lakers backcourt isn't their prime scoring approach. The Lakers' frontcourt is where the action happens. AD, Howard, and Mcgee may have a mismatch with their size. Unless Kawhi steps up and takes one of them, expect the Clippers to struggle against the Lakers in the paint.
X-Factor: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis has a mismatch every time down the floor. Whether it's Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac, or Montrzl Harrell, AD can take them. AD has a size advantage over Morris and Harrell and even if AD doesn't have the size advantage he has a lethal mid-range. AD's signature move is a jab step followed by a mid-range shot. Additionally, you can't leave AD alone from three. Davis shoots around 34% from three so at a minimum he's a threat and needs to be guarded. Davis can score at will against this team.
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