Clippers vs Lakers NBA Spread/Handicapping
The Los Angeles Lakers have started their season in underwhelming fashion following the incredible offseason that brought Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to town. Winless through two games, the Lakers are now set to host the team that shares the same building, the Los Angeles Clippers. This rivalry hasn’t always been headline-worthy on the national stage, but with both teams fighting for contention this year, their contest Friday night will be the primetime matchup on ESPN.
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Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) @ Los Angeles Lakers (0-2)
Friday, November 2, 2012 on ESPN
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CALIF.
10:30 PM ET
Moneyline: Clippers -125, Lakers +105
Spread: Lakers +1.5 / Clippers -1.5 from GTBets.eu
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers opened their season Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, and while they took down their Western Conference foe 101-92, it wasn’t the stars who stole the show for L.A. Chris Paul was quiet despite his 12 points and 12 assists, and Blake Griffin wasn’t as efficient as we’ve come to expect, so it was Jamal Crawford who exploded for 29 points in just 30 minutes off the bench.
Crawford was an offseason signing who will provide energy and shooting off the bench all season. The Clippers bench is already one of the strongest in the league, but it will get even stronger on Friday when Matt Barnes joins the rotation.
When it comes to stopping the Lakers, containing Kobe Bryant is the key for any team, but that’s especially the case for the Clippers. Bryant averaged 32.3 points and shot 53.1 percent against them last season.
The Lakers have been good so far this season when the opposing team is shooting jumpers, which is why it’s crucial for the Clips to attack the rim. If they can get out in transition or run the pick-and-roll throughout the contest, they have a chance to break their nine-game losing streak when they are the road team in this series.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA’s newest Super Team, but they’ve looked anything but super in the early stages of the season.
The good news from the loss against the Portland Trail Blazers is that Dwight Howard proved, even if for just one game, that he can make his free throws. Following a dreadful 3-of-14 performance from the charity stripe, the big man knocked down 15 of his 19 attempts on the road in Portland. One good performance doesn’t mean much when you’re a 58.8-percent shooter for your career, but it at least gives the team confidence that he can be counted on moving forward.
When the Lakers host the Clippers, there’s a good chance they’re going to be without starting point guard Steve Nash. The 38-year-old point guard left the game against Portland early, and while his playmaking and facilitation abilities will be missed, it wouldn’t be so bad if the team had any semblance of a backup point guard. Steve Blake and Chris Duhon are competent enough to not make mistakes, but defensively they struggle to keep up, and on offense their contributions are limited to the occasional open jumper.
The Lakers haven’t started 0-3 since 1978, but they’re in serious danger of doing just that on Friday. This team still needs to learn how to best utilize the Princeton offense, and they need to learn how to get all the stars involved on both ends of the floor.
The Clippers took down a tough Western Conference opponent in their first game, and if they can come out and score against a defense that is allowing 107.5 points per game, they should improve to 2-0 by the time the clock strikes zero.
Score Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers 110 – Los Angeles Lakers 98