A pair of Western Conference teams making an effort at getting to the postseason will get together Monday Night at the Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers come into the game as the 7th seed in the Western Conference; half game ahead of the Spurs. The Clippers have won back to back games.
For the Lakers, time is running out. With 19 games to go, the Lakers are 4.5 games behind San Antonio for that final spot, with Sacramento in the middle of them.
The Lakers come into this game -4 over the Clippers on Monday night.
The Lakers have had all sorts of issues this season ,and their back to back losses do not help the cause at all. The Lakers allowed 131 in the loss to the Bucks, and 118 to the Suns, who are the worst team in the league. Defense has been an issue, as they are allowing nearly 114 points per game. Offensively, the Lakers are holding their own, as they are 13th in the league with nearly 113 points per game. The Lakers also reside in the Top 12 in both assists per game and rebounds per game.
LeBron James is the leading scorer for the Lakers, but a ton of criticism has been put on him in their failure to be in a postseason position. James is scoring 27 points per game, and dishing out more than 8 rebounds per game. The Lakers have been without their starting point guard Lonzo Ball for some time, and he will miss this game as well. The Lakers need 5 wins to match their total from a season ago, but it would be yet another season with a failure to reach the postseason.
Clippers Look to Keep Rolling
After back to back wins over the Kings and Knicks, the Clippers look to stay red hot. They are second place in the Pacific Division; but have no chance of catching Golden State. The Clippers are scoring 114.1 points per game, and allowing teams to score just over 113 per game. The Clippers won 42 games a season ago, so going 6-11 to finish the season would match that total. Those 42 wins came after multiple seasons of winning 50+ games.
The Clippers traded their top scorer Tobias Harris to the 76ers, but have been pretty solid since then. Montrezl Harrell is making nearly 63% of all his shots, and super sixth man Lou Williams continues to make shots off the bench. The Clippers are without Wilson Chandler and Luc Mbah a Moute for this game.
Neither team has an advantage playing this game at home or on the road. Technically, the Lakers are at home, but the Staples Center is the home for both teams. Look for the Lakers to finally come out with some hunger. It’s what they have needed for some time. LeBron and the Lakers find a way to grab some extra energy and win this game in a blowout.
If the Lakers are going to reach the postseason; this is the type of game they are going to need to win. In the end, we are betting on the Los Angeles Lakers -4 over the Los Angeles Clippers.