(Photo By: Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images)
Lakers at Clippers: 3 Things to Know (11/27/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers return for an intracity matchup with the LA Clippers.
1) Larry’s return may shift the starters
The Lakers will likely be back to full strength, as Larry Nance Jr. is expected to return from a fractured hand that cost him the last three weeks.
Head coach Luke Walton seemed leaning toward having Nance back as the team’s starting power forward, but rookie Kyle Kuzma certainly gave himself a compelling case in Nance’s stead.
With his abilities to slash and shoot, Kuzma averaged 18.1 points as the starting four, and rose to become the Lakers’ leading scorer on the season.
Nance, meanwhile, has held his own offensively (10.6 points on 61.4 percent shooting) and is the more consistent defender of the two.
Regardless of who starts, the Lakers should receive a boost from having Nance’s efficiency, rebounding and defense back in the rotation.
Felt great to be back out there https://t.co/p9hkylb5YB— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) November 25, 2017
2) Lonzo gets another crack at the Clippers
After a lukewarm NBA debut against the Clippers five weeks ago, Lonzo Ball will have another shot at showing his skills against the Lakers across-the-hall foe.
Ball has been much more aggressive of late — with 11.5 attempts averaged in his last 11 games compared to six in that opener. His teammates have also hit shots more consistently, giving him three games of double-digit assists.
This time around, Ball won’t be dogged by Clippers point guard Patrick Beverly, who is out due to knee surgery. While Beverly’s success against Ball in game one may have been overblown, it will nonetheless be beneficial to not have to worry about his get-under-your-skin defense.
3) Lakers look to put Clippers back on losing streak
Before winning back-to-back games, the Clippers had lost nine in a row, spoiling a nice start to the season.
The Lakers will look to send the Clippers back on their slide, and will have to contain a trio of familiar foes in order to do so.
Blake Griffin (23.4) lurks just outside of the NBA’s top 11 in scoring, and hit the game-winning jumper against Sacramento on Saturday.
While Griffin is capable of scoring across the floor, DeAndre Jordan exclusively hangs out around the rim, and hauls in the league’s second-most rebounds (13.9).
But the x-factor will likely be former Laker Lou Williams, who was second in the NBA in scoring off the bench (17.1) before joining the starting lineup last game.
Lakers: Larry Nance Jr. (fractured second metacarpal, left hand) is probable.
Clippers: Patrick Beverley (right knee surgery), Danilo Gallinari (strained left glute) and Milos Teodosic (plantar fascia injury, left foot) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California