Lakers at Clippers: 3 Things to Know (10/22/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers open up the 2019-20 season against the LA Clippers.
1) It’s time for the Bron-AD Era to begin
The Lakers enter this season with arguably the most dangerous duo in the NBA, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis are ready for their official debut.
Their firepower is at a level rarely seen in the NBA. James (27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists last season) can do just about anything on the basketball court. Davis (25.9 points, 12.0 assists, 2.4 blocks) plays with an unmatched blend of athleticism and ferocity.
But beyond the volume of talent, the LeBron-AD pairing is even more lethal because of how well their games fit together. James is one of the game’s greatest ball handlers — a bulldozer in the paint and psychic passer. Meanwhile, Davis is a constant explosion, ready to launch himself at the basket at a moment’s notice.
We’ll see which poison opponents will choose.
2) The supporting cast is also revamped
While Davis was the summer’s biggest import, the Lakers’ whole rotation is littered with new faces expected to contribute in the coming campaign.
Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, Troy Daniels and Dwight Howard all have shots at getting major minutes this year. How new coach Frank Vogel platoons them will be among his biggest challenges.
The most obvious addition from this group is shooting. Last season, the Lakers shot the NBA’s second-worst 3-point percentage (33.3). Green (45.5 last year — second-best in the league), Cook (40.5) and Daniels (38.1) should prevent a repeat.
Plus, with Davis, Howard and JaVale McGee patrolling down low — and Green, Bradley, Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope guarding up high — the Lakers’ defense also has plenty of potential.
3) And in the other corner…
All of basketball will orbit around Los Angeles, as the Lakers and Clippers are expected to compete for Western Conference supremacy after both adding stars this offseason.
While Paul George is still recovering from offseason surgery, the Clippers still boast the services of Kawhi Leonard, who’s fresh off leading Toronto to its first championship.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP was monstrous in defeating Golden State, averaging 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in that series. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year will look to continue his tear in Los Angeles.
In addition to Leonard’s individual dominance, the Lakers will also have to compete with three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, defensive ace Patrick Beverley and rim-rattling big Montrezl Harrell.
Lakers: Alex Caruso (pelvic bone contusion) is probable. Rajon Rondo (sore right calf) is questionable. Kyle Kuzma (stress reaction, left ankle), Talen Horton-Tucker (stress reaction, right foot) and DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) are out.
Clippers: Paul George (shoulders), Rodney McGruder (ankle) and Amir Coffey (ankle) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California
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