The Lakers are a mess these days and will require a very valiant effort just to compete in this game.
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The Los Angeles Lakers can win because…
They’ve already beaten the Clippers once this season. The Clippers have been the better team all year, so just the fact that the Lakers already have registered a win gives you a good idea of how badly the Clippers can slip-up on a given night.
When you take a look at how this series breaks down on the NBA odds, the Lakers have dominated. They’ve won 22 of the last 34 meetings. Although they’re a road team in this spot, they also play at the Staples Center, so it’s really a home game for both sides.
Although the Lakers have not played well overall, the Paul-less Clippers are always going to be vulnerable in a rivalry game.
The Los Angeles Clippers can win because…
The Lakers are absolutely horrible right now. They have dropped nine of 10 and are failing at both ends of the court. They’re allowing a whopping 108.9 points per game in that span and scoring just 97.5. That’s about as bad as it gets.
The Lakers are not only missing Kobe Bryant. If that was the case, they might be able to be competitive. However, they’re already without a slew of point guards including Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar. They’ve been forced to resort to Kendall Marshall, who they signed off the street. The Lakers are having a tough time just running their offense and avoiding turnovers.
While the Clippers are clearly not the same team without Chris Paul in the lineup, they’re still competent. They have players that can step and help shoulder the load. This one is a no-brainer: take the Clippers with your NBA picks.
Outlook & Pick
The Clippers have yet to really be tested since losing Paul. They’ve won back-to-back home games against the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. On Friday, they have another layup as the Lakers are on the schedule.
The Lakers are a hot mess these days. Not only are they without Bryant, not only are they being coached by one of the worst coaches in the NBA, not only did they just try and fail to trade Pau Gasol again and not only are they without a slew of other point guards, they are also playing horribly right now. Their only win in their last 10 games was a home victory over the equally-hapless Utah Jazz. The Clippers are going to be too much for the Lakers to handle and after losing the first meeting of the season, they’ll want some revenge. Take the Clippers with your sports picks in this one.Pick: Clippers -10.5 at Bovada