The LA Clippers take on the Los Angeles Lakers in the second game of the NBA Bubble Tournament on July 30, 2020, in Orlando.
The Clippers were the early favorites to win the NBA title but they have not been able to prove that billing due to injuries to their two stars. However, the Clippers were starting to show their true worth when the season was suspended. Meanwhile, the Lakers emerged as the new favorites to win the 2020 NBA title, taking the tag from the Clippers and Bucks. The Purple and Gold were led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis who had MVP-type seasons. These two teams have played each other thrice this season with the Clippers winning the first two meetings and the Lakers winning their most recent encounter last March 2020.
The LA Clippers were the preseason favorites to win the 2020 NBA title. But injuries have prevented the team from playing at full strength at the start of the year, forcing the Clippers to struggle for consistency. But towards the suspension of the season, the Clippers got healthy and added big-name players that even made their lineup stronger. They entered the break as the 2nd best team in the Western Conference with a record of 44-20, 5.5 games behind the Lakers.
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Paul George averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest. The Clippers got a big lift from their bench with 2019 Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams leading the team with 5.7 assists while scoring 18.7 points per game. Montrezl Harrell also contributed 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Clippers.
LA ranked 4th in the NBA in team scoring with an average of 116.2 points per game. The Clippers were the 13th best defensive team in the league with an average of 109.7 points per game allowed. They were the third-best rebounding team in the NBA at 48.0 boards grabbed per contest but were just 19th in passing at 23.8 assists per game.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/28/20
Los Angeles Lakers
After missing the playoffs in LeBron James’ first year with the club, the Lakers were on a mission this year. They traded for Anthony Davis and became instant favorites. With James and Davis having A-1 seasons, the Lakers stormed to the top of the West and led the conference with a record of 49-14 prior to the stoppage of the season. The Lakers were closing in on the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the league, cutting the deficit to just three games before the season was paused.
Anthony Davis was the Lakers’ leading scorer and rebounder at 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. The Brow also led the team in steals and blocks at 1.5 and 2.4, respectively. LeBron James was the NBA’s assist leader at 10.6 dimes per contest. King James also scored 25.7 points and grabbed 7.9 rebounds per game this season. Kyle Kuzma was the third double-digit scorer on the team at 12.5 points per outing while Dwight Howard was a steady force off the bench at 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.
The Lakers were the 7th best offensive team in the NBA with a scoring average of 114.3 points per contest. The Purple and Gold ranked 3rd overall in scoring defense with only 106.9 points per game allowed. Los Angeles was 8th in rebounding at 46.1 boards grabbed per contest and they are 9th in the league in passing at 25.9 assists per game.
The Clippers are 7-1 SU in their last eight games played. 4-1 SU in their last five road games. LA is 6-1 SU in their last seven games played against the Western Conference. The Lakers are 11-2 SU in their last thirteen games played. Los Angeles is 6-1 SU in their last seven games played at home. Head to head, the Clippers are 15-5 in the last 20 games played between these two teams but the Lakers won the last game between these two Los Angeles teams. The Lakers are 42-13 SU this season as betting favorites while the Clippers are 4-7 SU as betting underdogs this year.
The Clippers have the deepest lineup in the league. But if you take out Lou Williams from the mix, that’s a lot of points to make up for even though the Clippers are loaded. Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, and Landry Shamet are also questionable or Thursday’s game. On the other side, the Lakers are without Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley while Dwight Howard is listed as probable. The Lakers have added scorers in Dion Waiters and JR Smith. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are well-rested. The Lakers are out to even their season series. Give me the Purple and Gold here.
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
Other Bets to Make
The Clippers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games played. the Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played. Los Angeles is 17-13-1 ATS in 31 home games played this season and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games played against the Western Conference. Head to head, the Clippers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Lakers. The LA Clippers are also 6-0 ATS when playing on the road against the Lakers.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/28/20
The Clippers have outscored the Lakers by 2.3 points per game in their last 10 meetings and 2.0 points per game in their previous three encounters. But the Lakers won their last meeting by nine points. Given that the Clippers will be without Lou Williams due to quarantine while Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell are listed as questionable. The Lakers are without Rajon Rondo but Dion Waiters has looked good in the scrimmage games. I think that the Lakers will have more firepower here and a well-rested LeBron James will be the difference-maker for the Purple and Gold.
Prediction: Lakers -4.5 (-110)
The total has gone under in six out of the last 10 games played by the Clippers. The under is also 3-2 in their last five games played on the road. The LA Clippers have seen the total hit under in seven out of their last nine games against the Pacific Division. The total has gone under in six out of the last eight games played by the Lakers. Los Angeles has seen the total go under in four out of their last six home games. The under is also 6-1 in the last seven games played by the Purple and Gold. Head to head, the under is 3-0 in the last three meetings between these two L.A. teams.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/28/20
These teams have combined to score an average of 215.33 points per game in their three meetings this season. I know that the teams will be rusty on defense when the real action starts but remember that these are two of the top teams in the league. I expect them to be ready on both ends of the floor. With supremacy in West and bragging rights in Los Angeles on the line, I expect another hard-fought match between these two city rivals. The key here will be the Clippers missing the services of Lou Williams for two games. I think they are loaded but Williams’ absence will force the Clippers to put a premium on defense. I’ll pick under.
Prediction: Under 216