Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview and Prediction

By Kade Kimble   January 24, 2023 

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview and Prediction

Can the Clippers Slow LeBron James Down?

The battle of Los Angeles could be spiced up with this matchup, as the Los Angeles Clippers have defeated the Los Angeles Lakers twice this season. If the Clippers win this matchup, where they are 4.5-point favorites, they will earn the season series win over the Lakers. 

Both teams could desperately use this win, as both teams have won their last two games and the Western Conference remains congested in the middle-of-the-pack. 

Clippers at Lakers

The Clippers have an obvious mold to their roster, as they are very wing heavy. Their two stars are Kawhi Leonard and Paul George who – when healthy – are two of the premier wings in the league. With that comes no elite point guard play, and Ivica Zubac at center, who is played off the court at times.

Though wing heavy, the Clippers are built much better than the Lakers, who are still tooling their roster for contention, as they appear far from it. However, they have LeBron James, who’s dominated in his 20 years in the NBA. That alone gives them a chance to be in this game. 

One can expect LeBron to play around 40 minutes and shoot with plenty of volume to ensure his team stays in this game. He’s without his counterpart in Anthony Davis, unfortunately, and that’s forcing him to do much more on the court. 

Both teams are 3-2 in their last five games, but the Lakers have played each game close, whereas the Clippers losses were not as close. 

LeBron has turned back the clock at the age of 38

With their injuries and lack of games played this season, it’s hard to predict what to expect of Leonard and George. If they’re playing to their capabilities, they’re clear favorites and likely win this game, but that’s not always the case, and especially more so this season. 

Looking down the line at role players, the Lakers, whose futures odds stand at +6000, have gotten solid production from their squad as of lately. They just added Rui Hachimura to their squad through a trade, and they’re actively tooling their roster as they’re finding out what works and what doesn’t. 

Their last meetings came over two months ago, and both teams’ seasons have changed since their last matchup. The Lakers were 2-9 after the last matchup, whereas the Clippers were 7-5 and trending in the right direction. Now, the Lakers have spent a majority of the season chasing their way back into the Play-In conversation.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see the Lakers come into this matchup with more urgency and energy than the Clippers, allowing them to jump on the Clippers early. Either way, this game will find its way to being close come clutch time.

The Pick

Because of the Lakers’ ability to find their way into each of the games they’ve been playing, and winning recently, they should be able to keep this one close if they don’t win. So, even in a loss, the Lakers should be able to cover at +4.5. 

Share this story

Read more