LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers Game Preview

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Brandon Ingram
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Brandon Ingram /

The LA Clippers tip off the 2017-2018 against their crosstown rival Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at Staples Center.

 Projected starting lineups

LAC: Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

LAL: Lonzo Ball, yet to be determined, Brandon Ingram, yet to be determined, Brook Lopez

Injury Report

LAC: The Clippers have no injuries to report

LAL: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (serving two-game suspension), Josh Hart (probable with left Achilles bursitis), and Julius Randle (probable with right intercostal strain).

 Keys to the Game

Blake Griffin needs to feast

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton still hasn’t chosen who is going to start at power forward for the Lakers on opening night, clarifying that he is between Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr., with Kyle Kuzma having a minuscule chance of receiving the starting nod.

No matter who starts at power forward for the Lakers, Blake Griffin should be able to have his way against them. None of the Lakers’ power forwards are outstanding defensive players and the fact that the team lacks any real rim protection (Brook Lopez isn’t exactly a notorious rim protector) should allow Griffin to control the pace and flow of the game on offense, scoring at will. Griffin looked fantastic during the preseason but didn’t play in the game against the Lakers in which the Clippers’ B-team gave the Lakers a run for their money.

Patrick Beverley vs Lonzo Ball

After missing the majority of the preseason with a sprained ankle, hyped up Lakers draft pick Lonzo Ball will be playing and starting again the Clippers in the season opener.

Ball will be tested immediately in his NBA debut, lining up against one of the best defensive point guards in the league in Patrick Beverley. Beverley has been salivating at the chance to guard the rookie in his debut and has made it clear that he plans on giving the UCLA product a warm welcome to the NBA.

Beverley is coming off of an NBA First Team All-Defensive selection with the Houston Rockets and will once again be looking to solidify his standing as one of the best defenders in the league in his first season with the Clippers.

Make sure to follow along with us on Twitter as we live tweet the season opener!