The Lakers are set to take on the Clippers tonight in another LA showdown. The Lakers haven’t beaten the Clippers in their last 12 meetings dating back to 2020, when they won to open up the bubble campaign.
Rui Hachimura remains out for the Lakers with an eye contusion, and has been placed in the concussion protocol. Gabe Vincent is also out tonight with knee soreness and is still being evaluated. Jarred Vanderbilt and Jalen Hood-Schifino won’t play either. For the Clippers, newly acquired James Harden will not play tonight. P.J. Tucker, who was involved in the Harden trade, will make his Clippers debut.
Former Laker Russell Westbrook returns to face the Lakers for the first time this season (and the second time since he was traded back in February). Westbrook had a roller-coaster experience with the Lakers, but has seemed to settle in much more seamlessly with his Clippers teammates.
A detail to keep an eye on tonight is how the Lakers guard Westbrook. Will they employ the same strategy which was once used against them, with the Center as Westbrook’s primary defender? Whether that approach is successful will be a key indicator for the Lakers’ defense tonight.
Quite shockingly to most Laker fans, we haven’t seen any Max Christie minutes this regular season. With the second year guard showing very promising signs in Summer League and pre-season. Instead, Head Coach Darvin Ham has opted to use Cam Reddish. Now, as the Lakers injury list piles up in the guard and wing positions, will Christie finally get his opportunity?
He showed in his rookie campaign that he plays tenacious on-ball defense and can stretch the floor, an ideal role player in a LeBron James team and the NBA as a whole. Many Laker fans were excited to see Christie’s development coming into the season and tonight we could possibly get out first real look at him this season. Tip off is at 10 pm Eastern on ESPN, as the Lakers look to move above .500 for the first time this season and best their Clippers regular season curse.
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