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Clippers vs. Lakers - Game Preview and Open Thread

LA Clippers logo
Lakers logo
23-55 53-25
Staples Center
April 10, 2008 - 7:30 PM
Probable starters:
Brevin Knight PG Derek Fisher
Quinton Ross SG Kobe Bryant
Al Thornton SF Vladimir Radmanovic
Elton Brand PF Lamar Odom
Josh Powell C Pau Gasol
The Big Picture:

Last home game of the season.  And the road team will have more fans.  Did anyone wonder why Fan Appreciation Night was Tuesday, when it's usually held during the final home game?  Well, it was because a Clippers home game against the Lakers is hardly a home game at all.  They didn't want the Spirit throwing T-Shirts into the crowd and having them thrown back.  

The Antagonist:

After looking almost unbeatable in their first 18 games with Pau Gasol (15-3), the Lakers are now 3-1 since his return from a sprained ankle.  So that makes them 18-4 playing with Gasol.  That's pretty good.  This could get ugly.  Well, at least it's not on National TV, so our shame will be local.  What's that?  It is on National TV?  Oh.

The Subplots

  • Get out the Brooms.  After splitting the season series for each of the last three years, the Clippers are about to be swept by their roommates, which of course was pretty much the standard in the Shaq years and before.
  • Sports Illustrated NBA Preview.  In the jury deliberation room today, they had SI's NBA Preview issue - that's some timely reading material.  It's probably worth a post all it's own (Chicago and Miami picked third and fourth in the East!), but the Lakers write up was fascinating.  Picked ninth in the West, it was all doom and gloom about how they just didn't have enough talent, how the point guard position was a mess, how Kobe was a short-timer, how they didn't have any trade pieces that would allow them to improve.  Good times.
  • Can Anyone Score?  For consecutive games, the Clippers have had exactly two guys even marginally capable of scoring in an NBA game.  With Al Thornton in a shooting slump, it's been pretty brutal just trying to watch the games.
  • The Tearful Reunion.  Smush Parker gets to play against the team where he was the starter for two seasons.  Maybe Phil Jackson can give MDsr some pointers on how to get rid of the guy.
  • Fazekas and Williams.  I'll just keep writing it until it happens.  This game means nothing.  Hey, I got an idea!  Let's see what these rookies that have been with the team for a very short time can do!  FWIW, Ze Freak's PER is now the highest on the team - better than Brand's.  But why would you want to play him?  That would be silly.