Lakers and Clippers meet with vastly different storylines, but same agenda

first_img How social media reacted after Lakers rout Blazers on Kobe night, 135-115 Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters VIDEO: Watch Kyle Kuzma’s game winner and what he said about it Video highlights, social media reaction after Blazers shock Lakers, 100-93 Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory “I have to see the banners,” said Rivers, who, remember, coached the Boston Celtics team that lost the 2010 NBA Finals to the Lakers in seven games (during which, current Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists for the Celtics).Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Two years before that, Rivers and Rondo – who also will miss Friday’s game, sidelined with a grade 3 sprain to his right ring finger – did their part to delay the Lakers’ 16th championship banner, beating them in six games for the title.But even though the Clippers have won 21 of their past 24 games against the Lakers, theirs is no Lakers-Celtics rivalry.The Clippers have no championship banners, nor do they have any All-Stars as of yet on their roster; the Lakers have three All-Stars, including James, a perennial pick.The Lakers are, according to Forbes, valued at $3.3 billion, second-most in the NBA. At $2.15 billion, the Clippers rank eighth on that list. The Lakers are averaging 18,997 fans per home game, according to ESPN, which has the Clippers bringing in 17,063. Jubilation, anguish as race for NBA’s Western 8th seed gets as close as ever There also are some commonalities – they share a hallway, and before the Lakers tipped off against Sacramento on Thursday night, identical 20-14 records, which puts them both in playoff contention for now. They’re also both top-10 in the NBA in pace and scoring.And both teams have players who produce “M-V-P!” chants when they’re at the free-throw line.For the Lakers, that’s James, who Thursday was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the third time – and who is, arguably, the greatest basketball player of all time.For the Clippers, it’s Boban Marjanovic, the 7-foot-3 Serbian center who – fun fact – actually, statistically, is in that greatest-ever conversation too.At least according to the Player Efficiency Rating, a system developed by John Hollinger to sum up all of a player’s positive accomplishments, to subtract the negatives, and return a per-minute rating of that individual’s overall performance.By that metric, Marjanovic’s career PER of 27.8 is right there with Michael Jordan’s (27.9) and James’ (27.7). Fans might get to see Marjanovic – who is averaging 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in sporadic action this season – on Friday. Rivers said he likes how he matches up against centers who don’t often shoot 3-pointers, a description that fits the Lakers’ Ivica Zubac, Tyson Chandler (and, if he’s available following a bout of pneumonia, JaVale McGee).Related Articles Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates In his first three starts this season in place of McGee, Zubac has proved a difficult cover around the rim, averaging 17.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots.“He’s definitely done a great job for us and I think he’s earned the trust of his teammates and coaching staff,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said recently of the 7-foot-1 Croatian center. “So it’s nice to have that going for us right now with all the injuries and illnesses.”Count also on the heavily hyped Lakers and upstart Clippers sharing the same agenda when they finally meet, about 40 percent of the way into the season: They’ll both be fighting for an important Western Conference ‘W.’“Everybody’s gonna hype it up as Lakers vs. that other team, but we don’t really care about that,” the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell said after the Clippers hung on to defeat the Kings on Wednesday. “They gotta come in and lace their shoes up just like we gotta do, you know?“We’ll come in with an offensive and defensive game plan, we’re gonna look to execute on both ends of the floor and we’re looking to come out with the win. That’s all it’s about, man.”The Lakers’ Brandon Ingram drives to the basket as Clippers rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander defends during a preseason game at Honda Center. The teams have their first regular-season meeting on Friday night. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Related Articles On Mamba’s day, councilmen aim to create Kobe Bryant Boulevard PLAYA VISTA — If you’re a friend of Clippers coach Doc Rivers and you were hoping he could hook you up with tickets to see LeBron James live this holiday season, you’re out of luck.For one thing, James is recovering from a strained groin and is expected to miss the game between L.A.’s NBA teams on Friday night at Staples Center. For another: This will be the Lakers’ home game, and so the Clippers will be guests in their own building – thus, the reduced allotment of tickets.“Where it gets different is people call you for tickets and you have to explain to them, ‘It’s the Lakers’ game guys, it’s not our home game so I don’t have as many tickets,’ ” Rivers said at his team’s practice Thursday. “No matter how many times you say that, they look at you dumbfounded like, ‘Don’t you get the same seats?’ ‘Well, no, we don’t.’ ”That’s not the only difference, of course. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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