In just a few hours, the LA Clippers will begin their 2020-21 preseason against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, this matchup won't look anything like the last.
For starters, this isn't regular season basketball. This meeting obviously doesn't carry the same weight as one during the regular season would, nor should it be taken as seriously. The intensity won't be as high, plays will take longer to develop, and the execution should be a little sloppier all-around.
On top of all that, according to The Athletic's Joe Vardon, the Lakers will be without both LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the opener, per Frank Vogel. It's expected that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will play for the Clippers, but that's yet to be confirmed.
That said, regardless of who is on the floor, tonight's game will hold some meaning for the Clippers. Not only is Tyronn Lue making his head coaching debut for the franchise, but several role players — including Luke Kennard, Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum — should make their first appearances as well.
Kennard, who came over via the Landry Shamet trade, is a noted sharpshooter and offensive talent. Ibaka is a versatile, two-way big who can stretch the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense. Batum is coming off a disappointing season with the Charlotte Hornets but figures to be one of LA's better passers and rebounders off the bench.
The LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game will be available on Fox Sports Prime Ticket and NBA League Pass.