The LA Clippers will be shorthanded against Lakers on Opening Night
The highly anticipated Clippers vs Lakers match is tomorrow, but it'll be missing some important players.
According to the current injury report, the Clippers will be without the services of both Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Patrick Beverley is also listed as questionable. All three of these players are highly impactful for the Clippers, and are always a part of closing lineups.
Harrell and Williams specifically, are two of the best bench players in the NBA. The two of them combine for 37.3 points a game and are the reason why the Clippers have the best bench in the NBA. Prior to the NBA hiatus, the LA Clippers had the highest scoring bench in the NBA, averaging 51.5 points a game. Here's a look at what the two potential sixth men of the year were putting up before the hiatus:
Montrezl Harrell: 18.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 BPG, 58 FG%, 27.8 MPG
Lou Williams: 18.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 5.7 APG, 41 FG%, 29.3 MPG
On paper, the Clippers are going to have a very uphill battle against the Lakers. Every contest was already tightly contested when both teams were relatively healthy. The best shot the Clippers have at defeating the Lakers is if players like Reggie Jackson, Landry Shamet, and JaMychal Green all step up.
Conversely, on the Lakers side, there's also a couple of missing players - Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo will be out for the team. Both are solid players, but neither has the impact of Harrell or Williams. LeBron James is listed as probable, Kyle Kuzma is listed as probable, and Anthony Davis is listed as questionable.
If Anthony Davis misses the game, then this marquee matchup would be truly hard to call. However, as it stands, the Lakers are clearly going to be the favorites heading into opening night.