Lakers at Clippers preview

Lakers at Clippers preview
Clippers guard Chris Paul, left, covers Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the Clippers' win on Oct. 31, 2014. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers (11-24) will travel all the way to the visitor's bench at Staples Center, as the guest of the Clippers (23-12) on Wednesday night.

The Clippers are coming off a home loss to the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks (26-8).


For the Lakers, Ronnie Price, who broke his nose on Monday in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (27-8), is also suffering with the flu, making him questionable for Wednesday's contest.

The Lakers will also play without Wesley Johnson (hip), Steve Nash (back), and Julius Randle (leg). Ryan Kelly previously started in Johnson's place.

Key matchup

Jeremy Lin may move back into the starting lineup if Price can't go. Lin has started 20 games for the team, but Coach Byron Scott has recently been weighting his second unit with offensive punch with Nick Young, Carlos Boozer and Lin.

If Lin does start, he's got one of the most difficult covers in the NBA in Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

Paul is averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 assists a game, while shooting 47.7% from the field and 39.9% from three-point range.

Lin is at 10.7 points with 4.6 assists, shooting 43.6% and 35.1%, respectively.


The Lakers need to deal with the front court of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, which is no easy task. Jamal Crawford's scoring punch off the bench can be just as potent as Young's.

If Price doesn't play, Kobe Bryant may need to step in as the team's backup point guard. Scott hasn't looked to use rookie Jordan Clarkson often at the one, preferring to play the combination guard at the two.

Whatever the Lakers have to work with on the floor, they'll need to find a way to defend the Clippers, which is no easy task.


The Clippers have shown they're vulnerable this season, but the Lakers have had a significantly greater struggle.

Put the home team down for the win.


Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus