NBA looking ahead: Lakers at Clippers

Power forward Blake Griffin (32) of the Clippers and Pau Gaol of the Lakers are the two healthy stars who will lead their teams into battle against each other on Friday night.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)


When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

TV: ESPN, Time Warner Cable, Prime Ticket.

The Lakers’ championship banners will be covered and so will much of the intrigue when the Chris Paul-deprived Clippers take on a MASH unit of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all dressed in swanky suits. At least the Clippers retain some tangible upside with a playoff berth to come this spring; the Lakers are faced with that old Shakespearean dilemma: to tank or not to tank? Beating the Clippers for a second time this season could be the closest the Lakers get to seeing a title, at least until they play their next home game and take down the banners of Blake Griffin & Co. shrouding the reminders of happier days that hang from the rafters.