The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the most anticipated NBA games of the year.
With the Los Angels of Anaheim playing the New Jersey Devils in the opening game on Friday night, it’s time to start picking our brain over the rest of the series.
Here are five things we’re expecting to see.
LeBron James vs. the Knicks LeBron James is a superstar in the making, and we expect him to dominate in this game.
The Lakers will need to make sure their star is on his game to take the series away from the Knicks.
James has been one of his league’s most effective point guards this season and is one of just two players to average at least 18.5 points, 6.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game in each of his last five starts.
He is averaging more than 20 points, 7.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game over the past five games.
Kristaps Porzingis vs. Kyrie Irving This is a matchup that could turn into a must-win for the Knicks if they can’t pull out a win.
Porzingas is averaging 17.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 steals per contest this season.
He’s been dominant in the paint, making more than 70 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, and has made his way into the hearts of many Knicks fans.
This is an opportunity for Porzinges to shine, as the Knicks have lost five of their past six meetings with the Cavs.
DeAndre Jordan vs. Brook Lopez This is another matchup that will be tough for the New Yorkers to win, and Jordan will be expected to step up defensively in a key moment.
The Clippers are shooting 52.7 percent from the field in their last three games and have allowed a total of 111 points to the Knicks in those games.
This will be an important matchup for both teams as the Lakers have only allowed a combined 11.3 points per game to opponents who are averaging at least 20.0 points.
Kawhi Leonard vs. DeMarcus Cousins Kawhi is expected to come off the bench for the Losers, but he’s a huge part of this game as the team has been inching closer to the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
Leonard is averaging 16.0 rebounds and 5,7 rebounds per contest and has led the Lakers in scoring in each game.
Cousins has been dominant at home this season, averaging 17 points and 9.7 rebounds over his last three contests.
Russell Westbrook vs. Damian Lillard Westbrook and Lillard have combined for 30.7 points, 3.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds per night over the last five games, and this is a game that should be decided on the offensive boards.
Westbrook has averaged 17.3 and 6.7 boards per contest over the two games, while Lillard has averaged 11.2 and 6,9 boards per game.
This matchup should be a high-scoring affair with both teams using their offensive prowess to try to get their team into the playoffs.
Kevin Durant vs. Isaiah Thomas Durant and Thomas are the two most popular names in the NBA, and it’s going to be a battle to see who is the most popular guy on the floor.
The Cavs are scoring 104.2 points per 100 possessions when Durant is on the court, which is more than five points more than their opponents.
Durant is averaging 25.8 points per contest on 61.5 percent shooting from the floor and is averaging 10.4 rebounds per 100 attempts while playing with James.
This series should be exciting and will likely be the most important one of this year’s NBA playoffs.