Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers and DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers promises to be an important match up for Friday's game at Staples Center
The Los Angeles Lakers met for morning shootaround on Friday.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed that the same starting five of Pau Gasol, Robert Sacre, Wesley Johnson, Jodie Meeks and Kendall Marshall will stay in place for the third game in a row.
Other than that, the Lakers got hung up on injury talk. According to the coach, Xavier Henry was next in line to make a possible comeback, but he would not be re-evaluated until Monday, Jan. 13. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash were scheduled to be reevaluated on the same day, and Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar were also in the mix about 10 games down the line.
Other than the injuries, D’Antoni talked about the third quarter struggles, but he said nothing would change in terms of routine.
“I don’t know what to change up,” D’Antoni said. “They should know--they’re professionals—what gets them ready to start the third quarter.”
“We definitely underline it at half time,” the coach continued. “It’s just a mindset.”
On Friday evening, the Lakers will drive to Staples Center, go to their home locker room, and follow their regular home game routine. However, they are the visitors, the lights will be on, and the floor will feature the Clippers’ logo.
The faces sitting courtside will be different, and the crowd will not be as partial as a Lakers home game. However, Friday night does not entirely feel like an away game. There were times last season when the Clippers’ crowd was cheering loud for the Lakers down the stretch. If the Lakers are in the game late, the Clippers’ home court advantage may disappear altogether.
After all, Friday night is the battle for Los Angeles.
This season, the only time the Lakers and Clippers have faced off, the Lakers walked away with an unlikely win. For the Lakers, it was a wonderful way to start the season, and D’Antoni was asked if that opening night win was the Lakers’ highlight of the season.
“I think it’s been downhill since then,” Mike D’Antoni said half-joking.