The Lakers will meet the Clippers on Christmas Day, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The two Los Angeles teams are both projected contenders for the Western Conference title.
The Clippers rounded out a young, playoff roster with superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, while LeBron James will team up with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins next season. All of those factors make this one of the hottest early tickets in the 2019-20 NBA season.
There are two sites currently posting tickets. StubHub’s cheapest seats are valued at $360 in the upper corner of Staples Center. Meanwhile, Barry’s Tickets has some box seats that cost upwards of $854.
Courtside seats are in the five-figure range, with StubHub’s costing over $18,000. Barry’s has one that eclipses $20,000. At this early stage, many of these prices are speculative. With that said, it’s doubtful that any will dip under $300, even in the nosebleeds.
If these teams match their offseason buzz, the hefty price may be well worth it.
Lakers Own Best Odds to Win Western Conference in 2019-20
Sitting at +180, the Lakers narrowly edge out the Clippers (+220) for the best overall odds to win the West.
According to ESPN, Caesars calls for the Clippers to earn home-court advantage in the regular season, while bets are rolling in for the Lakers to win it all.
At Caesars Sportsbook, nearly six times as much money has been bet on the Lakers to win the 2019-20 NBA title than has been wagered on any other team. The Lakers, at +300, are the championship favorites at Caesars, yet six teams opened with higher season-win totals, including the Clippers, who are the favorites at multiple other sportsbooks.
The Lakers are projected to finish fifth in the West behind the Clippers, Nuggets, Rockets and Jazz. Last year’s conference champs, the Golden State Warriors, are pegged at just 47 victories.
“I think the Clippers should be the favorite,” Caesars’ oddsmaker Alan Berg told ESPN, “but sometimes you have a better number on teams on the basis of liability, which is the case with the Lakers.
“Two of the tougher numbers to make were the Clippers and Lakers,” Berg added. “How are they going to attack the regular season? Will Kawhi play anywhere near 82 games? Will LeBron or [Anthony] Davis? Load management is likely to play into the regular season for these two squads.”
Lakers & Clippers Title Odds Boosted by Offseason Additions
With the infusion of superstar talent for both L.A. teams, OddsShark points to both battling for the Finals.
No question that the Lakers and Clippers have been two of the biggest winners of a completely wild NBA offseason and they are the two title favorites on the updated NBA championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with the Clippers at +300 and the Lakers at +400. With the breakup/injury issues of the Golden State Warriors, the road to the Western Conference title clearly goes through the Staples Center.
The Clippers look to be well-balanced, as George, Leonard and point guard Patrick Beverley will lead one of the best defensive backcourts in the league. Meanwhile, the Lakers will try to throw their size around, as James, Kyle Kuzma, Davis and Cousins are all likely starters that stand over 6-foot-8.
One dissenting voice among analysts is Zach Cram of The Ringer. He mostly points to the Lakers bench not being up to snuff, using analytics to show its shortcomings.
Cram sees little on the bench outside of Kyle Kuzma, with the team producing a a Wins Above Replacement of just six.
The (analytical) system doesn’t love Kuzma, the only young Laker of note after L.A.’s trade for Anthony Davis and subsequent trade to clear cap space. The Lakers do love Kuzma—they refused to include him in the Davis deal—but in two seasons thus far, he’s profiled as an inefficient scorer and poor defender. At least for now, that combination pushes him closer to a back-end rotation player than future core contributor.
The Clippers bench is not a problem, as it consists of many of the faces that led them to the playoffs last season.