The big battle of Los Angeles is today as the Lakers go up against the Clippers at 5 p.m. PST. The marquee matchup will be a special treat this Christmas as both Los Angeles teams have four of the top ten best players in the league. The Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis while the Clippers have both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
James is a four-time NBA MVP and a three-time Finals MVP while Davis is a six-time NBA All Star and an Olympic Gold Medalist. On the Clippers end, Leonard is the reigning Finals MVP and a three-time All Star while George is a six-time NBA All Star.
Ahead of tonight’s big matchup, PG commented on the game in an exclusive interview with Rachel Nichols from The Jump.
“It’s going to be crazy. Playing on Christmas is one of the biggest things. Then, the matchup that is going to be on that floor, two top-10 players on each side, both teams with loaded benches, it’s going to be a fun one and I am looking forward to it,” George said.
PG’s Exclusive Interview
PG is a California native and grew up in Palmdale, so playing at the Staples Center on Christmas is special to the six-time All-Star. During the interview George elaborated on what today’s game meant to him.
“That means everything to me [playing in the Staples Center at home], because just my journey, my path, where I started from and where I am at now, it’s surreal. For us growing up, Staples Center was iconic. My parents get to be there, they have a seat every night. It’s bigger than I could ever imagine,” George said.
PG previously played for the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the Clippers this past summer. Once the Clips acquired PG via trade they were able to pull off signing Leonard as he was in free agency.
During the interview, PG also touched on his mom’s stroke that she suffered when he was only six-years-old. His mom’s stroke made it hard for her to travel to PG’s games, which adds more reasons as to why he likes playing for a team back at home.
“It was tough on her [PG’s mother}. My mom’s a trooper though. She did it, she never complained, but looking at it and watching her go through it, I saw the struggle,” PG said.
Available Players for Tonight’s Game
So far, the odds are looking good as to which players will be playing in tonight’s game. The Lakers listed both The King and AD as questionable, but according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin a source close to James said that “he expects LeBron to suit up against the Clippers.”
For the first time this season, the Clippers will most likely have a full healthy roster ready to suit up in tonight’s game. Yesterday, the Clippers released their injury report which did not list any player, according to Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes.
If all players lace up tonight and take the court, which seems very likely as of now, fans watching will be able to see four top-10 NBA players participate in the same game.
Let the battle of L.A. begin.