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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Clippers: 7 Things to Expect in First Epic LA Showdown

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Clippers: 7 Things to Expect in First Epic LA Showdown

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    Los Angeles basketball fans will get their first taste of Chris Paul tonight when the Clippers and Lakers square off in the first preseason game of the year for both franchises.

    For the Lakers, it's a glimpse of what could have been.

    For the new-look Clippers, it's a first glimpse of what is certain to be a promising future.

    Here is a look at a few things to expect from tonight's Lakers-Clippers showdown.

Chris Paul Will Get Booed

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    It's still a home game for the Lakers, and their fans aren't happy about how the offseason has played out for them.

    Paul won't get a friendly Staples Center reaction when introduced.

The Lakers Will Struggle in Their Half-Court Offense

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    Gone is Phil Jackson and the triangle offense.

    Also gone is Lamar Odom.

    In is new head coach Mike Brown and an offense that struggle at times in Cleveland.

    There are a lot of new parts here and not a lot of time to experiment. It would be natural for the Lakers to struggle at times at the offensive end.

The Clippers Will Struggle as Well

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    The Chris Paul-Chauncey Billups backcourt wasn't in Los Angeles a week ago.

    Caron Butler is new. DeAndre Jordan was just re-signed.

    Blake Griffin is the only starter that could have definitely been pencilled in after last season ended.

    It's going to take some time for the five on the floor to get used to playing with each other.

    The first time around, they could struggle in the half-court and at the defensive end of the floor.

The Clippers Will Be Explosive in Transition

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    The Clippers have a chance to be one of the best transition teams in the league.

    With Paul leading the break and Griffin and other filling the lanes, expect to see some high-flying spectacular stuff from the Clippers.

    Tonight may just be a glimpse of what we are in for all season.

There Will Be a Media Circus

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    Usually, preseason games go by with very little media coverage, but not this one.

    There are too many storylines to follow.

    How will Paul fit in with the Clippers? How angry is Kobe? I could go on all day.

    This will resemble a meaningful regular season game in terms of media coverage instead of a meaningless preseason game.

Kobe Will Take over

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    Naturally, Bryant won't see the minutes that he would in a regular season game and he might not even play at all in the fourth quarter, but when he's in the game, expect him to be on a mission.

    Los Angeles is still his town until someone else proves otherwise.

The Lakers Will Win

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    While the Clippers may be the next big thing in the NBA and the Lakers appear to be getting a little worse, it's going to take some time for that to happen.

    Until then, Los Angeles is still Lakerland.

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