Los Angeles Lakers: 3 must-win games for the rest of the regular season

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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2. Mar. 8 vs the LA Clippers

Everyone knows that the Clippers are the Lakers’ biggest threat to reaching the NBA Finals. L.A.’s other team has its issues, but when they’re right, they can give the Lakers a challenge that perhaps no other team can.

Not only do the Clippers have top-shelf talent in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but they possess maybe the NBA’s best bench. They also have that “dog” in them and a gritty, street-tough mentality.

Judging from the Clippers’ branding and promoting efforts, it seems like they think of themselves as the tough, hardened guys from the inner city, while they see the Lakers as a finesse, “showtime” group from the suburbs that’s soft.

We can’t take too much from the opening night matchup between these two squads, as neither was at full strength. But although the Lakers dropped their Christmas Day game to the Clippers, it provided reasons to be encouraged, as the Purple and Gold opened up a sizeable lead that day, thanks in part to their bench.

The Lakers really need this game so that they can prove they can beat the Clippers. A win would also come in handy come playoff time should these two teams matchup, as the Lakers would be able to draw upon a regular-season win over the Clippers and how they got it done.