Battle of LA: Lakers to open vs. Clippers

The Clippers hope to have injured forward Blake Griffin back in the lineup before the end of December.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will open the 2017-18 season against each other on Oct. 19, according to a report from the LA Times.

Per the report, the Lakers will be the home team.

Both squads will have considerably different looks from last season — with high-profile rookie Lonzo Ball among the new faces for the Lakers, and former Clippers star Chris Paul having been traded to the Houston Rockets.

In fact, power forward Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are likely to be the Clippers’ lone returning starters from last year, with the likes of guards Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly, and forward Danilo Gallinari all arriving this summer.

Along with Paul, Clippers backcourt mainstays J.J. Redick (Philadelphia) and Jamal Crawford (Minnesota) have moved on, as has small forward Luc Mbah a Moute (Houston).

Former Cleveland Cavaliers swingman DeAndre Liggins is also headed to camp with the Clippers.

Meanwhile, the Lakers traded guard D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, landing center Brook Lopez in return. Free-agent signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit) will also join the Lakers, though he has been suspended for the first two games.

“The date of this opener is also worth noting as the NBA has decided to start the season a week earlier in an attempt to prevent player fatigue and injury as well as stop teams from resting players for the league’s marquee games,” wrote Lakers Nation. “Among other steps the NBA has taken are reducing the number of back-to-backs and single-game road trips, as well as increasing the number of weekend games.”