SPORTS DIGEST: Lakers, Clippers have unfinished business at hand

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By Don Wanlass, Contributing Writer

The Lakers and Clippers resume the 2019-20 NBA season July 30 with a game 2,500 miles away in the Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla.

No one knows how this attempt to finish the season with eight games before the playoffs is going to go.

Baseball is off to a rocky start with the Miami Marlins already decimated by a coronavirus outbreak that has 11 players and several other members of the team’s traveling party testing positive.

Baseball isn’t being played in a bubble like basketball will be so maybe the NBA will get away with this. Than again, maybe not.

Clippers sixth man Lou Williams, the third or fourth most valuable member of the team, will miss the first two games because he left the bubble to attend the funeral of a family member in Atlanta last week and was later seen at a gentleman’s club.

That meant Williams had to return to quarantine for 10 days before he will be allowed to play again.

It has been 141 days since the NBA last played a game. When play was canceled, the Lakers were in first place in the NBA Western Conference with the second best overall record in the league, behind the Milwaukee Bucks.

No one expects that to change between now and Aug. 17, when the playoffs begin.

The Lakers are expected to meet the Clippers in the Western Conference finals, with the winner playing the Bucks for the championship. The NBA Finals aren’t slated to begin until Sept. 30, the time that training camps are starting up normally.

Yes, the season consumed be the coronavirus is strange for all sports.

Since no season has ever been interrupted for more than four months by a pandemic, no one knows what to expect. Will the Lakers, who were clicking on all cylinders when the season was halted, pick up where they left off? If so, they have enough talent, led by LeBron James to add another championship banner at Staples Center.

The Clippers, who were just starting to jell with newcomer superstars Kawai Leonard and Paul George, are hoping the two will pick up where they left on and lead the Clippers to their first conference finals ever.

Game time is at 6 p.m. with TNT carrying the action.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Dodgers depth in the starting rotation lasted until the afternoon of their season opener July 23 when Clayton Kershaw was placed in the injured list with a back problem. A few days later, Alex Wood, who started game three of the opening series against the San Francisco Giants, was placed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. Kershaw should be back next week. Wood. Who knows?

The Dodgers split their four-game series with the Giants, who looked more like their triple A Sacramento team than the Giants. Only one person in the Giants starting lineup on opening day in 2019, shortstop Brandon Crawford, was in the lineup against the Dodgers on opening day this year.

The Dodgers pummeled the Giants 8-1 and 9-1 in the first two games, then seemed to lose interest for the next two.

They regained their interest July 28 against the Houston Astros, winning 5-2 in the first meeting between the two teams since news broke about the Astros’ stealing signs in the 2017 World Series. …

The Los Angeles Football Club advanced to the quarterfinals of the Major League Soccer Is Back tournament in Orlando by defeating the Seattle Sounders, 4-1 July 27. LAFC faces Orlando July 31 at 4:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

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