A huge talking point of every season in the NBA is the heated rivalry between the Lakers and the Clippers. The pair met twice in preseason and shared the spoils with a win each. But with a month until the pair finally meet in the league, who will come out on top?
Lakers won their 7 game final against Miami last season 4-2, headed by Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Whereas the Clippers fell in the semifinals of the Western Conference to the Nuggets, in a tense 7 game series that went right to the wire.
Now, although their seasons finished in very different circumstances, both will feel confident ahead of the current season. The Clippers have strengthened in the off-season with Serge Ibaka from the Raptors. His first game saw him hit 15 points with 6 rebounds against the Lakers in preseason. The perfect way to announce yourself to your new fanbase.
The other players who arrived for the Clippers were Daniel Oturu (33rd overall), Jay Scrubb (55th overall), Luke Kennard (Toronto Raptors), Nicolas Batum (waivers), Reggie Jackson (Free Agency).
There major loss came in the shape of Montrezl Harrell, who made the jump across the city to the Lakers. Harrell’s move genuinely shocked his former Clipper teammates. The NBA’s 6TH Man of the Year, will have some big shoes to fill at the Staples Centre.
The current NBA champions also brought in the following; Wesley Matthews (Milwaukee Bucks), Marc Gasol (Toronto Raptors), Markieff Morris (re-signed), Jared Dudley (re-signed), Kostas Antetokounmpo (re-signed, two-way), Anthony Davis (re-signed), Dennis Schroder (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie (Cleveland Cavaliers).
They let Danny Green go, who might always be remembered for his miss against the Nuggets at the buzzer. But more importantly, in my opinion, Dwight Howard was let go to the 76s. Howard is towards the back end of his career but still is a huge impact player of the bench and can cause teams problems inside the key. Harrell, although a great player, will have a task living up to Howard’s legacy.
They also lost JaVale McGee (Cleveland Cavaliers), Rajon Rondo (Atlanta Hawks), Avery Bradley (Miami Heat), JR Smith, Dion Waiters and Quinn Cook.
You would think, off the starting 5, that the sides are rather even and they are on paper. With the sides being 2 of the 3 that have actually played all of their scheduled games, they sit 2nd and 3rd in their respective conferences with the same wins with 24, as of writing this article.
Their meeting on the 4th April, could be a good indication of which side will finish above the other. If both stay injury free, I would tip the Clippers on paper to take the crown in LA this season however, we all know to never count out Lebron and the Lakers.
What’s your opinion, who will be the ‘Kings’ of LA this season?