Clippers vs Lakers Rivalry

The most recent rivalry between NBA teams

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As the new rivalry starts between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the Clippers will be playing against the Lakers on opening night at the Staples Center on October 22, 2019. 

There will be lots of pressure on the Lakers because they are looking to get their first ring since 2010 with Kobe. This game is a very big deal because if LeBron does not bring the Lakers a ring, people will say he is not a true legend and will not rank him next to legends such as Michael Jordan and others. 

And what puts so much pressure on the Lakers is that every legend has brought the Lakers a championship, expect Elgin Baylor he had retired the year the Lakers won with Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain. 

The Lakers and Clippers are the two teams that have the best chance of winning the NBA finals. The Lakers have veteran leaders and out of all the players on the Lakers, they have a total of 8 rings. The Clippers having lots of depth too but, Kawhi is the only one with any rings (besides their head coach Doc River winning in 2008 with the Celtics as a coach). Other teams have great players yet they do not match anywhere near the Lakers and Clippers at this point in their careers, especially since Anthony Davis is now entering his prime and he is only 26, Paul George is still playing at his best and Kawhi is coming off of a finals win, and finally LeBron he may be in his 17th season now but he still plays like he is only 28.

The Lakers had traded Anthony Davis a power forward (PF) from the New Orleans Pelicans. This new rivalry has started because when the two teams come down to winning they do not like each other. It is like the NBA finals your team only has one goal and that is to be the best in the league and win the championship. One of the biggest rivalries of all time is the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics in the 80’s when the Celtics had Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. 

But what made this trade so good is that Anthony Davis is a team changer. According to ESPN.com, Kirk Goldsberry explains Davis is the 5th best player in the league,” Is he built for May and June basketball? We don’t know because we’ve never seen it. There’s no question that Davis is one of the best big men in the game, but it’s fair to ask if he’s ready to help LeBron James get back to the NBA Finals. Think about it this way: Since Davis entered the league in 2012-13, he’s made it to the playoffs only twice — and past the first round of the playoffs once. In that same time frame, James has missed the Finals only once”. 

Kawhi Leonard, a small forward (SF) 2x NBA champion 2-time finals MVP and a 2015 and 2016 defensive player of the year for the Toronto Raptors, had beat the raining back to back NBA champion the Golden State Warriors. In free agency Kawhi was a free agent and had the choice of staying with the raptors, or signing  with the Lakers or Clippers, if you know anything about Kawhi he is very quiet, he does not have any social media so from the time that free agency had started (July 1st) to the day he had signed, nobody knew whether he would stay or leave to one of the Los Angeles teams but, on July 9th he had chosen the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kevin Pelton says No player presents a greater definitional challenge for NBA rank than Leonard, whose quality and particularly quantity of contributions were far greater in the 2019 playoffs than the 2018-19 regular season. After finishing ninth in MVP voting, Leonard was better than anyone else in the postseason, winning Finals MVP after he led the Raptors to the championship. Leonard wouldn’t be in my top three for regular-season value, but come postseason he’s my No. 1 choice”. 

Paul George is a small forward that was requesting a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers. Paul is a 6-time all-star, 5 time all NBA player, 4 times all defensive and a 2012- 2013 most improved player.

According to ESPN.com Paul George is the 10th best player, How healthy is he? After George required surgeries to repair both shoulders, the Clippers will surely take things slow with him, which could delay how quickly he and Kawhi Leonard become comfortable and adjust to playing with one another. After averaging career-highs of 28 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in 2018-19, George will have to get healthy again while learning what his role will be like with Leonard”. 

 In my opinion on opening night for the NBA season, I believe that the Lakers will win 107 to 118. The reason I have the Lakers winning is on Saturday, October, 5 the Lakers played their first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors and it may have only been a preseason game the Lakers looked like if this was a regular-season game. There was no one to stop Anthony Davis for his first-ever game as a Lakers player. In 18 minutes he had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists. While LeBron had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, I know we shouldn’t be looking at the numbers it’s only preseason but the way they played was as if they had been playing for months together. Although the Clippers all-star, Paul George, will be out until sometime in November.

As good as Kawhi and the Clippers are they just don’t have enough to beat the Lakers on opening night but when Christmas time comes around I think that’s when we will finally see how good these teams will be battling it out, as long as there are no major injuries until then we will have to wait and find out how the season will go.

Skip from 1:11 to 1: 44 to hear George talk about his rehab. As good as Kawhi and the Clippers are they just don’t have enough to beat the Lakers.

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This will be by far one of the most interesting seasons to watch finally not knowing who will win the championship. Because the league is now in an era of duos because when Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 and joined the warriors it was a new era of a super team when they went to three straight NBA finals and winning two but, Kevin left after losing in the final year of his contract and players started to join each others with either superstars or all-stars on their team which made it an era of duos but none the less as long as there is no injures on opening night or any major injuries there will be no stopping the Lakers from being title contenders.

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