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DeAndre Jordan finishing off one of his dunks during the Clippers’ 113-97 win over the Lakers on January 14th. Photo courtesy of nba.com
THE STATE OF L.A.’S TWO NBA TEAMS AT THE SEASON’S HALFWAY POINT
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Record: 28-14, second place in the Pacific Division
- Fourth place in the Western Conference
- Seven and a half games behind the Golden State Warriors
Blake Griffin, PF – 21.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg
Chris Paul, PG – 17.7 ppg, 9.8 apg, 1st in the NBA in steals at 2.29 per game
DeAndre Jordan, C – 12.1 ppg, 13.9 rpg (2nd in the NBA), 1st in the NBA in field goal percentage at 68%
Laker rookie Ivica Zubac, who on Saturday became only the third person to play for the Lakers and their D-League team, the D-Fenders, on the same day. Photo courtesy of nba.com
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Record: 15-30, fourth place in the Pacific Division
- 13th place in the Western Conference
- Four and a half games behind the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets for 8th place and the last playoff spot
Won-Loss Record After 45 Games Last Season: 9-36
Lou Williams, SG – 17.6 ppg, 3.0 apg
D’Angelo Russell, PG – 15.1 ppg, 4.6 apg
Julius Randle, PF – 13.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg
NOTE: ppg = points per game, apg = assists per game, rpg = rebounds per game
JJ Redick taking the ball to the hole against the Lakers’ Nick Young during Saturday’s game. Photo courtesy of dailyherald.com
A LITTLE ANALYSIS AND A FEW THOUGHTS:
To be honest, there’s really not that much to say regarding these two teams in the National basketball Association who call this Southern California region home, save for the fact that their seasons are unfolding as most folks expected.
Laker fans grew excited when their teams started off the year with ten wins in their first twenty games, showing improvement over the pathetic record they had last year.
Then the bad old days returned as the Lakers’ record since that 10-10 start is…
Apparently the opponents looked did their scouting on these young guys that young coach Luke Walton is in charge of leading out of the wilderness.
At least 15 wins, compared to the nine wins those Lakers had at this point last year, is an improvement – at least technically.
Yes they are better and more competitive than last season, but any fan who calls these Lakers good are the most delusional fans in sports.
I set a goal for them to win 30 games, which would show a significant improvement and real progress.
But they way things are going with that Lake Show, I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
Although they should surpass their 17 wins of 2015-16.
Highlights from the Lakers’ Christmas Day win over the Clippers, courtesy of YouTube
Highlights from the Clippers enacting their revenge on the Lakers last Saturday, courtesy of YouTube
As for the Clippers…
Much like their purple and gold-clad rivals from across the hall at Staples Center, this season is going about as expected for this Clipper Nation.
Just like last year, Blake Griffin has missed games due to injury and is not expected back for a few more weeks, but after ending 2016 on a six-game skid, which included losing to the Lakers on Christmas Day,
These Clippers have yet to lose in 2017, administering some revenge to their Laker rivals, 113-97, in their last outing as they have won their last seven in a row.
Other than that, things are the same old, same old as Chris Paul continues to dish and DeAndre Jordan continues to be tops in the league in field goal percentage and a monster on the boards.
Chris Paul driving on the Lakers’ DeAngelo Russell. Photo courtesy of onenewspage.com
The problem for those Clippers remains the same too, in the form of:
- The Golden State Warriors
- The San Antonio Spurs
and, in a lesser fashion as although they are ahead of them in the West, I think the Clippers can take them at full strength…
- The Houston Rockets
If Doc Rivers’ bunch is going to finally achieve glory and reach the NBA Finals, they absolutely must find a way to beat those Warriors and Spurs in the postseason
The window’s beginning to close as CP3, Blake, and DeAndre – who the Clippers barely managed to resign last summer – are not getting any younger.
For their sake and the sake of Clipper Nation, I’m REALLY rooting for that team to break through.
As always, we’ll have to see.
It will be a long time before the current Lakers approach the level of these guys. And don’t talk to me about the Kobe/Shaq Lakers, as these “Showtime” legends could have named the score against them. Photo courtesy of espn.com