"Lake Show", basketball, Clipper Nation, Clippers, Lakers, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, National Basketball Association, NBA, Pacific Division, pro basketball, SoCal Pro Basketball, Staples Center, Western Conference
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS – 2017-18 SEASON
Final Record: 42-40, Second place in the Pacific Division, 16 games behind the Golden State Warriors
- Lost their last four games
- Finished tenth in the Western Conference, five games out of the last playoff spot
- Didn’t qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2010-11
- Lou Williams (My choice for Team MVP) – 22.6 ppg, 5.3 apg
- Tobias Harris – 19.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
- Austin Rivers – 15.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg
- DeAndre Jordan – 12.0 ppg, 15.2 rpg
Points: Williams, 1,782
Rebounds: Jordan, 1,171
Assists: Williams, 417
LOS ANGELES LAKERS – 2017-18 SEASON
Final Record: 35-47, Third place in the Pacific Division, 23 games behind the Golden State Warriors
- Lakers’ 35 wins the most since the 2012-2013 season
- Finished 11th in the Western Conference
- Julius Randle (My choice for Team Co-MVP) – 16.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg
- Kyle Kuzma (My choice for Team Co-MVP) – 16.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg
- Brandon Ingram – 16.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg
- Lonzo Ball – 10.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 7.2 apg
Points: Randle, 1,323
Rebounds: Randle, 653
Assists: Ball, 376
Highlights from the last game of the 2017-2018 season for both of SoCal’s NBA teams: A 115-100 win by the Lakers over the Clippers at Staples Center on April 11th. Courtesy of YouTube.
Final Comments and Thoughts:
To be honest, when the final buzzer sounded at Staples Center after the Lakers’ 115-100 win over the Clippers on April 11th, ending the season for both teams, I found myself glad that the season was over.
The reason? Because I’ve always thought that the NBA season was WAY too long, with WAY too many teams allowed into the playoffs as that was the prevailing factor in my favoring the college game, with a one-game elimination NCAA Tournament and a national champion being crowned the first weekend in April.
But that’s an opinion-editorial that should be saved for another day.
As for SoCal’s two NBA teams, the biggest impression that I got from them this year is this…
The Lakers, because of the improvement that they showed, are trending up, while the Clippers, as particularly evidenced by their late season collapse, are trending down.
While I don’t expect the Clippers to ever go back to their bad old days, where they struggled to win 15-20 games a year under a tyrannical owner who didn’t give the slightest care about winning and had racist views to boot,
Doc Rivers and vice president/GM Lawrence Frank certainly have some rebuilding to do.
You know such is the case when a player (read: Blake Griffin) who finished this season tied for the team lead in scoring and second in rebounding is no longer on your team, having been traded to Detroit not even halfway through the campaign!
Chris Paul is gone, JJ Redick is gone, both guys involved in the playoffs with the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers respectively, and I’ll be quite surprised if DeAndre Jordan is still wearing a Clipper uniform next November.
On a silver lining note, Lou Williams definitely showed that he’s a guy that Rivers and Frank can rebuild the Clippers around – and coming off the bench, no less!
But as far as getting back to being the strong playoff contender that they were the past few years, it’s going to take a while, perhaps a couple of seasons.
As for the Lakers, those loyal fans who packed Staples Center despite that team’s ineptitude for the past five seasons saw a good-sized ray of hope these past six months, as they exceeded expectations in winning the most games in five years.
That Lake Show has a very good nucleus of young talent in Ball, Kuzma, Ingram and Randle, and there’s much talk about bringing Paul George and/or LeBron James to Staples next season.
My thoughts about that?
While I will never deny LeBron James as being the best basketball player on this planet, and while it’s a distinct possibility that he may be wearing purple and gold next fall, being that he has a home in nearby Brentwood,
I would be more excited to see George, a local from Palmdale in the high desert, come home to L.A. as while I’d certainly be excited to see LeBron become a Laker, he’s already in his 30s, meaning that his upside will not be as long as George, who is younger and has stated that he wants to play his home games at Staples.
While LeBron would provide the utmost veteran presence and championship credentials, Paul George would be better able to grow with that young Laker team and provide a nucleus that if Jeanie Buss did indeed sign him (or LeBron for that matter), that purple and gold franchise would be in the postseason next year.
But for now, while the spring, summer, and baseball gets into full swing…
While my attention will be focused on American’s traditional pastime, I’ll also be interested in how things unfold with these Lakers and Clippers.