A Clipper trying to guard the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson during a preseason game this past October. Photo courtesy of dutertenewsportal.com
WHERE THE LAKERS AND THE CLIPPERS STAND A QUARTER INTO THE NBA SEASON
SoCal’s NBA Teams By The Numbers…
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Record: 8-15, tied for 10th place in the Western Conference
Coach: Luke Walton, 2nd Season
Last Game: Lost to the Houston Rockets on December 3rd at Staples Center, 118-95
Next Game: Thursday, December 7th at the Philadelphia 76ers
Kyle Kuzma, F – 16.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG
Brandon Ingram, F – 16.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG
Jordan Clarkson, G – 14.8 PPG
Lonzo Ball, PG – 8.7 PPG, 7.0 APG
Larry Nance, F – 9.4 PPG, 7.2 APG
Highlights from Opening Night for both the Lakers and the Clippers, the Clippers winning 108-92 on October 19th. Courtesy of YouTube.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Record: 8-15, tied for 10th in the Western Conference
Coach: Doc Rivers, 5th Season
Last Game: Lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 6th at Staples center, 113-107
Next Game: Saturday, December 9th vs the Washington Wizards at Staples Center
Blake Griffin F (injured) – 23.6 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 5.1 APG
DeAndre Jordan, C – 10.7 PPG, 14.2 RPG
Lou Williams, G – 19.0 PPG. 4.6 APG
Austin Rivers, G – 14.7 PPG
Note: PPG = points per game, RPG = rebounds per game, APG = assists per game
Next Lakers – Clippers Game: Friday, December 29th at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.
SoCal pro basketball’s two biggest names (along with the Sparks’ Candace Parker): the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Laker rookie Lonzo Ball. Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com
I won’t say that the two National Basketball Association teams that play their home games in the same arena in downtown Los Angeles both stink – at least not at this time.
But I will say that the Lakers and the Clippers – who share the exact same record as I write this – are not very good.
For the Lakers, it’s the same thing that they have been going through for the past several years…
They are essentially a college team learning how to compete and win at the pro level as with the exception of enter Brook Lopez – who’s hasn’t contributed much – all of the Lakers’ starters are 25 years old or younger.
Which includes Lonzo Ball, who though he’s had a few triple-doubles has shown that playing his sophomore year at UCLA may have benefited him.
Then again, I’m sure with the recent events concerning his brother LiAngelo, Bruin Nation is glad that he and (especially!) his father are gone and won’t be seen around Westwood any more.
I’ve said this for a few years now, but these Lakers are still a couple of years, or a big name free agent, away from being relevant.
The talent, though young and raw, is there, and if someone like LeBron James (dream on, I know) and perhaps another strong veteran chooses to wear the purple and gold next year, they could be contenders sooner than later.
Until then, however, Laker fans – who I admire for fervently sticking with their team through these dark days, which is in its fifth season – will have to endure some more bad times.
Highlights from the most recent Cross-The-Hall rivalry game between the Lakers and the Clippers, a 120-115 win by the Clippers on November 27th. Courtesy of YouTube.
As For The Clippers…
Although he will eventually return, for all intents and purposes their season ended when Blake Griffin went down with an injury against the Lakers.
Which only added to the many other injuries they suffered this year.
I saw those Clippers having a tough time to begin with, what with their back court, a back court that was a BIG reason why they had their best seasons ever these past few years, playing in different places, Chris Paul being a Houston Rocket and J.J. Redick being a Philadelphia 76er.
They haven’t won since, and it looks like by the time Griffin returns after the new year their record will be so far out of playoff contention,
That it wouldn’t be a bad idea if they went ahead and looked into trading DeAndre Jordan and even Griffin for first round draft picks, start over and build from scratch.
It wouldn’t lead back to the pathetic days of the 1990s and before, when Sports Illustrated named the Clippers “The Worst Franchise in Professional Sports”, because for one, Donald Sterling won’t be there.
There was no plan for winning or even success under that former owner as he didn’t care, unlike now; owner Steve Ballmer wants to see his Clippers succeed, and in my opinion he could best do that by building from the ground up, a “short-term pain for long-term gain” thing..
Just like his Laker rivals down the hall at Staples are trying to do.
BOTTOM LINE: Right now – and for the past two or three years – the best basketball at Staples Center is being played by women, the WNBA’s Sparks.
And it’s going to stay that way for a while.
The Clippers’ Lou Williams going for a lay-up, with the Lakers’ Julius Randle trying to prevent such. Photo courtesy of youtube.com