Clippers and Lakers: Role Reversal
Oh – how quickly situations change! Prior to the Christmas Day season arrival, most commentators and fans were getting ready to crown the Clippers the new kings of Los Angeles. The additions of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler were far too great too ignore, especially with a n improving core of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers, on the other hand, were a mess. Most assumed their championship aspirations fell apart with the vetoed Chris Paul trade. And the first half of the season seemed to prove most of these people right. The Clippers were sitting atop the Pacific Division – a first since 1997 – and sent two starters to the midseason break known as the All Star Game.
However, since then, things have gotten a bit weird. The loss of Chauncey broke the spirit of the Clippers. While Kobe’s broken nose sent the Lakers into a frenzy of winning basketball. As of Mar. 13, the Lakers hold a 1.5 game advantage in the Pacific Division and seem to be improving their play despite endless trade rumors swirling around Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Clippers have played their way into trade rumors as they desperately struggle to convert 4th quarter plays.
The Battle of Los Angeles is far from over but is clearly going to be filled with highs and lows for each organization. We think both teams may need to make a move for a reliable, veteran guard to improve the consistency of their play. Whether or not GMs Mitch Kupchak and Neil Olshay agree with us is yet to be seen. But we do know one thing: This certainly won’t be resolved until the postseason. Hopefully this battle will get the Hollywood ending it deserves in May.