Following a great offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers are ready to enter a new chapter in the battle of Los Angeles. The Lakers will count with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to lead the way, while the Clippers will put all their hopes in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to take them to the promised land.
Even though both teams look very close to each other in terms of quality, most executives around the league still believe the Clippers are the superior team in Los Angeles, per Ethan Strauss of The Athletic:
“How big is the gap between the Clippers and the Lakers?
“Everyone agrees that it exists, but to varying degrees. In league circles, Lakers skepticism has burbled about for some time, before and after Anthony Davis awkwardly made his way to Los Angeles. Questions of fit and chemistry persist, and many are noting just how many games LeBron James has played up to this point. Like the Warriors, the Lakers are also lacking in perimeter defense, in a league where it seems to matter more than ever. Much as you would expect some “It’s LeBron” faith, that faith appears to be wavering after the last disastrous season. Even flanked with Davis, no one I spoke with believes LeBron and the Lakers are better than the upstart Clips.
“Not that the Clippers are without their questions. As executives on these teams talk themselves into having a shot, they’re talking themselves into the Clips’ vulnerabilities. Shoulder injuries are unpredictable and George will be out for a lengthy stretch. Given that Kawhi Leonard already only plays so many games, the Clippers might struggle to keep pace in the standings. As one executive put it re: the Los Angeles gap, “There is a big gap in likelihood of winning the title. Not sure about reg season wins.”
Following the loss of DeMarcus Cousins, the Lakers have lost some defensive quality. Meanwhile, the Clippers will feature a lineup full of elite defenders, starting from Kawhi and Leonard.
We’ll see how things go for both teams throughout the season, but this rivalry is set to reach different levels, and we can’t wait for that to happen.