The battle of Los Angeles is one of the most exciting stories of this NBA season. Now that the postseason is getting closer, everybody is trying to predict what would happen if these two teams clash in the playoffs. Well, Richard Jefferson has given his two pennies on this potential matchup, explaining why the Clippers will beat the Lakers in a best-of-7 series.
He focused on the Clippers' depth, who unlike the Lakers, didn't lose important players before or during their time in the bubble. The Lakers saw how Avery Bradley opted out of the season and Rajon Rondo picked up an injury that will keep him inactive for several weeks. Jefferson spoke about how the Clips have an advantage since they have Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell coming off the bench, especially with their defense.
“Lou Will would be the third-best player on the Lakers,” Jefferson said on ESPN’s First Take. “I’m going to make an argument that Montrezl Harrell would be the third-best player on the Lakers.
“So when you start going down this line, going down this list and you have [Marcus] Morris, you have Landry Shamet, you have a bunch of talented players. You have depth and one thing you need in the postseason is depth.”
RJ also mentioned that the Clippers have two NBA champions in their coaches Doc Rivers and Tyronn Lue and the things they can do to put pressure and stop both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Frank Vogel has done it well this season, but he's not as successful as the two coaches he'd have to face.
“When you have Doc Rivers and you have T. Lue on that other side and their ability to play the chess game and playing matchups and tweaking because LeBron James means so much to their offense, 25 points, 11 assists,” Jefferson said. “Anthony Davis, you can put a smaller player on him, but the Clippers also have big players to put on him, physical players. Montrezl Harrell is a physical player that can affect A.D.”
While the Lakers have two great players in Anthony Davis and LeBron, the Clippers' depth can make things very hard for them. It's not only about skills, but there are also many factors to have into consideration when you're predicting the final outcome of a series and Jefferson explained that too. He noted that the Clippers have more than one option to guard LeBron James and make his life difficult.
“You look around, they are built specifically to beat the Lakers,” Jefferson said. “And also why the Clippers would dominate the Milwaukee Bucks, if the Bucks were to get there, is because they have multiple players that could guard Giannis [Antetokounmpo].”
This is not said and done. They tied the regular-season series, 2-2 and things will probably be settled in the postseason. The Lakers clinched the #1 seed in the West in recent days and the Clippers are trying to get that No. 2 spot that will put them in front of their city neighbors in the WCF.
Nothing will be decided until that moment, but as things stand now, Jefferson believes the Clippers won't have difficulties shutting down the Lakers.