The Los Angeles Clippers have cemented themselves as the best team in LA this season after sweeping city rivals Los Angeles Lakers during their regular-season matchups. The Clippers are missing both their star players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but players like Marcus Morris Sr. and Reggie Jackson have kept the Clippers competitive and within a few games of making the playoffs.
The rivalry between the two Los Angeles teams has become quite intense, with the Clippers fighting out of the shadow of the Lakers, who won a championship in 2020 when the Clippers were in the first year of their Leonard-George tandem. Reggie Jackson has been crucial for the Clippers in their success over the Lakers, having his best performances this season against the Purple and Gold.
After Jackson dropped 31 points in a win over the Washington Wizards, the point guard decided to proclaim the Clippers as the 'heartbeat of LA', a sentiment head coach Ty Lue wasn't going to promote.
Coach Lue is proving his abilities as one of the best coaches in the NBA this season after navigating the Clippers to a +.500 record despite injuries plaguing them. Considering he has won a title with the Lakers and none with the Clippers so far, it makes sense as to why he is trying to keep his team grounded in reality.
The Clippers have thrived this season, but their goal has never been to be better than the Lakers or to secure a play-in spot. The team is focused on winning a championship and Lue reminded his team through these comments that they can't toot their own horn until they have some silverware to match their city rivals.
While a championship won't be possible without Leonard or George, they can take the positives from this season and build a formidable squad to become champions next year.