Los Angeles is one of the premier destinations for All-Star and superstar players looking to find a new home. The city offers everything a high-profile athlete would want, from beautiful views and luxury to never-ending entertainment. Unsurprisingly, there are two very renowned franchises in the NBA at the moment residing in Los Angeles: the Lakers and Clippers.
But throughout NBA history, the Los Angeles Lakers have always been the superior franchise because they are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA championships won with 17. Not to mention, some of the greatest players in NBA history have all played for the Lakers, including Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain among others. The all-time Lakers team would arguably be one of the most dominant sides in NBA history.
Meanwhile, the Los Angles Clippers have found recent success thanks to the “Lob City” era led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and the current squad that features Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But would the all-time Clippers squad match up with the all-time Lakers in a best-of-7 series? It is time to find out.
Magic Johnson vs. Chris Paul
In the ultimate point guard matchup, Magic Johnson brings superior size and all-around ability against the smaller Chris Paul. Johnson will win any point guard matchup because he was the greatest to ever do it, but he will not have it that easy.
Chris Paul is an elite offensive player who will put Magic on skates at times, and will also create opportunities for his teammates as well. The legendary point guard tends to succeed when he has other superstar scorers and defenders around him, and he will be the leader of the Clippers squad.
Kobe Bryant vs. Paul George
Kobe Bryant will be a force in the series because he will relish the opportunity to lead the Lakers to victory in the series. The Black Mamba generally saves his best performances in the biggest games, and he will have some clutch moments throughout the series.
Paul George is an elite two-way player at the shooting guard spot, and his hands will be full trying to stop Kobe Bryant from taking over the series. PG13 is a fantastic defender who has length and athleticism, so this matchup will be very interesting to see the least.
LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard
LeBron James will have to share ball-handling duties with Magic Johnson, and that will slightly take away from the King’s numbers and ability. But James will still be effective because he does multiple things on the floor at a high level and will prove it in this exciting series.
Kawhi Leonard will have a ton on his plate, from defending James to being one of the go-to scorers on the squad. Leonard is the best defender on the Clippers squad and will be constantly switched onto Kobe and Magic at times as well.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Blake Griffin
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not a natural power forward, but he will manage to be effective because he will form a dominant twin-towers pairing with Shaquille O’Neal. Kareem is unstoppable when he is in position down low, and will toss the Skyhook anytime he wants over the shorter Blake Griffin.
Blake gives up in size and all-around talent to Kareem, but he will be effective on the fast break with Chris Paul leading the charge. Blake will look to run throughout the series and will have an impactful Game 2 performance because speed and quickness could give the Lakers some headaches.
Shaquille O’Neal vs. Elton Brand
There has generally been no answer for Shaquille O’Neal down low, and this series will not be any different. Shaq is simply an unstoppable force, and it will be hard for Elton Brand to handle The Diesel down low. O’Neal will lead the team in scoring and will have a fantastic series.
Elton Brand is one of the most talented players in Clippers' history because he was a double-double machine in his prime and was a skilled offensive player. Brand will have to play bigger than he actually is because he has a beast in the paint to defend against.
Team Lakers Advantages
The all-time Lakers team is stacked with superstar bigs, and size will go in their favor. Magic is an oversized point guard who will tower over Chris Paul, and the inside duo of Kareem and Shaq will outweigh the pairing of Griffin and Brand.
Other than size, the Lakers have arguably the two most dominant offensive players since Michael Jordan in Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. The duo will prosper around the athletes and bigs they have, and it will be hard for the Clippers to keep up.
Team Clippers Advantages
The Clippers have elite shooting because they have 4 guys that can space the floor when going 5-out. Blake Griffin is not an elite shooter like Paul, Leonard, and George, but he can still space the floor well enough to bring Kareem out of the paint.
The Clippers can run as well as the Lakers can because CP3 and his shooters will be a threat from downtown on the break. Not to mention, there is enough talent on the squad to where the Lakers will have to be at their best to close the series. The question is, can the Clippers come out with the victory?
Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?
Game 1 goes to the Los Angeles Lakers because Kobe Bryant and LeBron James go off on the court. Bryant drops 31 points on 47% shooting while James chips in a 30-point triple-double. The pairing comes out with a vengeance, finishing with a combined 40 points in the first half and giving the Lakers a 66-54 lead. The second half is more of the same, as the Clippers have to accept the punch in the mouth to start the series.
The Clippers respond in Game 2, winning the game in a convincing 110-90 victory. The shooting is at its peak during the game, and the Lakers fail to recoup the massive first-half lead they give up, 58-47. Blake Griffin even goes hot, nailing 3-4 threes in the first half. The Lakers come back thanks to the brilliance of Magic Johnson in the third quarter, but the Clippers continue their hot shooting en route to 15 threes made and a convincing victory.
The Lakers come out in Game 3 and completely shut down the shooters. Leonard, George, and Paul combine for 3-18 from three, and only Leonard scores over 25 points for his side. The Lakers find their success through their bigs, as Kareem and Shaq combine for 60 points and 25 rebounds on the court. With the Lakers playing slow and Magic and James pulling the strings, the game ends 103-94.
Game 4 is more of the same, except Shaquille O’Neal puts on a virtuoso performance. The dominant big man drops 37 points on 52% shooting, even nailing 9-15 free throws. O’Neal handles Elton Brand down low, and not even Blake Griffin’s help would be enough. Shaq is simply stronger and more dominant, and he proves it by carrying the Lakers to a convincing 111-103 victory.
Game 5 is an exciting game because the Clippers are fighting for a shot to keep the series alive at 3-2 while the Lakers want to close the series once and for all in 5 games. Kobe Bryant is the star of the first half, scoring 20 points and going 3-4 from three. On the other end, the Clippers find success through Chris Paul (10 points, 9 assists) and Paul George (15 points). The second half is even because Shaq and Leonard equal each other’s scoring through the third and fourth quarters. Kobe Bryant cannot hit the game-winning shot at the end of the 4th, and the game goes to OT.
Chris Paul puts on a show in OT, scoring the first 6 points. But Shaq is too dominant down low, getting assists from his guards to score 8 in the quarter while Kareem comes up with a game-saving block. The series ends 4-1 for the Lakers, with Shaq capturing Finals MVP by owning the paint and the series offensively.
Final Result: All-Time Lakers vs. All-Time Clippers 4-1
Finals MVP: Shaquille O’Neal