The Battle for Los Angeles: Lakers Versus Clippers
The Battle For Los Angeles
The battle for Los Angeles is on! In a surprising twist, the Los Angeles Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard. Immediately after that, the Clippers acquired Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a massive amount of draft picks. The news sent shockwaves throughout the NBA and changed the balance of the league yet again. Now, most would consider the Clippers a title contender.
— ESPN (@espn) July 6, 2019
Sources: Oklahoma City is getting a massive package of future picks, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Galllinari, to deliver Kawhi Leonard who he wanted to partner with: Paul George. https://t.co/4bGpMNat8K
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
The Lakers were in the running for Leonard while but ultimately fell short. On the bright side, they still have Anthony Davis, a rising Kyle Kuzma, veteran role players, and LeBron James. Along with the Clippers, they have the roster to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals. Which Los Angeles team is in a better position? Which one will emerge out of the Western Conference
Battle For Los Angeles: Lakers Versus Clippers
The Lakers’ roster is filling out now. Along with James, Davis, and Kuzma, they have a solid crop of veteran players. Their roster includes Troy Daniels, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, Jared Dudley, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Green and Daniels are good three-point shooters. McGee will be a solid back-up for Davis. The Lakers still have a couple of moves to make before their roster is complete.
Trade aside, the Clippers bring back relatively the same roster from last season. Re-signing Patrick Beverley was a good move. He will continue to be that hard-nosed defensive leader for them. Also, the Clippers still have reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams, sixth man candidate Montrezl Harrell, and Wilson Chandler. Their acquisition of Maurice Harkless is an under-the-radar move. He is a solid starter in the NBA.
Who Has The Advantage?
The rosters of both teams are good. However, the Clippers have a better crop of players. On paper, they have a better defensive team, most of their players are in their prime, and are healthier. Also, their roster includes four players who averaged at least 16 points per game last season. However, the addition of Leonard and George will test the chemistry. Both players are ball-dominant and will have to figure out how to split the workload. Also, it remains to be seen if Leonard will stay with his load management plan. Last season, he missed 22 games under that plan.
The Lakers could gel quicker than the Clippers. The supporting cast is capable of knocking down threes and spacing the floor, which works to the style of James. Also, Davis’ versatility as a center would spell trouble for the Clippers. They do not have anyone who can match up with Davis. Kuzma’s status with the team is getting overlooked. He has improved over the last two seasons. He must remain consistent and ready next season despite playing with two superstars. Health will be a huge factor. Both James and Davis played 55 and 56 games last season, respectively.
Leonard and George versus James and Davis. This will be a sight to see next season. When healthy, these four are among the best in the NBA. Staples Center will see sparks fly if these four play at the same time. Leonard and George are perhaps the two best two-way players in the NBA right now. Leonard’s defense is revered while George was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. James and Davis are the most versatile offensive players in the NBA. Both have great handles and passing ability. Davis is a great on defense as well. Although James’ defense has faltered over the past few seasons, he is still a danger.
Who Wins The Battle For Los Angeles?
Two teams are in a position to win. Both play in Los Angeles. But, only one can emerge victorious next year. As mentioned before, the Clippers have a better roster on paper. Their ceiling is much higher than the Lakers. However, the Lakers “big three” is very versatile and is capable of matching up well with the Clippers. Both teams have players who are motivated. Leonard is returning home. If he leads his team to a title, he will be in elite company in NBA history. George and Beverley want a title. Davis wants to be on a winning team. James could become the greatest NBA player ever if he brings a title to the Lakers. As of right now, it is too early to tell who will emerge victoriously. But, we are in for a wild ride to the finish line.
Let the battle for Los Angeles begin.
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