Los Angeles Lakers: Rivalry with Clippers could renew faster than we think

Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers haven’t had much to cheer about in recent years, but these two teams could be on the verge of renewing their rivalry

The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers rivalry hasn’t made the headlines in a long time despite some big name players and of course an attractive location.

The rivalry looked to be heating up a few years back with the arrival of Chris Paul to Los Angeles but an aging Kobe Bryant led Laker team made for a rather dull matchup. However, courtesy of LeBron James taking his talents to Hollywood and a barrage of ranging Clipper talent, the rivalry could renew sooner than we thought.

As history shows, it seems as if the purple and gold need a star player to lead them on a nightly basis in order to be successful. The last one before prior to this season was of course Bryant, but time catches everyone and he retired in 2016. Since then, the organization has gone downhill due to controversial draft selections and apparent lack of leadership.

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As soon as LeBron James made his decision to become a part of the illustrious organization, things surely took a step in the right direction. Other free agents decided to join him, analysts started to make their predictions and the fanbase buzzed in Laker land. Despite a lackluster start, the Lakers have been playing their kind of fast paced game as of late and confidence seems to be rising both on and off the court.

The Clippers have taken a different approach to their roster. As opposed to the Lakers with one star and several young players, the Clippers don’t necessarily have a singular leader on the court. They have a strong General Manager, an experienced head coach, and most importantly a group of players that value team play and execution.

Both sides certainly have their talent to put forth every night that make the fans rushing through the door. For the Lakers, three main pieces besides James hover around Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram. Ball is a terrific two-way guard who is always a threat to beat you with his remarkable vision. Kuzma and Ingram are two players that have the ability to score 15 points or more on a nightly basis, which often enough they do. Even second year man Josh Hart has showcased his skillset and has certainly earned respect from NBA defenses.

The Clippers may not have the King, but some certified and experienced players can certainly withstand the pressure. Lou Williams has always been a perimeter threat for the duration of his career and Tobias Harris has transformed himself into a tough matchup the last few seasons. The team has four players who average 15 points per game, adding Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell to the above two players.

Doc Rivers also does a fine job in spreading out the minutes on his roster, as eleven players reach fifteen minutes per game under the champion head coach. One of them being rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from the University of Kentucky, who is attracting eyes himself with his play around the rim. Lastly, let’s not forget two of the best guard defenders of our generation in Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverly who bring the pressure, hustle, and physicality every coach desires.

The two California teams may not be at the peak of the their potential at this moment. However, what makes this soon to be rivalry special is that it could be around for an extremely long time. Other than James and a few veterans, the Lakers are young.

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This also applies to the Clippers as Harris, Harrell and Gilgeous-Alexander are all under the age of 26. If the two franchises can keep their talent intact, we could see an extraordinary geographical matchup for years to come.