Which team can claim itself for being the best in Los Angeles? Is it perhaps the legendary Lakers of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard or is their era coming to an end and they have already been dethroned from the young and energetic Clippers?
I think that whoever had a doubt this season about the above questions, got his answers for good after yesterday’s Clips domination on the floor. You don’t need to be a stats specialist to understand that the power and dynamics of the Clips is way beyond our city rivals. It’s been too long since we could celebrate a win against the Lakers. They were always a championship team with some great players always on their roster and of course Coach Phil Jackson doing his magic orchestrating the way of play. But from this season on things are about to change. We have made some huge steps forward and we are in a position right now that we can claim our team being the best in the city.
Of course they got Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard and also Steve Nash, not to mention their role players. However the Clipps still got the advantage here. I mean look at their aging roster. How many years do they have left? Can Kobe continue his acrobatics after he turns 35? And how about Nash, will he still be playing at 39? I don’t think they can even reach us and I also don’t think that they will be in a better position in the near future. Not when we have two monsters in the team, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Paul made Kobe look old and slow once again, as he stated some days ago. In the meantime, Griffin put on a show last night scoring 24 points against a team with arguably the best front quart in the league. Not only did he smash the key and made some huge plays against Gasol and Howard, but if you watched the whole game, you could clearly see the difference between the energy level and the effort from our players against the Lakers.
A close look at the stats, can unveil a great difference between the two teams. We average 101.5 PPG while holding our opponents to 93.2. The Lakers are near to us scoring points, 102.8, but take a look at their defense; they allow 100.5 PPG. That’s a big difference maker for a team’s winning record. Plus, the Lakers rely too much on Kobe and Howard. Kobe scores almost 30% of the points his entire team does every game. He, together with Howard, combine to reach almost 50%. In contrary, we are a well balanced team, so even if one of our stars is having an off-game, we have many other guys who can step up and lead the team towards victories. Just look at Jamal Crawford’s stats. He’s averaging almost the same points as Paul does and also Matt Barnes. He came as a mediocre role player and has provided some huge minutes for us up to now.
It’s the second time the Clips got past the Lakers this season; first one came on November 2nd, while Mike Brown was still coaching them. Despite almost 2 months have passed since and we really can’t wait to meet them again, because after all it’s not only about winning the Lakers but also winning the Battle for LA.
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