The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers have not always had a compelling rivalry. In fact, you could argue that there really hasn't been a genuine rivalry between the two teams since the Lakers have had so much more success in their history. Today this has changed, as the Clippers have become one of the more exciting young teams in the NBA. Still, you could certainly argue that the Lakers remain the best in Los Angeles until the Clippers are able to dethrone them and establish their own legacy of success over a period of years. If the Lakers and Clippers played in a seven-game series, who would win?
The Lakers have arguably added more talent this offseason. Steve Nash was clearly the key acquisition, though adding Antawn Jamison and re-signing Jordan Hill will help a great deal with depth. Putting Nash with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum will help create a devastating foursome. The Lakers finished ahead of the Clippers last year, and they have added a great deal of talent. Does that make them better going forward?
Lob City has added their own free agents, as Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Ryan Hollins are now in the fold. In addition, Chauncey Billups was brought back, which could be a crucial part of success next season. The Clippers have certainly been aggressive in the offseason, and adding key veterans will make them an even deeper squad than they were last year. Steve Nash is the marquee addition in the City of Angels, but the Clippers have added more pieces.
Last shot versus future upside
It is honestly hard to judge what would happen if these two teams met for a long series. The Lakers are an older team and Kobe Bryant will not play forever. He is still a great player, but this may be the last shot for the current Laker era. In contrast, the Clippers are an up-and-coming squad, which may be able to build around Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for the next decade. At this point, I would still give the edge to the Lakers, but it would be a close series. Perhaps the Clippers will finally take over Los Angeles.
It should be fun to watch these two teams play next year.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he enjoys the rivalry between the Lakers and the Clippers, and all the drama that goes with being in the Southland. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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