With 12 games to go, the Lakers are not mathematically eliminated from the postseason. However, they have less than a one percent chance to make the NBA’s second season, according to FiveThirtyEight’s playoff probabilities. The Clippers, on the other hand, have yet to officially clinch, but the franchise has slightly higher than a 99% chance to make the playoffs.
Both results are far from what many predicted prior to the season. As the two teams head in opposite directions, let’s take a look at some more notes from Southern California:
- Clippers head coach Doc Rivers believes teams are giving up on young prospects too early, citing the Lakers trading away D’Angelo Russell, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays. “You look at each draft and there’s guys that come out at 19 and they don’t take off right away. They get moved around, and the next thing you know, they’re players. It happens more than we know, and it happened to D’Angelo,” Rivers explained.
- The Clippers‘ bench sets the team apart and while it’s easy to point to two-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Lou Williams, the unit is deeper than one player, Martin Rogers of USA Today writes. “A lot of people would love to have one game changer in that role. We have two of them,” Rivers said referring to Williams and Montrezl Harrell. “To be able to do it you have to have that personality where you say, ‘I am going to come in and just grab the moment.'”
- The Lakers should bench LeBron James for the remainder of the season, Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times contends. Markazi believes the team needs to focus on making sure James is healthy heading into next season and not worry about the improbable chance it has to make the playoffs.