Following Thursday’s game at the NBA campus in Orlando, the Lakers and Clippers have now faced each other four times this season, with each team winning a pair of those games.
Los Angeles’ teams are widely viewed as the top two contenders to make it out of the Western Conference and compete in the NBA Finals this fall. While a challenger like the Nuggets, Jazz, or Rockets could break up the all-L.A. party, the Lakers and Clippers are on track to play on opposite sides of the West bracket in the postseason, putting them on a collision course to meet in the Western Finals.
Assuming the two L.A. teams do meet again in the playoffs and we haven’t seen the last of the LeBron James/Anthony Davis vs. Kawhi Leonard/Paul George showdowns of the 2019/20 season, we want to know what you expect to happen in a best-of-seven series between the Lakers and Clippers.
The Lakers had the last word on Thursday night, as a last-minute LeBron put-back proved to be the game-winner in a 103-101 victory. But the Clippers were missing key players like Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. The Clips were +16 in minutes that Leonard played, and having second-unit standouts like Williams and Harrell available could have made those non-Kawhi minutes more manageable.
On the other hand, it’s not like we saw the Lakers at their best either. James and Davis combined to go 14-of-38 from the field, showing some rust after not playing real games in over four-and-a-half months. The club is also still experimenting with its summer rotation and will likely continue to do so until everyone – including the players who arrived in Orlando late – is up to full speed.
Another point worth considering: The Lakers have all but clinched the No. 1 seed, but their lack of home court advantage over the Clippers at Walt Disney World may be even more meaningful in an all-L.A. series than it would be in other series — if every game were played at Staples Center, the Lakers might end up with a de facto home court advantage for the entire series, as their fans often show up en masse at Clippers “home” games. That won’t happen on a neutral court in Orlando.
What do you think? After watching the Lakers and Clippers face each other four times this season, which team would you pick to win a seven-game postseason series? Do you fully expect the two L.A. teams to meet again in the playoffs, or will one of them falter before the Western Finals?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
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