The most recently concluded battle for Los Angeles was a spectacle that NBA fans were treated to after such a long hiatus. However, the outcome has fans from both sides emphatic with different kinds of emotions. For the Los Angeles Lakers, fans were solidified of their stance that LeBron James and his squad are poised to win the chip after edging out a win against possibly the biggest threat standing in their way. On the other hand, Los Angeles Clippers fans temporarily have the benefit of the doubt in saying that the absence of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell was the deciding factor that ultimately led to the loss.
However, there’s reason to believe that Kawhi Leonard and his team are better than the Lakers overall. Here are three reasons that explain just that.
We have heard this argument all season long. To begin with, the team was already deep since the beginning of the season, which was only further improved upon as the season passed along. The Clippers are simply stacked from top to bottom. If you remove the superstar pairs from the two teams out of the equation and look at who the better team is, the answer is easily the Clippers. This is because every single player on the roster is worthy of playing significant minutes on any given night. Moreover, this team was already a playoff-caliber team even before the arrival of Leonard and George. This speaks volumes of how deep this roster can go.
2. Grit > Flashiness
This is more of an intangible argument. The Clippers are widely regarded for their toughness and grit, while the Lakers have brought back Showtime and easily became one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. However, grit managed to edge out against flashiness twice already earlier in the season before faltering on the last two. This indicates that even though the two teams play different styles of basketball, the outcome is still relatively balanced. Nevertheless, given the atmosphere of the postseason, grit appears to be the more desirable characteristic of a championship team rather than flashiness. Expect the Clippers to have a slight advantage in this department.
3. Untapped potential
We already know the full extent of how the Lakers can truly dominate a game of basketball. The superstar pair of James and Davis has worked wonders which even unlocked new facets of their game. Moreover, the team as a whole has been blessed this year with regards to suffering way fewer injuries compared to the season before. That alone allowed the team to jive and develop chemistry. However, the Clippers have yet to show their final form. This is because the lineup is so strategically interchangeable that playing time and chemistry have also been partially sacrificed.
In addition, Leonard and George have only played a handful of times together this season. Therefore, if the two were to finally figure things out and play together seamlessly, then that would spell all kinds of trouble for the Lakers. Add in a strategic concoction from the brilliant mind of Doc Rivers to come up with the best lineup possible, then the Lakers won’t even stand a chance.