The playoffs can’t get here fast enough. While there are plenty of really good teams in the Western Conference this season, the battle in Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Clippers seems to be the main attraction in the West. Each team has a dynamic duo who leads them and both teams play stout defense.
The Clippers seem to have the edge thanks to their incredible depth. This has led a number of analysts to peg them as the favorites in the Western Conference. However, former NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs Stephen Jackson sees it the opposite way. He appeared on The Herd on Monday to make the case for the Lakers being the better team.
“I like the Lakers,” Jackson said when asked who he likes in a seven-game series between the Lakers and Clippers. “I’ve never seen the dynamic of LeBron and a player like Anthony Davis. I don’t see them losing in a seven-game series to anybody … I just think the Lakers have too much experience and LeBron has never played with a player like AD – I don’t think they get to that point and not win.”
Not only does that sound like an endorsement for the Lakers beating the Clippers, but it also sounds like an endorsement for them winning the NBA title. The Lakers and the Clippers are widely considered the best teams in the NBA. That said, the Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the league and arguably the best player. The Lakers have quite a road ahead of them.
Lakers Will Likely Take Top Seed in Western Conference
Though the Clippers are stacked and have beaten the Lakers in both contests they’ve played them in this season, they are in third place in the Western Conference and are a full five games behind their Los Angeles rival for the top spot. Thanks to Paul Geroge’s injury woes and Kawhi Leonard’s penchant for load management, it’s not likely they pass up the Lakers any time soon.
Honestly, they’re probably not too worried about it. If they can pass up the Denver Nuggets for the number two seed, they will only be the road team in the playoffs to the Lakers (not counting a potential Finals matchup with the Bucks). That’s not that big of a deal considering they play in the same building. Home court advantage won’t matter much for the battle of L.A., but it’s the Lakers’ to lose.
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Kawhi Leonard Enjoyed Playing With LeBron & Davis
Kawhi Leonard had a chance in the offseason to join the Lakers and form the best trio of players on a single team in NBA history. He chose to forego that and team up with Paul George on the Clippers. Even though he missed out on the chance to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers, he was able to play with them during All-Star weekend.
“It was fun,” Leonard said about playing with James and Davis, per Lakers Nation.
“I played with Bron and A.D. last year, and I think the year before that or so. But it’s always fun just to get around guys that are very competitive, see what they do on an everyday basis. Just talking, just being their teammate. We go at each other all year round, and just, like I said, it’s great to be able to pick their brain and just be around them and joke and laugh.”
It’s a shame that Los Angeles won’t be able to see the three wear purple and gold at the same time. Fortunately, the NBA is probably better for it.