So much for the Los Angeles Clippers hype train.
The team started off the season with two impressive wins over the Lakers and Nuggets, and it looked like they were poised for a big year. The Clippers quickly proved that it’s unwise to put too much stock into games early in the regular season. They were embarrassed by the Mavericks on Sunday and lost by 51 points, which is the biggest loss in franchise history.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson checked in around halftime and couldn’t help but take shots at the Clippers for their historically bad performance.
It was a really bad day for the Clippers and proves that this season is going to start off rocky for a number of teams. This was definitely a gut check for Los Angeles.
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Too Early to Suggest Clippers a Threat to Lakers
After the Clippers beat the Lakers to start the season, the pundits were already crowning them as the biggest threat to the reigning champions. That was obviously premature just like it’s probably premature to say that they aren’t a threat to the Lakers. The season just barely started and things are very different.
Many teams had a shorter offseason than they are used to and the scheduling is very different. While it’s easy to poke fun at the Clippers, it’s too early to suggest that this Mavericks loss means they’re a bad team. They have a new head coach and some new pieces on the roster. It takes time to get things going with so many new variables. With all that said, it’s still hard to imagine this team will beat the Lakers come playoff time. Their roster is too deep and the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is far superior to the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Lakers Getting Banged up Early
Since the loss to the Clippers, the Lakers have looked really good. They’ve beaten the Mavericks and Timberwolves by a combined 59 points. However, they haven’t come out of those games unscathed. Davis had to miss the game against Minnesota with a calf injury while LeBron is dealing with ankle issues early.
“It’s been better, but it feels pretty good obviously,” LeBron said of his ankle on Sunday. “Tomorrow, once I go to sleep or lay down, will be the telltale sign of how good or how not good it is. So, I don’t want to say I’m looking forward to that. But, we’ll see tomorrow.”
Along with the Miami Heat, the Lakers have had the shortest offseason of any team. LeBron and Davis worked really hard to win last season’s championship so it’s reasonable to believe their bodies might not be ready for the grind of another season quite yet. The Lakers are wise to limit their minutes this season. Homecourt advantage doesn’t really exist right now so getting the top seed in the Western Conference isn’t supremely important. The most important thing is to get to the playoffs with Davis and LeBron healthy.