Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers
“The Battle of Los Angeles” was a possible Western Conference Finals matchup entering the 2020-21 season, but given all the injuries the Lakers have dealt with this year, they now find themselves as the 6-seed in the Western Conference! The Clippers just lost to the Nuggets, putting them a half game behind the Nuggets for the 3-seed, but there is still a chance that the Lakers and Clippers face off in what would be a monumental first-round matchup!
Both teams have title aspirations and given that they are two of the best teams in the Western Conference when fully healthy, this could very well end up being one of the best first-round playoff matchups in NBA history!
As mentioned before, the Lakers have been crippled this year due to injuries, specifically LeBron James missing over a month with a high ankle sprain and Anthony Davis missing close to two months with a calf injury.
Before both Anthony Davis and LeBron James got injured, the Lakers were 21-6 and were a top of the Western Conference standings. Since then, the Lakers have gone 11-21 and their lack of overall talent has really been exposed. Could a team like the Clippers take out the defending champs in the first-round?
The Clippers have dealt with some injuries of their own to their two best players in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, yet this team has still found ways to win games all season long. In the past, there has been a lot of championship hype around the Clippers and they have fallen short of their ultimate goals every single year, but what separates this year’s Clippers team to those of year’s past is the fact that they have a ton of veteran and experienced players.
From Marcus Morris Sr. to DeMarcus Cousins to Rajon Rondo to Nicolas Batum to Reggie Jackson, this Clippers team has plenty of talent, but more importantly, they have guys with a ton of playoff experience.
Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka are still out due to hand and back injuries respectively, but with both players trending towards being ready at some capacity for the playoffs, the Clippers are going to be one of the favorites to make it to the NBA Finals once again.
The Los Angeles Lakers versus the Los Angeles Clippers. It does not get too much better than this rivalry and possibly in the first-round? Sign me up for that!