lakers vs clippers
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Lakers vs Clippers: Who has the Upper Hand when the NBA Resumes?


I have the Lakers beating beat the Clippers in the playoffs this year. Period. I can back it up too.


Photo Credit: NBA

Ever since Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers during the last offseason, people were left debating about who would win the finals. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard sound unstoppable until compared to Anthony Davis and Lebron James. Since the season has been on hold, we might never get to see the fantastic seven-game series these teams would have most likely had. I’m going to give four reasons why the Lakers would have won that series if the global pandemic never occurred. 

Firstly, the Lakers star power outmatched the Clippers. James and Davis put up better statistics and produced a fantastic record during the season. Even though the Clippers utilized load management, the Lakers’ record was still far more impressive. James and Davis worked well together as James at point guard proved to be successful. Although Leonard has a 7-5  record against James in the playoffs, James has done better than him in most of their head-to-head matches. In all of their playoff matchups put together, James averaged 26.5 points per game with 5.8 assists per game, while Leonard only averaged 15.9 points per game with 1.3 assists per game. 

James has scored more points than Leonard in eleven out of their twelve playoff games against each other. James also had more assists than Leonard for ten of their twelve playoff games and even played more minutes than Leonard in ten of their twelve playoff matches. Minutes may seem not to matter much, but having the star on the court for a longer time would significantly help the Lakers beat the Clippers


Team play would be a factor in this argument as well.


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James, teaming with Davis, would have been a primary difference-maker in the Lakers pulling out the victory. The Clippers’ incredible defense might have caused problems, but containing both James and Davis would have been nearly impossible for them. Leonard can guard James, but nobody would have been able to guard Davis after that. He averaged 28.7 points per game, with 50 percent shooting in games against Montrezl Harrell

Davis has also averaged 23.5 points per game, with 46 percent shooting in games against Paul George. Marcus Morris is a decent defender but allowed Davis to average 25.9 points and 10.3 rebounds in games against one another. Patrick Beverly is 6’1” while Davis is 6”10, making him too small to come close to Davis. No matter how you sort out who guards who, there will always be an advantage for James and Davis, which would have been a problem for the Clippers


James and Davis produced more than Leonard and George. 


James’ 25.7 points per game were lower than Leonard’s 26.9, but James led the league in assists, averaging 10.6 per game. He also averaged 7.9 rebounds per game. Davis averaged .2 points shy of Leonard’s points per game but was shooting at 51 percent with 9.4 rebounds per game. Leonard only averaged 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent. George’s statistics did not come that close to any of the others. George averaged 21 points per game, 3.9 assists per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, all while shooting 43 percent. 

As for the rest of the team, the Clippers had more depth, but the Lakers star power with James and Davis would have outmatched Leonard and George enough to make up for the depth the Clippers have. The Clippers’ bench is better due to their shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 35.2 percent from three. The Lakers bench shot 46 even from the floor and 34.3 from three. 

The Clippers bench averaged more assists and rebounds than the lakers, but players such as Alex Caruso and Dwight Howard would have been productive enough for James and Davis to lead the Lakers to victory. Despite the Clippers beating the Lakers during the regular season, their stars are outmatched, which bites more in the playoffs, primarily when James activates playoff mode. James has the fourth-most points per game in all-time playoff performances with 28.9 and has shot above 50 percent for his past three playoff runs. 


Next, the Lakers have the size advantage.


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This may sound silly, but size does matter. It means something when DavisJames, JaVale McGhee, and Dwight Howard are on the team. The Clippers wouldn’t be able to guard both well since Davis could utilize the paint. James is incredibly versatile and could also attack the paint relentlessly. If anyone of them were double-teamed, they could have easily kicked it out to each other or somebody else such as Danny Green or Avery Bradley, who both shot above 36 percent from three. 

The Clippers would struggle with defending this as they allowed 44.9 points per game from the paint, which was the 6th most allowed in the league. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard would get their fair share of rebounds and points. Both teams have a lot of defensive talent, so finding more ways to score would be necessary forth. While the Clippers outrebounded the Lakers, defending the paint would be a difficult task. 

Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell have size but are not great defenders. The Lakers allowed only 106.9 points per game, which was the third-best per game defense in the league. The Clippers allowed 109.7 points per game, which put them out of the top 10. The Clippers would struggle to guard the Lakers players in the paint, which would have been an essential factor in determining a seven-game playoff series.  


And now this… the Lakers would have practically had all seven games at home.


Even though the logo on the court changes, it’s no secret that most people in Los Angeles are Laker fans. They have a lot more history than the Clippers, which appeals to all the loyal and older-aged fans. The newer fans in Los Angeles that are just getting into basketball will probably become Laker fans because they had a better record and the most well-known player in the NBA today. 

James is talked about more than any other current basketball player, which not only appeals to newer fans but appeals to casual fans as well. Many people watch playoff sports just to experience the feeling of a playoff game. Not many casual fans know Leonard or George, but nearly everyone on the planet knows James. He has a 94-27 home game playoff record, showing the impact home-court advantage has during the playoffs. Although most of it has to do with the team and players, that statistic does not help the Clippers hopes. 


Lastly, the Lakers had more team chemistry due to playing together more.


Photo Credit: NBA

They kept a consistent lineup, and it proved to be effective. Their bench knew what to do and when to step up. Caruso and Howard were both great at being role players who did not try to do too much. Throughout the season, the Clippers had great depth, but due to load management, they didn’t play together as much as the Lakers. Even though the Clippers proved to be good together, team chemistry determines many aspects during a playoff series.

This team is exceptionally talented, but George and Leonard only played with each other for 32 games. James and Davis played with each other for 53 games. Having less chemistry and less productivity than James and Davis could make things worse for the Clippers. James, at point guard, helped the team know their roles. The only adjustment that needed to be made was how much Kyle Kuzma shot the ball. They most likely would have stopped that problem from occurring during the playoffs due to experience. 

The Clippers’ best players did not play with each other much, and it is very likely they would have discovered their flaws too late. 


The Lakers will beat the Clippers in a seven-game playoff series if this season continues the way it’s supposed to. Book it

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– Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

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