The 2019-20 season is significant for the LA Clippers and LA Lakers as they attract three of the NBA’s biggest superstars. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George moved to the Clippers while Anthony Davis joined the Lakers.
The battle of LA was supposed to be a fiery showdown, except it didn’t turn out as many expected. The Clippers have not lost to the Lakers in nine straight games of the season. They have not conceded a single game to Crypto.com Arena co-tenants since December 2020.
After the LA Clippers’ resounding win over the Charlotte Hornets, Skip Bayless was quick to tweet this:
“FAST: Kawhi, on her comeback in Charlotte, just hit the clutch game winner, a 2-point long jumper, swinging. The Clippers are better than the Lakers when Kawhi and Paul George are healthy…which (I know) doesn’t happen often.”
The LA Lakers, after LeBron James and Anthony Davis, won the NBA championship in 2020. It was AD’s first season in LA and arguably the last time he’d been healthy in nearly a year. The purple and gold franchise is 81-41 when both James and Davis are present.
The LA Clippers, on the other hand, are all about potential and promise. They are always derailed by injuries to Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, sometimes both at the same time. The furthest they’ve come as a duo is in 2020-21 when they appear in the Western Conference Finals.
When healthy, they have proven to be a tough match for anyone. The Clippers have an incredible 63-22 record in the presence of Leonard and George. They have also been quite adept at adapting to life without the often traumatized superstars.
Without Kawhi Leonard for the entire 2021-22 season and Paul George playing only 31 games, the Clippers still have a better record than the LA Lakers. Ty Lue’s team even had a chance to make it to the play-in but lost to the New Orleans Pelicans without George having Covid-19.
If bringing the championship constitutes “better”, then The LA Lakers proved it. The Clippers were great when George and Leonard were able to play. They better hope they can both stay healthy for the rest of the season.
LA Clippers and LA Lakers may be trending in reverse
Some basketball analysts like Charles Barkley and Kendrick Perkins picks LA Clippers to win this season. They are currently sixth in the West despite losing just six games to Kawhi Leonard, including a stellar performance against the Charlotte Hornets last night.
Meanwhile, the LA Lakers are said to have missed the playoffs again this season. However, their recent surge in form could prompt them to push for a post-season spot. Anthony Davis is finally healthy while LeBron James managed to keep Father’s Time around.
The Lakers, who had a 2-10 record last November 11, are currently 8-2 in their last 10 games, bringing their win-loss ratio to 10-12. And for the first time in two seasons, they look like a legit playoff team.
The LA Clippers, meanwhile, are still hoping they will Kawhi Leonard and healthy Paul George. They are an extremely hard team to beat when both are present, which is a rarity in four years.