The Los Angeles Clippers: Stepping Out of the Shadows

November 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) cheers from the bench in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at the Staples Center. Clippers won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

What story could possibly attract more attention than the scandalous affair of the now former director of the CIA? The firing of the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Mike Brown, that’s what.

November 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) enters the court before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center. Clippers won 104-84. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Since the Lakers made the announcement on Friday, the sports world has been abuzz with speculations as to who would be brought on to lead the Lakers from their 1-4 start under Brown. Would it be Phil Jackson, L.A. favorite and 11-time NBA championship coach? Would it be Mike D’Antoni, who already has a developed relationship with both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash? Would it be Nate McMillan, former Trail Blazers coach and assistant to the USA Olympic team?

In the end, D’Antoni was chosen, and we were all able to breathe again. Phew. But I think the biggest question we can ask ourselves after all of this is: what about the Los Angeles Clippers? When all eyes were on Los Angeles, the Clippers were yet again overshadowed by their purple-and-yellow-clad neighbors.

Looking back on both team’s histories, it’s not hard to figure out why the Clippers tickets have been three times cheaper than Lakers tickets in the same arena. Since moving to L.A. in 1984, the Clippers have a win-loss percentage of .357. Not exactly championship basketball. The Lakers, on the other hand, have 12 championships, 26 conference titles, and 23 division titles to their name.

But it seems the tides have turned this season. The Clippers have started the season strong with an impressive 5-2 record, while the Lakers have struggled to get to 3-5. While the Lakers have appeared disorganized and sluggish, the Clippers have been playing high-energy team basketball at both ends of the floor. And the bench lineup is as effective as the starting lineup.

Based on their games so far, the Clippers are definitely a strong contender to win the Western Conference. And as well as the Clippers are playing so far this season, their most valuable intangible may very well turn out to be the Lakers’ struggles. Only the remaining 75 games will tell how the West—both conference and coast—is won. Watch out, Clippers fans. Ticket prices could very well see a rise in the near future.

Topics: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers

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