For the first time this season, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged victorious over the Los Angeles Clippers, which taught us about the playoffs in the process.
The Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers game was the most heated and competitive matchup we have seen between the two teams since the “rivalry” was established this offseason.
The game resulted in a nine-point Lakers victory but the game meant and highlighted much more.
The first takeaway for the Clippers is that they might be the most tailored team to beat LeBron James that we have ever seen. Four of the five starters are players that can give LeBron trouble, and Marcus Morris, who comes off the bench for the Clippers was deemed “the LeBron stopper” during Morris’s time in Boston.
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However, from this game, it was clear to see even with all of these elite defenders, LeBron James can and will find a way to impact the game and put the ball in the basket when his team needs it.
An edge that the Lakers have on the Clippers is height. The Clippers do not have a superstar player who can match the height of Anthony Davis. As a result of this, Davis has extra space to get a shot off and he is able to have his way with most Clipper defenders in the paint.
Something that must be analyzed in this matchup is who can be possible X-factor players for each team because they will be the ones to decide the series if these two teams are to meet in the Finals.
I say this because the two dynamic duos the teams have (James and Davis for the Lakers and George and Leonard for the Clippers) will more or less cancel each other out more times than not.
This is what made the performance from Avery Bradley so important in this game. Without his scoring explosion, it is almost certain that the Clippers would have won this game and would have had a chance to continue their undefeated season against the Lakers.
The next takeaway is that if there is a playoff series between the two teams every single game is going to be a home game for the Lakers. With both teams playing in the same building and the Los Angeles Lakers being the most popular team in the state of California, the Laker fans will outnumber the Clipper fans every night the two teams will play in the Staples Center.
The last thing we can expect from this takeaway is 35-year-old LeBron James to be the MVP. He showed that he still has it against some of the most elite defenders in the league. He also showed that he can still guard top players like Kawhi Leonard for a substantial span of a game.
This will be an amazing series if we see it in the playoffs, and every regular season matchup between the teams has proven that.