LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – With the 2020 NBA Playoffs set to begin down in the NBA Bubble in Orlando, while many are picking the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks to win it all, perhaps the one team that is best equipped to beat both are the other LA team in the Clippers.
Thanks to clinching the second seed with a 124-117 win over the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles (49-23), are set to face the Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks in their opening round matchup in what will be an exciting up-and-down series. If the Clippers are to advance to the West Finals and upset the top-seeded Lakers, some may call it an upset, but for the Clippers, this was expected.
While the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis as their two main guys to score and produce, can you really count on Kyle Kuzma to consistently score and take the main production load off of LBJ and AD?
Couple that with the losses of Avery Bradley and the possible return of Rajon Rondo, can the Lakers count on proverbial wildcards in Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith to step up? While the Lakers do have proven and quality outside shooters in NBA champion Danny Green, Kentavious Caldewell-Pope and bangers down low in Markiff Morris, JaVale McGee and rim protection in Dwight Howard, the lakers are top-heavy and will only go as far as The King and The Brow can carry them.
In the form of the Clippers you have a team that is deep and loaded led by NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and arguably the best sixth man in the league in Lou Williams. In addition to that, the Clippers have perhaps the best par of defensive-minded lockdown guards in Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and a seemingly endless wave of bigs they can throw at LeBron in hopes of slowing him down in long-time antagonist, Joakim Noah, Marcus Morris, JaMychal Green, Patrick Patterson and Mfiondu Kabengele.
One other edge that the Clippers have over the Lakers is on the bench in championship-winning coaches in Doc Rivers and Tyronne Lue. Yes, while the Lakers have Frank Vogel and Jason Kidd, I feel that in those close games down the stretch, I trust Rivers and Lue over the seemingly shaky—and sometimes flaky Vogel.
In a city that is all about glitz, glamour and the perfect Hollywood drama, while the Lakers are not fakers, in this bubble deep in the heart of Central Florida, it may be best to be hip to the Clip.
This article also appears over at our sister blog, The Spectator here.