Things are starting to pick up in the world of sport, and the sound of bouncing balls and squeaky sneakers on the court has seen NBA fans rejoice. With the current season in full swing, it almost feels like things are back to normal in 2021.
One thing that hasn't changed is the heated rivalry between the LA Clippers and LA Lakers. No global pandemic can put a stop to that. So as the teams and players carry on getting back into the swing of things, everything else is falling into place, from fans watching the games to rivalries rearing up once more.
Everyone Loves a Bit of Rivalry
It goes hand in hand with practically every sport, from regional to national levels. But when it's local, there's even more of an edge, as has been seen between the two LA-based teams. With both playing at the Staples Center, their rivalry is literally based in the same place. However, historically, most LA basketball fans have always favored the Lakers. Perhaps because it's one of the biggest brands in basketball and is known for its famous players and all-star legends, even NBA glory hunter fans will name the Lakers as their favorite team. It's no wonder either when you compare the number of trophies the Lakers have compared to the Clippers. We just hope they don't store their trophy cabinet in a shared venue, too - that'd be sickening for the Clippers to see regularly!
But Could 2021 be the Year of the Clippers?
Right now, it certainly seems that way. Few would believe that the Clippers would be top dogs in the Western NBA conference, but they're currently standing ahead of the Lakers. But will they stay in front, and will they even win the championship? Some don't believe they will finish top, but even if they fall short, 2021 will still have been one of the best for the Clippers.
Let's face it; the Clippers have always played second fiddle to the Lakers, so it would be easy to think that this season would be no different. But it has. In fact, they've exceeded expectations put on by the experts, and some of the squad has been exceptional when compared to their evaluations in the preseason. In only the first year with head coach Ty Lue, we're already seeing a vast difference to the Clippers of previous seasons. They're more focused; there's a better dynamic and chemistry between the players, and it's paying off.
There are also some notable players making a real difference, such as free-agent Serge Ibaka. He had previously been a backup center for the Toronto Raptors, and it was easy to think he'd do the same. But since his first day as a Clippers player, he's been one of the most productive, averaging 11.8 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. Ten games with at least ten points have shown him to be a key member of the team, which is even better as he's a replacement for Montrezl Harrel, who joined the Lakers this season.
Forward Nicolas Batum has also been an efficient player this season and has a strong presence on the court. His intensity helps to inspire his squad and intimidate opposing teams, and it's a tactic that is certainly working at the moment. And let's not forget about Paul George, who is undergoing a career revival with the Clippers, even if the six-time All-NBA shooting guard champ comes from their LA rivals. In 13 games, he's averaged 24.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, and the new Clippers' offensive philosophy is working in his favor. Despite all the trolls and haters putting the pressure on him, George is thriving, and his experience is pushing the Clippers' momentum towards the top of the standings.
Although some media outlets might place other teams above the Clippers, it's always worth checking out some other sites that can give a real insight into the game. BettingNews.com's NBA page is a great source for hot news and info on basketball betting and what's going on in the NBA right now. When looking into the rivalry between the two LA teams and what to expect, you'll be able to find out a load more.
While the LA Lakers may have the history and prestige behind them and a famous squad, this season hasn't been the best so far. On the other hand, the Clippers are making waves and showing that they mean business. Perhaps it's time for them to rule the roost this season?