Los Angeles Lakers: 7 Reasons Lakers Should Be Worried About the Clippers

Danny DukkerCorrespondent IIJuly 23, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers: 7 Reasons Lakers Should Be Worried About the Clippers

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. They own 16 NBA trophies and won two championships in a row in 2009 and 2010.

    The Lakers also share their city and arena with the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that has long been in the shadow of the Lakers. The Clippers don't have any titles and have even failed to make it as far the conference finals.

    They have spent most of their history sitting in the Lakers' shadow, but that is all about to change.

Youth

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    The Lakers' current starting lineup features only one player who is under 30 years old. The Clippers, on the other hand, have three.

    The age gap between the two starting point guards is 11 years and nine between the power forwards!

    L.A. has two teams heading in two completely different directions. Blake Griffin (23) and Chris Paul (27) are the two best players on the Clippers and they are just getting ready to make an impact on this league.

    Steve Nash (38) and Kobe Bryant (33) have put their best years behind them and are only going to go down.

    Youth also gives the Clippers an edge in...

Athleticism

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    While fundamentals are important, superior athleticism can often compensate for lack of finesse. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are two incredibly athletic players who know how to use their freakish abilities.

    The Lakers have no one who can match up with those two from an athletic standpoint and that is a huge problem because...

Excitement

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    Dunks can always get the crowd on their feet and there is a reason the term "Lob City" is associated with the Clippers.

    Blake is the most exciting dunker in the game and he is a huge draw. People want to see him dunk more than they want to see Kobe hit one of his signature fadeaways.

    Last season the Clippers finished above the Lakers in home attendance (h/t ESPN.com). This already questions just how much more popular the Lakers are than the Clippers, if they are at all.

    If the Clippers win the attendance battle, then perhaps they are the true king of L.A.

Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in basketball, and in 2011 he made a strong case when he simply took over the series against the Lakers.

    He averaged 22 points and 11.5 assists a game all while shooting 55 percent from the field.

    L.A. couldn't stop him and now they have Steve Nash opposite him, which does not increase their chances of containing him at all.

Better Bench

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    The Clippers currently have two former Sixth Man of the Year Award winners on their bench in Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom.

    They also have veteran Grant Hill, who can give them a good presence for their younger guys and also give them toughness on the court. That's three players who are all top-notch bench players and the only member of the Lakers on that level is Antawn Jamison.

    A good starting five can win games, but they get tired (especially when they are in their 30s) and depth is important. As of right now, the Clippers win that battle easily.

Clippers Are Hungry

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    The entire history of the Clippers can be summed up in one word: disappointing.

    They don't have one championship banner to call their own and they have to share Staples Center with a team that has 16 of them.

    The Lakers have had Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant while Blake Griffin is already making the case for best Clipper of all time.

    This franchise has always been in the shadow and they are getting tired of it.

They Came Very Close Last Season

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    One game was all that separated the Clippers and the Lakers last year.

    With one more year under their belts the young core of the Clippers will only improve, and this could be the year they overtake the Lakers.

    If it's not this year, count on the margin being below three games and it will only grow thinner with each coming season.

     

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