Lakers and Clippers Season Preview

Jordan Brenner

Staff Writer

Lakers:

The season outlook for the Lakers was low entering this year. The combination of Dwight Howard’s signing with Houston in free agency, Kobe Bryant’s injury, and the disappointing four game sweep against San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs has made this a tough year for Lakers fans. Despite all of this, the emergence of Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill, and Xavier Henry as well as the stellar performance of the bench players has given Laker fans a glimmer of hope. Additionally, Bryant has been cleared for all basketball related activities and hopefully will not be out as long as Chicago Bulls point guard, Derrick Rose.

Worst Case Scenario:

The worst-case scenario entails Kobe returning, but not as the same player he was. Kobe’s return would cause conflict and ruin the Lakers chemistry. To expect Kobe to come back from an Achilles tear and score 25 points a night is illogical. Pau Gasol would also fail to bounce back from his sub-par performance throughout last season. And finally, Steve Nash’s age would continue to hinder his performance and durability on the floor. In this situation, the Lakers would barely miss the playoffs and, to compound their issues, get a non-lottery draft pick.

Most Likely Scenario:

The general expectation for the Lakers is that they will have a decent season. Bryant will likely return in suitable form and lead the Lakers to either the playoffs as the seven or eight seed in the Western Conference tournament. However, the Lakers will probably not be able to match up to the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers, causing the Lakers to be knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, much earlier than fans will like.

Last year’s season record: 45-37

Predicted record for this season: 43-39

 

Clippers:

With high hopes for their team to win a championship, Clippers fans are excited for the upcoming year. Many considered the Clippers to have been the joke of Los Angeles ever since they moved here. With the recent combination of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, however, many feel this is the year that they will go all the way. So far, the Clippers have been an above average team, despite disappointing losses to the Lakers, Heat, and Grizzlies. The Clippers lead the league in scoring at just over 109 points per game, but that does not compensate for the fact that they have given up over 105 points per game. As the great Bear Bryant said, “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.”

Expectations:

Worst Case Scenario:

The absolute worst-case scenario for the Clippers this year is to have a similar season to last year and get eliminated from the playoffs much earlier than anticipated.

Most Likely Scenario:

The most likely scenario for the Clippers is that they will improve in comparison to last year’s impressive season. Many fans should expect that Chris Paul will not be the only Clipper in the MVP conversation. Blake Griffin should have his best season yet and the Clippers will dominate the Western Conference. Hopefully, the Clippers will go very deep into the playoffs and will contend for their first NBA title.

Last year’s season record: 56-26

Predicted record for this season: 61-21

 

What Milken Thinks:

In a poll taken with 30 Milken students, 18 answered that they were partial to the Clippers over the Lakers and 12 answered that they were Lakers fans. Of the 18 that preferred the Clippers, 13 said they weren’t fans before Chris Paul came to Los Angeles. Perhaps our school is filled with “bandwagoners”?

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