The Los Angeles Lakers lead the Western Conference with a stellar 41-12 (0.774) win-loss record, but many would argue against their ownership to the throne. The Lakers have tasted defeat in both their meetings with the Los Angeles Clippers so far. The matchups were not one-sided affairs by any means, but the Clips managed to pull through down the stretch on each occasion.
Coach Doc Rivers and his Clippers (37-18) are currently 5 games behind the Lakers on the West standings, but possess one of the most lethal lineups across the league. Courtesy of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harell, the Clippers lead the league in bench points.
"There's no way the Lakers beat the Clippers in a seven-game series," an Eastern Conference executive said.
On that note, let's take a look at three reasons why the battle of LA is most likely to end with the Clippers emerging triumphant.
#1 The Clippers are making all the right moves at the right time
The Clippers managed to land Marcus Morris before the trade deadline, and his addition to the present cannot be overstated. The 30-year-old was averaging career-high numbers - 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game - while shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Come playoff time, Morris can easily guard elite wing scorers with his 6-foot-9 frame, and take some offensive load off George and Kawhi's shoulders.
Moreover, the Clippers also won the arms race with Lakers in signing Pistons guard Reggie Jackson, who provides another scoring boost to an already-stacked second unit. Jackson has appeared in just 14 games this season due to injury, but averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 assists last season.
The Clipppers already had an open roster spot (which they had to fill by this Saturday in order to meet league requirements), so bringing in Jackson fits their scheme of things perfectly.