The 2020-21 NBA season is almost here, and on 22nd December, defending champions LA Lakers will open the campaign against city-rivals LA Clippers. Even though the two didn't meet in the NBA Playoffs last season, they did play four high-octane games during the regular season. The LA Lakers organisation will also use this opportunity to raise banner No. 17th, something that will invariably provide more motivation to their opponents on the night.
Re-energized by all their off-season moves, both the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers have a legitimate shot at winning the Championship this season. It will be interesting to see fitness levels of players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are coming of the shortest ever offseason in American professional sports history.
LA Clippers vs LA Lakers Predictions: The Greatest Starting 5 in NBA
The city of Los Angeles has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to superstar players. The LA Lakers and LA Clippers have between themselves some of the greatest players in the league, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George. New additions of Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Dennis Schröder should make for a thrilling opening night encounter.
One of the biggest moves this off-season was Montrezl Harrell switching sides, quitting the LA Clippers to join rivals LA Lakers. All eyes will be on the 26-year-old and how he fares against players he has played the past few seasons with, especially Lou Williams and Pat Bev.
Another exciting matchup on the night could come from the former Toronto Raptors' big men Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, both of whom moved to LA this offseason, in search for more silverware. Gasol came in as a replacement for Dwight Howard and Javale McGee, both of whom departed the LA Lakers this offseason. While Serge Ibaka was brought in as an upgrade over Montrezz Harrell.
Will the LA Lakers continue to dominate like they did last season? or Will the LA Clippers bounce back from their lackluster performance and dethrone the King? Well, we will have to wait and watch.
Also Read: How Many rings do Lakers have?
Till then, let's check out our combined starting 5 for the LA Clippers and the LA Lakers:
Point Guard - Lebron James (LA Lakers)
LA Lakers true point guard, even with the arrival of Dennis Schröder, is King James. One of the finest playmakers the league has ever seen, Lebron James continues to make his teammates better by distributing the ball like one has never seen on a basketball court.
LeBron James is sitting eighth on the all-time list of assists leaders in NBA history, making him the ideal choice for the point guard position on this combined Starting 5. James is also the only player in league history to win Finals MVP with three different teams i.e Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and LA Lakers.
Shooting Guard - Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)
LA Clippers small forward Kawhi Leonard is one of the most explosive basketball players in the game today. His versatility allows him to play at several positions, from shooting guard to power forward. His equal focus on offense and defense makes him the perfect backcourt partner alongside Lebron James.
In 2019, Kawhi put together one of his finest playoff performances as he became the third player in league history to win a Finals MVP with two different teams (LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
LA Clippers fans have long been waiting for their first NBA title and with Kawhi and George at the helm, they are hopeful to raise the championship banner sooner rather than later.