Culver City Observer -

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

Lakers, Clippers Face Toughest Stretch

Both May Fade From Playoff Contention Shortly

 

November 30, 2017



Last season the Lakers got off to a surprising start, going 10-10 and some loyal fans dared to believe the team’s recent playoff drought

might be over.

Then reality set in as the Lakers went on their first long trip of the season and slipped out of playoff contention.

It seems to be happening again. The Lakers are going on a long trip after playing games against powerhouse Golden State and Houston this week at Staples Center. And lets’ not forget their Monday loss to the struggling Clippers.

The Lakers are making progress from their last five years when they didn’t win a playoff game. But the hardest part will be competing against numerous teams who are further ahead in their rebuilding.

I’ve been on those long road trips numerous times in my career. Fatigue becomes a factor Take Lonzo Ball for example. He’s going to have an outstanding career but he never had a road trip like this, not even against college players.

Now we look at the Clippers who have won an impressive 50 games in each of the last five seasons. Sadly, they’ve been hit hard by injuries and NBA some experts are suggesting they should accept the fact their playoff hopes are gone and they should revamp their roster.

Chris Paul left, four current starters are out due to injuries and that includes Blake Griffin who’s out for most of the season after teammate Austin Rivers fell on his leg near the end of Monday’s game.

Center DeAndre Jordan is the Clipper who might bring in much-needed help in a trade and that is a possibility.

I saw the Lakers’ inspiring performance Wednesday night when they gave the champion Golden State Warriors a hard time. But it ended in a 127-123 overtime loss.

The Lakers didn’t have a star shooter who could match Stephen Curry’s pair of three pointers in the extra period. Unfortunately they often play well until the decisive time but that isn’t enough.

Some of their opponents coming up will be Golden State twice, Houston twice, Cleveland once.

As for the Clippers it will be a decision to either grind out their upcoming schedule or alter the roster with a major trade.

 

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