Lakers and Clippers Are Out Of NBA Playoffs
April 12, 2018
For the first time in recent memory, both the Clippers and the Lakers will start their summer vacations early. The Clippers will miss the playoffs for the first time in seven years, although they will finish the season with a winning record. The Lakers will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
So for the Los Angeles professional basketball fan this feels different. With so many other sports in Los Angeles it's not so bad but it still hurts. It's like the NBA All-Star game being played in Los Angele last February and there were no local players on the roster. It's a big house with no furniture inside.
For the Clippers, their season was turned upside down when Chris Paul asked to be traded last summer. He was the glue that held that team together. He was their leader on and off the court.
The next Clipper problem coach Doc Rivers had to face was the trading of Blake Griffin a few months ago. Griffin was the star player on the court. Although he was injured a lot when he was healthy, he was one of the most exciting players in the NBA.
Now the Clippers will need to find super star players to help them compete in the strong Western Conference. You can't win big in the NBA without great players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis. Clipper center, DeAndre Jordan is a good player, but he is not a superstar.
The Clippers need to keep Lou Williams and Tobias Harris. The rest of the roster is optional. Once again they need star players and better and more consistent role players. Considering the trades and injuries the Clippers went through this year, they had a very good season, but in Los Angeles good is not good enough.
The Lakers have different problems. They are starting to look like the old Clippers. For the last few years they have relied on the draft to build a team. In the current NBA, that's very hard to do. Are their recent draft choices (Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle) ready to become franchise players? Right now the answer is no.
The Lakers also need at least two great players if they expect to climb back into being an elite team in the NBA.