By Steve Finley
Sports Reporter 

Clippers and Lakers Close Out Regular Season


Jevone Moore

JaVale McGee, center, of the Lakers missed a lot of games when he got ill. When he was healthy he played well for the team.

Just when you thought you had the NBA all figured out the two professional basketball teams in Los Angeles left you scratching your head? The Lakers season will be over next week and the Clippers will move on in the playoffs.

The Clippers are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with three games to play in the regular season. Their record is currently 47-31 and if the playoffs started today they would probably play the Houston Rockets. Two out of their three remaining games are at home against the Lakers on Friday and Utah on Wednesday. Tip off for both games is 7:30 p.m.

Right now the Warriors are the number one team in the Western conference, followed by Denver, Houston, Portland, Utah, Clippers, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The playoff format is first place plays eight, second plays seventh, third plays sixth and fourth plays fifth.

The Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs last week and they decided to rest their star player, LeBron James for the rest of the season. Their last four games of the season are all at home although their game against the Clippers on Friday is technically a road game.

The Lakers face Golden State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Clippers on Friday, Utah on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and Portland on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

At the beginning of the season everyone thought the Lakers were going to be in the playoffs and the Clippers were supposed to be the team on the outside looking in. What a difference a season can make.

Injuries hit the Lakers hard starting with the Christmas Day injury to LeBron James. They were in fourth place in the Western Conference and they were looking to move up. After that the wheels fell off the train.

After James' injury the players on the Lakers started dropping like flies. JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, Tyson Chandler, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram were either sick or injured during the season. A lot of the injuries were season destroying injuries.

Another problem the Lakers had was how they handled the trade rumors especially when the rumors involved Anthony Davis. Laker president Magic Johnson made it clear to all of the players except for James that they were all expendable if they had an opportunity to get Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. The players responded by going downhill fast. Put that together with the injuries and that developed into a losing combination.

Jevone Moore

Danilo Gallinari continues to fly high for the Clippers. So far he has stayed away from injuries to help lead the Clippers into the playoffs.

The Clippers avoided the injury bug and put together a solid season under the direction of head coach Doc Rivers. Even after trading away their best player in Tobias Harris they continued to use the team concept that has taken them to the playoffs. No picked the starless Clippers to make the playoffs and that's the beauty of sports.


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