The Lakers Run LA!!

There was a time when people thought that the Los Angeles Clippers were the best team in Los Angeles. There was also a time when people thought the earth was flat. We all know that those people are wrong.

Sure, the Clippers got Chris Paul after the trade that would have sent him to the Lakers got cancelled by David Stern. Sure, the Clippers beat the Lakers twice in the pre-season. Sure, ESPN and a lot of other east coast sports networks breathlessly predicted that the Clippers were going to contend for the Western Conference crown.

Unfortunately, none of that is about to come true.

Los Angeles will always be a Lakers town. I said it during the beginning of the season; the only people who think the Clippers are the best team in LA don’t live in LA.

The Clippers had many new found fans during the beginning of the season but they have not been so vocal lately. And that is because the basketball world has returned to its rightful place. The Lakers are now three games ahead of the Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Clippers have suddenly remembered that they are the Clippers and have started losing games like it’s their job; they are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

The Lakers, on the other hand, are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are playing better than ever since they acquired Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has given the Lakers a spark and has totally changed the offense. Watching him slash to the basket and create shots for those around him reminds me of the Showtime Lakers of the 80’s.

Sessions has everybody thinking about another championship. Even Kobe Bryant has come out and said that the Lakers are now a championship caliber team.

All is right with the basketball world. The Lakers are peaking at the right time and could seriously contend for the title and the Clippers have remembered that they are the Clippers and are starting slide down the standings.

It is going to be interesting to see all the talking heads explain how they were so wrong about the Clippers and even more interesting to watch them trying to explain how the Lakers made it all the way to the Finals.

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How “BAD” Are The Lakers?

It’s been a tough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. First, they have their blockbuster Chris Paul trade vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern, only to watch Paul get traded to the Clippers. Then they lose two straight pre-season games against the same Clippers.  They then traded Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom to conference rival Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception and some magic beans.

Laker Nation has been in turmoil ever since.

Everyone has been complaining about head coach Mike Brown and his system, Kobe Bryant and his shot selection, Andrew Bynum and inconsistency, the bench and their inability to hold a lead, and a plethora of other issues.

The most troubling fact this season is the Lakers sorry road record, which stands at 7-14. When the Lakers were winning championships they had one of the best road records in the league. Championship caliber teams can win on the road.

But are the Lakers really a “bad” team? Or are have Lakers fans just been spoiled the last few years? Take a quick look at their record. Currently, Lakers are 24-16 (60% win rate), tied for first in the Pacific Division and are the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Not bad for a team that has had so much drama and road woes this season.

But Lakers fans aren’t looking for Division titles, they are looking for Championships. Titles are all that count. Anything less is a failure.

By any other standard, the Lakers are having a successful season; they have a good shot at winning their division and will make the playoffs. Any other team and their fans would be happy with that. Just look how delirious Clippers fans are.

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and maybe the Lakers front office can pull out a trade that will send the Lakers to the NBA Finals. That is the only way the fans will consider this a “winning” season.

Lakers Undefeated Since the All-Star Break!!

With the Lakers dismantling of the Clippers tonight they have won three games in a row since the All+Star break. And this is a good thing.

Since the break the Lakers have logged wins against the Hawks, the TrailBlazer and now the Clippers.

The real test is coming this Sunday when they take on the new look OKC Thunder.

The Thunder recently acquired Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson from the Boston Celtics and now seem to match up better against the Lakers.

I have many conspiracy theories as to why the Celtics would make this trade. The best one is that the Celtics wanted to make the Thunder better so they can beat the Lakers and the Celtics would face another team in the Finals.

The only problem with that theory is the trading away Perkins and Robinson does not make the Celtics better. In fact, I think it hurts them. I makes them more vulnerable to the Miami Heat and even the Orlando Magic and possibly the Chicago Bulls. I still don’t think the New York Knicks are a threat to anybody in the East even if they have Carmelo Anthony. He is not a championship-type player.

This Sunday is going to be a test for the Lakers. Everyone is talking about how much better the Thunder are now.

Even Magic Johnson Tweeted that the West is now a four team race with the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks and now the Thunder.

So the Lakers can make a statement by beating the Thunder on Sunday.

And that statement would be: “We’re still the team to beat.”

No matter what trades have happened (and the Lakers didn’t make any) they are still the back-to-back Champions.

And that has to count for something.