The Clippers and the Lakers continue to look like the same teams that started the season. The Clippers were hoping to move into the elite bracket of the NBA and the Lakers were looking to improve on one of the worst seasons in their history. Both teams appear to be stuck in neutral.
Currently the Clippers are 23-12 while the Lakers are 11-24. The Clippers record would be great if they were playing in the Eastern Conference; however, in the Western Conference there are at 10 good teams that are fighting for eight playoff spots.
“We have to be more consistent,” said Chris Paul of the Clippers last week. “I have to be more aggressive and we have to play better defensively.”
Clipper coach Doc Rivers has a different philosophy about his team’s situation.
“If we want to be a good team we have to go through the whole season and then take a look at where we are,” Rivers said. “We don’t like losing but it’s a long season.”
The Clippers’ main problem this season is the lack of production from the second unit. Jamal Crawford is the one player on the second team that can comes off the bench and makes a positive impact. Jordan Farmar and Spencer Hawes are having trouble scoring points and playing solid defense off the bench.
The Lakers second unit of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Nick Young, Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly are getting the job done but their starters are lacking the offensive punch that can put them in a position to win games. Ronnie Price and Wesley Johnson need to produce more on offense for the Lakers to win more games.
As of now both of those players are injured so their replacements have a chance to find a way to put the ball in the basket. Lakers coach Byron Scott has decided to rest star player Kobe Bryant so the 19-year vet-eran will have more energy at the end of games.
“We are trying to keep his playing time around 32 minutes,” said Scott. “We are trying to make sure he has his legs because he has to carry us in the fourth quarter in a lot of the games.”
The Lakers will go on for a four-game road trip that starts with Orlando on Friday for a 7:30 p.m., Portland on Sunday, Jan. 11, Miami on Jan. 13 and Cleveland on Jan. 15. For the Clippers will host the Mavericks on Jan. 10 at 12:30 p.m. and the Heat the next day, before traveling to Portland for a 7:30 p.m. game on Jan. 14.