Nov 29, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
November 2nd vs. Sacramento Kings
2013-14 Season Series: LAC 4 – 0 SAC
My vote for most underrated rivalry in the NBA.
These two have yet to meet in the playoffs (often cited as criteria when naming rivalries), the Clippers are vastly superior to the opposition, and it’s unclear if the Kings as a whole hold a dislike for the Clippers. Somehow these two always deliver an experience worth our viewing.
To put it simply, this rivalry starts and ends with DeMarcus Cousins. The addition of Darren Collison helps–if anything it adds fire to the flame as the Clippers didn’t make Collison a huge priority in the off-season–but Cousins is the heart and soul of this rivalry. He and Blake Griffin are an excellent matchup. His run-ins with Chris Paul have been comedic and entertaining. You add one more Kings player to the fray in regards to hating LA and this rivalry takes a step further.
It’s unclear if the Kings got any better this off-season, a key factor in the quality of these matches growing. They’ve lost Isaiah Thomas, replacing him with Collison, and added Nik Stauskus in the 2014 NBA Draft. That’s… well, that’s not much, especially with Stauskus being a rookie and Collison not being definitely better than Thomas. The other pieces remain the same–Cousins, Gay, Williams; if they can take leaps there’s your clear cut improvement.
If not, we may see the most entertaining 4-0 sweep in the NBA between these two. Again.