The next chapter of the LA Clippers – Lakers rivalry is here

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Brice Johnson
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Brice Johnson /
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HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 1: Blake Griffin
HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 1: Blake Griffin /

The LA Clippers

A lot has changed for the Clippers since April. Only five players are returning from the 2016-2017 campaign, when they fell short in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz. Luckily, the five returning are some of the team’s top contributors.

Austin Rivers, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Johnson, and Brice Johnson make up a small portion of the newly-revamped roster. Rivers, Griffin, and Jordan will be asked to lead the way, while the two Johnsons will provide scoring off the bench.

Related Story: Doc Rivers fires back at Chris Paul for negative comments

More responsibility is going to fall on Griffin than ever before this year. Chris Paul has played his first game for Houston; J.J. Redick for Philadelphia, leaving Blake to run the team. Unexpectedly though, the Clippers’ best two-man combination last season was that of Griffin and Jordan. Griffin has gone on record as saying that “this season isn’t a transitional season” and that ultimately, the team’s goal is to make it to the postseason.

The additions of Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic, Patrick Beverley, and Lou Williams will certainly help the Clippers’ cause. However, fans shouldn’t expect the team to reach the level of success that they’d achieved when CP3 ran the show. Not yet, at least. It may not be a transitional season, but this Clippers squad will need time to work out the kinks and fight their way back to a position where they can contend.

Still, with all that, they’ll surely be a more capable team than the *other* Los Angeles team, and will continue to own the rivalry until something extraordinary happens.