Clippers vs Lakers: Who has the better starting 5?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers fails to get the ball past half court against Austin Reaves #15 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter at Crypto.com Arena on February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers fails to get the ball past half court against Austin Reaves #15 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter at Crypto.com Arena on February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Davis & Marcus Morris Sr.
Anthony Davis & Marcus Morris Sr. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Marcus Morris Sr.

2021-22 season stats: 15.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg

Admittedly, Marcus Morris Sr. is a bit undersized for the power forward position. On most nights, the former 2011 first-round draft pick struggles with defending much larger foes on the block, often depending on the assistance of his teammates.

Without question a defensive liability, Morris makes up for his shortcomings on that end of the floor with his ability to knock down the long ball. At 15.4 points per game through 54 games last season, Morris is an above-average scorer with a penchant for hitting big-time shots. He doesn’t contribute in many other areas on the floor, having averaged just 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists but it’s Morris’s scoring that makes him a valued member of the Clippers’ starting lineup.

Anthony Davis

2021-22 season stats: 23.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg

The Los Angeles Lakers are always in search of their next star. Franchise mainstays such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain were all pilfered from other franchises. In the case of Anthony Davis, it was much of the same.

Fans of the franchise couldn’t believe their eyes once the acquisition of Davis became official before the start of the 2019-20 season. Davis, of course, was just as advertised in his first year. He went on to average 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks for a Lakers squad that won it all in the Orlando bubble.

Since nabbing a championship in his first year, however, Davis hasn’t seemed to want it anymore. This past season, Davis’s overall numbers were stellar – averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. Still, his overall impact simply wasn’t the same. To further back that claim, Davis’s 2.6 offensive win shares this past season were the second lowest of his career. His meager 2.0 defensive win shares were the worst of his career.

If the Lakers expect to return to championship glory, they’ll need more from Davis next season and going forward.

Verdict: Lakers

This one truly isn’t even close. Chastise Anthony Davis all you want, he’s far and away the superior player to Marcus Morris Sr. on every level. The Clippers’ current starting power forward struggles defensively but provides nice offensive upside. Davis, on the other hand, is a menace on both sides of the ball.

Although he appears indifferent at times, Davis remains an All-Star level player who can singlehandedly carry a franchise to a postseason berth. Let’s not overthink this one.