Lakers vs. Clippers. Who is the Better Team in LA?

The Lakers have now won 5 games in a row for the first time this season and have finally started to assemble a team that can win in the playoffs.  The Clippers have won 14 games in a row for the longest winning streak in the history of the franchise.   Both teams look to play deep into the playoffs, but let's be realistic can either of these teams win a title?  I think they both possibly could, but the Lakers should have the advantage there because they have all been there before.  But, the Clippers have a chance to make some noise with their "Lob City" style of play.  I want to know who is the better team in LA right now.  Throw out the records and let's put these two teams head-to-head on paper.

Point Guard:  Chris Paul vs. Steve Nash.  This matchup is quite intriguing.  Nash is a two-time NBA MVP, but he is on the downside of his career while Paul is right in the midst of his prime.   Both players are elite when healthy, but Paul gets the edge here, because of his age and his ability to actually stay in front of somebody on defense.  Even though I have been impressed with Nash's desire to at least attempt to play defense so far.  Advantage: Clippers

Shooting Guard:  Kobe Bryant vs. Willie Green.  This one is no contest.  Kobe is one of the top players in NBA history and the Clippers just don't have that at shooting guard.  The only reason that Green even starts is so that they can bring Jamal Crawford off the bench and I don't think without a guy like Chauncey Billups starting next to Paul any team can make it very far in the playoffs.  Kobe will demolish any player that the Clippers can put out there to guard him.  Advantage: Lakers

Small Forward:  Metta World Peace vs. Caron Butler.  I know that MWP does not always start, but I bet he will be come playoff time.  He is playing lights out right now and seems to be back to Defensive Player of the Year type defensive efforts.  Butler is a solid SF.  The guy knows how to knock down shots and is a solid defender.  I want to call this matchup a wash, but the way MWP is playing right now leads me to believe that he will keep it up well through the playoffs.  Advantage:  Lakers

Power Forward:  Pau Gasol vs. Blake Griffin.  Griffin is the young up and comer and Pau is the wily veteran with the awkward game.  I am not going to try to pull this matchup towards the Lakers.  Griffin is the better player right now.  I still think he is much too one dimensional to be a top player, but he has Paul at point guard and can get away with it.  Pau still brings something the Lakers use better than any other team... length.  Advantage:  Clippers

Center:  Dwight Howard vs. DeAndre Jordan.  I don't care what anybody says including Shaq.  Howard is a much better center than Jordan.  And that is even when Howard is only at about 75% health wise.  Jordan is completely one dimensional in that all he brings to the table is his athleticism.  He does absolutely nothing else.  Howard is still the best center in the NBA and I don't think it is that close right now.  Advantage: Lakers

Bench:  The Clippers bring one of the best sixth men in NBA history off the bench in Jamal Crawford.  The guy knows how to put up points in a hurry.  Also, Matt Barnes is playing out of his mind and Ronny Turiaf is solid right now.   Both players are playing much better than they did for the Lakers during their careers.  The Lakers have Jodie Meeks, their own little scoring machine, and haven't been using Antwan Jamison because of his poor play, but I still think Jamison will turn it around.  Also, they have Jordan Hill as their back up big man and though he never seems to get consistent minutes he has been rather productive when he is on the court.  Advantage: Clippers

Coach:  Mike D'Antoni vs. Vinny Del Negro.   D'Antoni was not the Lakers first choice for coach and Del Negro was on the hot seat as recent as prior to this 14 game win streak.  Del Negro has yet to prove he can win in the playoffs whereas D'Antoni has yet to prove he can win in the conference finals.  I don't think I would like either coach on my sideline honestly, but at least D'Antoni has more experience.  Advantage:  Lakers

There it is.  What "it" is exactly who knows.  Both teams should be in playoffs with rather high seeds.  The Clippers are off to a hot start and the Lakers are finally starting to hit their stride.  It should be interesting to see how the rest of the season pans out for both teams.  I hate to say it Clipper fans, but you know that this whole winning thing will not last long.  I am sure Donald Sterling is already devising a plan to completely break up this team.  That is the Clipper way.  Go Lakers!

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