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Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 11:30 am  |  24 responses

Rivalry or Not: Lakers vs Clippers, Round 2


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Another chapter in the uneasy co-existence between the Lakers and Clippers inside the Staples Center will be written tonight.

Even though there’s some bad blood developing, neither side wants to necessarily over-hype the second meeting this season between the two teams, largely out of fear of motivating the opponent, the media is more than happy to do it for them.

Players and coaches on the two teams were cornered by the local and national press and asked to determine if this is, indeed, a true rivalry. (Whatever that means these days.) The answers, as you might expect, varied.

From the LA Times and Daily News:

Pau Gasol said Tuesday the Clippers must be taken “very seriously.” He wasn’t joking. A month ago, there would have been a few chuckles. A year ago, people would have doubled over with laughter. Not any longer. The teams meet again Wednesday in a designated Lakers home game, with the Clippers atop the Pacific Division and the Lakers 10th in the Western Conference. It’s far too premature to call this a rivalry. Or is it? “I think it was always a rivalry but now that they have opportunities to win games against us, it’s, like, something else,” Lakers center Andrew Bynum said.There’s already a mini-rivalry between Griffin and Lakers forward Matt Barnes. Barnes said Griffin flopped too much after the Clippers beat the Lakers in an exhibition last month … Does Barnes’ comments give credence to a growing rivalry between the teams? “I’ve heard a lot of talk like that from [the Lakers] through other people,” Griffin said. “That’s what happens. We won the first game. I feel like that’s what happens when you kind of come out and you’re ready. So, we’ll let them do all that. I’m not worried about Matt Barnes and what he thinks about me flopping or not.”

“I look at it as it’s not a rivalry,” Mike Brown said. “Right now, they’re ahead of us in terms of what they want to be doing with their team on both ends of the floor and, so for us, we’re still searching. That’s the state of where we are right now. We’re a ways away from reaching our potential or being where we want to be at the end of the season. They’re more settled and focused on where they’re heading. If I were them, I would be thinking I would have an edge, too.”

Whether or not this is a true “rivalry” is a matter of semantics and personal opinion, and doesn’t matter all that much.

What does matter, however, is that hoops fans in the city of Los Angeles and around the world get to enjoy these increasingly heated battles between the two squads.

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  • bashmo

    As of right now Chris Paul is the best baller in Los Angeles and is back from a minor hamstring injury. I expect him to have his way with the Lakers tonight like he has been over the past couple of years…and this is beginning to look like an interesting rivalry that will last a couple more years at least.

  • Jono

    Media hyping up the game, nothing to look here.

  • Riggs

    Clippers win.

  • Riggs

    Barnes and Griffin are as much as a rivalry as Stevenson and Lebron

  • AQWORD

    IT’S ON NOW MO FUKAZ !!! The Laker era was cute but its about to be done.

  • Ldub20

    If the Lakers would pull the trigger on a Dwill trade, this wouldnt be an issue. Dwill and Paul would automatically become the rivalry between these two teams. AND if they decide to sign for multiple years, it would be great to see the two LA teams going at it with 2 of the top 5 pg’s in the L. Dwill and Humph for Gasol and Blake??

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    cosign riggs 2nd comment

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Isn’t CP3 injured? Or is he ready to play tonight?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I think he’s playing tonight.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance DFrance21

    @JTaylor, is Flip Saunders the greatest coach of all time? Trying to figure out if someone if trolling with your name today or not. lol\

    Really don’t like Blake Griffin anymore. Yes, he can be exciting, but he is the biggest complainer in the league, especially for all the little cheap shots he dishes out.

  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    DFrance21 you obviously aren’t watching enough basketball if you think that – he’s had a few things here and there and the rest is media hype.

  • AD

    what a great picture…. but its not a rivalry yet…. Clippers gotta beat them in a playoff series first but it’s just good competition.

  • AD

    @Ldub20 there is no deal to be pulled for dwill. Despite all the media hype , Deron wants to stay because obviously dwight wants to go to BK with dwill…. @Saviour and @DFrance21 alll NBA players complain and whine like 5th graders

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    DFrance21, where’s the faith?

  • shutup

    Theres a difference from being a flopper and trying to take offensive fouls, as much as I love the spurs Ginobili is a flopper Varejo is a flopper vujacic? is a flopper, during last season Blake took alot of extra hits because of his flashiness and he has a target on his back because of alot of jealousy much like Carter did when he was dunking all over people. He is probably the second most fouled player in the league, behind Howard and the difference is he up in the air for most of them exposing him to a lot more risk.

  • robb

    If CP3 is playing tonight they’ll win. I hope he doesn’t. Mediahype or not I don’t like Blake Griffin. He’s a beast but I don’t like him, I stopped liking him since he did that lame last dunk at the dunk contest, then he started flopping, then complaining.

  • Ldub

    @AD..media hype. If you are playing on a team of bench players (pushed into a starting postion) and one of the worst records in the L, you wouldnt wanna go to another team? Dwill doesnt wanna stay around to rebuild that team, regardless of what the media may try to present. And bring D12 to Brooklyn wont change anything either. Because they still will be underachieving from the 2-4 spots. ANNNDD being in the east, D12 will not automatically make that team contenders either. Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Boston (with all their age) and even Indiana would all still be better than Booklyn with its new gym and jerseys. Dwill would be smart to get out of there asap. And with Pau not happy in Brown’s new offense, the trade would make sense.

  • http://www.imstupid.com nbk

    HAI GUYZ MY NAME IZ NBK AND I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS. MONTA ELLIS SHOULD WIN MVP THIS YEAR, HE HAS A TREE TATTOO D00D. STEPH CURRY IS ALSO A BALLER, REMEMBER THAT STEPH CURRY SONG FROM WHEN HE WAZ IN COLLLLEGE?!? AND DORRELL WRIGHT IS BETTER THAN LEBRON, JUST SAYING! THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORSSSSSSSSSS ARE GOING TO 3 PEAT THIS YEAR! GOOOOOOOO WARRIORS! :]

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    the most intriguing matchup of the night: mike brown vs vinny del negro. let’s see who can screw his team up the least.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol

  • l2ising Phoenix

    Statement game . I got my $ on the clips if cp3 is playing.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    was that really nbk??…that sounded like a drunk Justin Beiber fan..jeez

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    I hate when my comments don’t get posted and I don’t realize it until the moment is gone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Lakers won!(thank god)

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