NBA exec: ‘No way’ Lakers beat Clippers in playoffs

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t do anything to improve ahead of the trade deadline, and one NBA executive thinks thinks that will hurt them come the playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Speaking with Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, an Eastern Conference executive laid it out in bare terms, saying, “There’s no way the Lakers beat the Clippers in a seven-game series.”

The unnamed executive is not alone in that thinking. And it boils down to point guard play, along with a mismatch on defense.

“Kawhi is too strong for Danny Green. [Kyle] Kuzma can’t do anything against him. We’ve seen what he does to KCP,” a former general manager said, per Pincus. “LeBron is really the Lakers’ best option defensively. They’re going to have to sacrifice in a series and put LeBron on Kawhi.”

The Lakers of course were said to be in on veteran guard Darren Collison, but ultimately he pulled out saying the timing wasn’t right, and instead will stay retired.

That leaves the Lakers with few options to improve. And given the fact that the Clippers have swept the Lakers so far during the regular season and have fewer holes on their roster, it’s hard to argue with the notion that they, and not the Lakers, are the best team in the west.

Though, LeBron James has put teams on his back before, and nobody should be surprised if he does it again.