Once it became official that the Los Angeles Lakers had reloaded the roster with the likes of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard along with two solid options off the bench in Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks, the rest of the league immediately took notice and many believed that the Lakers were the new team to beat in the Western Conference.
Apparently, Chauncey Billups of the division rival Los Angeles Clippers doesn’t share the same sentiment as of the rest of the league via Detroit Free Press:
“They are trying to stack the deck over there, but I tell you what – I’m very pleased with my team and what we’ve been able to do and I will just say this – don’t nobody scare me, man,” said the former Piston with a chuckle.
Before the Lakers had made the deal for the Howard, the Clippers had made some drastic upgrades at many different positions. With the additions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and return of Billups, the “other” team in Los Angeles became a legitimate force to be reckoned with once again and perhaps a squad that could contend with the Lakers next season.
Now that both teams have improved their rosters across the board heading into next season, the battle for Los Angeles will be much more compelling. Last season’s duels between these two teams were physical, competitive and extremely heated at times, but next season will be even more intense with both teams having championship aspirations.
It remains uncertain at this point in time how well the Clippers’ new additions mesh with last year’s squad. Odom is no stranger to Los Angeles and may fit in seamlessly, but also may fail to find his game once again in colors other than purple and gold.
As for Crawford, the former Sixth Man of the Year is the perfect addition to the team with his scoring ability and versatility to play the point guard and shooting guard positions. It has yet to be determined whether or not he’ll be the starter or the first player off the bench.
Hill may prove to be the biggest question mark for the Clippers heading into next season at the age of 40. Not only will Hill be 40 at the start of next season, but he will no longer benefit from the amazing medical staff of the Phoenix Suns or playing alongside Nash.
As of right now, the Lakers are the kings of L.A. once again with a revamped roster and an aging superstar in Kobe Bryant striving to win a sixth NBA title. There’s no telling how both of these teams will fair in the upcoming regular season, but it will be entertaining to say the least.
Did you miss our interview with Dwight Howard? Check it out here!