Why didn't the 56-26 Clippers go into the 2015 playoffs as a favorite in the Western Conference?
The Clippers have been generally viewed as pretender more than contender, likely because of their track record. After strong annual regular seasons, the Clippers came up flat last postseason in a second-round loss to the
The team previous fell in the first round to the
After beating the San Antonio Spurs, the
Four teams remain in the West, with the
If he's hampered throughout the rest of the postseason, the Clippers' chances are greatly diminished. If Paul is able to play effectively, without missing any significant time, the Clippers are a threat.
Will Chris Paul still be booed at Dodgers games?
Death, taxes and Paul getting jeered at a Dodgers game are generally inevitable. Can Paul expect a different reaction the next time he visits Chavez Ravine? Probably not, although maybe the crowd will be less vigorous with their catcalls. Now if the Clippers win the title this year or even advance to the NBA Finals, perhaps more of a seismic shift occurs.
Can the Clippers, and by association, Chris Paul, win over the city of Los Angeles with the
The Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the league over the past two seasons – the Clippers one of the best. Nonetheless, the city is primarily full of Lakers fans, some who will never appreciate any Clippers success.
Paul was briefly traded to the Lakers, before then-Commissioner
A large percentage of Lakers fans simply won't let that go, even if the Clippers win a title.
The Clippers will pull over some of the more casual, former Lakers enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest inroads the Clippers will make will be among the youngest fans who may not be old enough to remember
How much time do the Clippers have to make inroads before the Lakers start winning again?
The Clippers have to decide this summer on the fate of center
The franchise also needs to add depth to the roster, the team's biggest flaw entering the postseason. Meanwhile, the Lakers may bring in a top prospect in the 2015 NBA draft, along with the return of forward Julius Randle who missed the season after suffering a broken leg in the first game of the season.
The Lakers also have enough cap room to add a maximum-salaried player this summer, and possibly two additional max players the following year. There's no guarantee the Lakers successfully land franchise players in free agency, but the team has high hopes of returning to contention over the next two years.