Well, that could have gone a whole lot better, couldn’t it? The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA champions, but they sure didn’t look like it on Tuesday night as the new NBA season opened up. They began with a loss to inner-city rivals, the Clippers, and to make matters even worse, the Lakers saw star man LeBron James leave early with an ankle injury in the 116-109 defeat. James, who ended up scoring 22 to lead the purple and gold in the loss, said he will play on Christmas, indicating it could be a minor injury.
This result, though, wasn’t just about the Lakers not playing well. It was also about the Clippers producing the kind of play we’d expected from them last season when it mattered most. Paul George slept his way through the first half, but he came to life in the second to score 26 of his 33 total. Kawhi Leonard also chipped in with 26 of his own, helping the Clippers ruin the ‘ring’ night of the Lakers. These are early days, but they have to be seen as good signs for the ‘other’ LA team.