Why the L.A. Clippers and Lakers Rivalry Will Be the League’s Best

Historically, the Lakers have been one of the greatest franchises in NBA history. Great franchises usually have rivals that echo their superiority. The Lakers' archrival has been and always will be the Boston Celtics.

However, the crosstown Clippers have been resurgent the past few years, focusing a new spotlight on Los Angeles via this year's best rivalry.

Despite the all-time head-to-head record between the two franchises (143-49 Lakers), the last three years have been much more competitive. The Lakers have won seven out of the last 11, but the highlight-savvy Clippers have turned the corner and are expected to be one of the league’s best teams again, with enough firepower and depth to match up with the Lakers.

Over the past few seasons, the Clippers have drafted very well. The result of such promising draft picks led to the trade for Chris Paul. What's more, the acquisition of Paul came off the heels of NBA commissioner David Stern overruling a three-team trade that would have sent CP3 to the Lakers.

Adding Chris Paul made the Clippers a legitimate Pacific Division contender, especially with the development of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the addition of Caron Butler. For the first time in years, the Clippers had the talent to not only make the playoffs but compete with the Lakers.

While Laker fans were…angry (to say the least) about missing out on CP3, all seems to have been forgotten. The additions of Los Angeles’ newest version of Superman and the once-hated Steve Nash, have Laker fans riding cloud nine again while expecting another NBA Finals appearance.

Furthermore, the 2012-13 showdowns between the Staples Center tenants are sure to be hard fought and will likely decide who wins the division. Never before has a Clipper team been so talented, thanks to the additions of Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. However, the same can be said ...

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