Lakers Would Have Pronounced Crowd Advantage in Playoffs Versus Clippers

Ryan Glasspiegel
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard / Harry How/Getty Images
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The Lakers defeated the Clippers on Sunday in a game that officially swung the former into re-claiming the spot as odds-on favorites in the NBA championship hunt. It also demonstrated that the Clippers would have an uphill battle against their Staples Center co-tenants, even in their "home" games.

It's not profound to say that Los Angeles is a Lakers town, but it's nonetheless bizarre to see the Clippers parquet, yet hear Lakers fans generating at least 60 percent of the noise.

There's an inherent dilemma when you're a Clippers season ticketholder. You don't want to relinquish home-court advantage away from your team, but you can sell Lakers tickets at a premium to face value which helps cover the exorbitant costs of the rest of the season. This is hardly a dilemma unique to Clippers fans, and it's a hard economic opportunity to turn down for many fan bases in America when opponents' fans either live nearby or travel well.

This does not mean it's a death sentence for the Clippers -- Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors won Game 5 in Milwaukee in last season's Eastern Conference Finals, nullifying the Bucks' home court advantage -- but to beat the Lakers they'd have to win four games in which the crowd is discernibly not on their side.

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