Lakers, Clippers are on opposite ends of the playoff roller coaster


Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers falls to the floor grabbing his leg against the Phoenix Suns in the first half of game four of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoff basketball game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 30, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

The fortunes of the two Los Angeles NBA franchises are on opposite ends of the playoff roller coaster, the pendulum swinging wildly over the past seven days.

It was all good just a week ago for the Lakers, the proud champions who seemed poised to find stable ground after an injury-filled and draining season but now are at the doorstep for more trouble, tied with the Phoenix Suns after four games.

The Los Angeles Clippers just pulled themselves from that doorstep, leaving the neighborhood of disaster after discovering some necessary mettle and looking every bit like the team intent on changing the narrative.

Anthony Davis’ groin injury adds to the litany of ailments that makes a road to a repeat more difficult. The Suns have injury issues of their own, with Chris Paul’s shoulder severely hindering his effectiveness.

But the Suns are growing in confidence with each game, their young players feeling more comfortable and less in awe of who’s on the other side. It could take a herculean effort from LeBron James, a signature game he’s certainly capable of, to escape this series.