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Jason Douglas Lewis - Lights may be out at Staples Center as NBA playoffs progress

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Lights may be out at Staples Center as NBA playoffs progress

The Clippers might not get out of the first round, and the Lakers might not make the playoffs.

The Lakers looked really good coming out of the All-Star break, as they climbed back into playoff contention.  But after losses to sub .500 teams such as the Wizards, it is not looking good for the Lakers.  Photo by Jeff Lewis
 
Originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
 
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
 
Since Staples Center opened in Downtown Los Angeles in 1999, there has been at least a second round playoff series every year except for 2004-05 and 2006-07.
 
This year may be the third.  The way the Lakers are playing, they might miss the playoffs, and the way the Clippers are playing, it will be hard to imagine them getting out of the first round.
 
Since the All-Star break, the Clippers have lost to the Spurs twice, the Thunder, Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Rockets, all Western Conference playoff teams.  They also lost to the Mavericks, who are in playoff contention.  The only Western Conference team who is in playoff contention that the Clippers have defeated since the All-Star break is the Jazz, who are barely hanging on the final spot.  The Clippers recently hit a three game losing streak against the Spurs, Rockets, and Pacers, all playoff teams.
 
As the Pacific Division winners, they can be seeded no lower than fourth.  If they cannot climb back into the third spot, they will most likely play the Nuggets, or possibly the Grizzlies.  At this point it looks like either of those teams can knock the Clippers out of the playoffs.
 
As bad as it is right now for the Clippers, it is far worse for the Lakers.  About a week ago it looked like they had solved their problems, and they looked like they could climb all the way up to the 6th spot, which would have allowed them to avoid the Spurs and Thunder.   But losses against the Suns, Wizards, and Bucks, none of which are over .500, the Lakers look like they maybe watching the Jazz take the final spot in the playoffs.
 
This season had a ton of promise for both Los Angeles teams before the season started.  But right now, from the second round on, local fans may be watching the playoffs on television.

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