Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Can the Clippers break the Laker stranglehold on LA?

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By Larry Fine

The Lakers have owned Los Angeles in the NBA sense for 50 years since moving to the City of Angels from the Land of 10,000 Lakes where they were born the Minneapolis Lakers.

 Now with a startling suddenness since the end of the NBA lockout, the famed franchise with its 16 NBA titles looks ripe for a challenge for local hoops supremacy from their Staples Center co-tenants – the perennially sad-sack Los Angeles Clippers.

 Add premier point guard Chris Paul to the Clippers, along with veterans such as Caron Butler from the NBA champion Mavericks and Chauncey Billups of the Knicks, and subtract Lamar Odom from the Lakers and one can feel the rumbles of abalance of power shift in Southern California.

 Mix in an injury to the shooting wrist of Kobe Bryant, and waves of worry have hit the Lakers faithful, who had to endure back-to-back defeats to the Clippers in preseason warm-ups.

All I want for Christmas is…NBA – five teams and players to watch

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The new NBA season took a while to come around after a five-month lockout spent negotiating an improved labor agreement. What better day to start than Dec. 25. Merry Christmas!

Read the season preview here courtesy of Larry Fine, and our American sports editor Julian Linden weighs in with five players to watch as well as five teams sure to set pulses racing over the shortened 66-game programme.

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