As the smoke and hype settles down from the NBA trade deadline and teams are trying to make runs at a playoff spot some teams came out of the deadline without a star player. But that brings up a question every NBA fan has pondered, do you need star to make the playoffs?
Comparing two teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers would not be fare. So this is going to be a comparison of the Los Angeles Clippers and their no star team currently seeded 8th in the Western Conference Standing against hometown rivals Los Angeles Lakers with their plethora of star talent currently seeded 11th.
Coming out of the trade deadline the Clippers traded away Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2021 1st round pick, 2021 2nd round pick, 2023 2nd round pick.
On the trade deadline the Clippers had traded Averley Bradley for JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple of the Memphis Grizzlies. Then traded Mike Muscala for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers later waived Milso Teodosic, Martin Gortat, Michael Beasley.
The Lakers walked out of the trade deadline with Reggie Bullock after a trade with the Detroit Pistons for Svi Mykhailiuk, 2021 2nd round pick. Then on the deadline traded Mike Muscala to the Clippers.
From the end of the trade deadline comparing the shooting stats through February the Clippers were behind the Lakers in three of the four percentiles, the Lakers led in Field Goal percentage 45.7% to 40.8%; 3 point percentage 34% to 22.7%; 2 point percentage 51.8% to 45.4%; the Clippers only led in one category free throw percentage 76.2% to 68.6%.
In March as teams focus on making the playoffs and newly teamed players find their roles percentages switch as the Clippers now lead in three of the four percentiles 48% to 47.6% in field goal percentage; 44.8% to 28% in 3 point percentage; 74.4% to 70.7% in free throw percentage; the Lakers only lead in 2 point percentage with a margin of 58.7% to 49.3%.
As of now through the first two months of play the Lakers have been hit with injuries. But combining the two averages in the months since the trade deadline the Clippers still hold a three to four advantage leading in field goal percentage 48.6% to 46.6%; 3 point percentage 38.2% to 31.2%; 77.5% to 69.5% in free throw percentage; the Lakers still lead in 2 point percentage by a slimmer margin of 55% to 48.4%.
The playoff race is coming to a close with 13 games left in the preseason, the Clippers as of now have the 8th seed with the Lakers looking for a way to shoot themselves back into the bracket but injuries hold them off.