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Reason 8: The birth of a new rivalry out West

It all started when the proposed Chris Paul-to-the-Los Angeles Lakers trade was nixed by the NBA. CP3 was suppose to be a Laker. Days later, it would be another L.A. team, the Clippers, who would nab Paul in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets. The taste leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the Lakers and its fans for certain. To one day have your prized point guard of the future, only for him to be taken by the squad whom you share your arena with has to be demoralizing to say the least. Now every time the Clips are in L.A. for a home game, the Lakers are reminded of what could’ve been. It could’ve been Paul running the show, rather than Derek Fisher. With everything in place now though, the Lakers will have to adjust and face the facts. It’s always been the Lakers running the town, but with the recent acquisitions by the Clippers (and giveaways by Lakers), tides may have turned in the Western Conference. The two squads will meet three times in 2011-12 – with two matches coming in January – and you best believe the slugfest will begin from tipoff on January 14. The matchups will be highlighted by All-Stars on both teams, and posterizing dunks could become just as frequent as a Pau Gasol jump shot. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole extravaganza plays out, but my money is still on the Lake Show this season.