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Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket on Metta World Peace #15 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers beat the Lakers 114-95.
NBA teams have been scrimmaging, getting ready for a belated opening day after a lock-out. The first games of the season will be played on Christmas Day, among them, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers just lost back-to-back pre-season games to the Clippers. Adrian Wojnarowski, a reporter covering the NBA for Yahoo! Sports told KPCC’s Steve Julian he thinks the Clippers, with their younger and more agile team, will have the advantage in a shortened season.
"I think the Clippers are in much better shape to start the season," says Wojnarowski. With a younger lineup better poised to weather back-to-back games and the wear-and-tear of a clipped season, Wojnarowski says "the Clippers are built tor the short season."
An older team with a new coach, The Lakers, says Wojnarowski, will have a much steeper climb, especially now that Lamar Odom's been traded away, and two top players – Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum – are hobbled as they head into the season.
Bryant is nursing a torn ligament in his right wrist. Bynum will sit out the first five games of the season on suspension after flagrantly fouling Dallas' J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.
"The Lakers are missing some athleticism, some youth," says Wojnarowski. "Some things in this NBA that are important to being an elite team."
Audio: Listen to Steve Julian's full interview with Adrian Wojnarowski