Role Reversal: Clippers and Lakers

This is the 43rd NBA Season for the Los Angeles Clippers.  Over the first 42 years of their existence (in Los Angeles, San Diego and Buffalo) they won 36.7% of their games.  They had a winning record in only 7 of their first 42 seasons and have never won more than 50 games in a single season.  Their typical season has been 30 wins and 52 losses.  This year’s team has the best record in the NBA and has won 28 of their first 36 games.  The Clippers of old, with a 36.7% winning percentage, would be expected to start the season this well once in every 1.65 million seasons.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been playing in the NBA for 65 seasons (including Minneapolis).  They won 62% of their games in their first 64 seasons and had a losing record in only 12 of those seasons.  The typical Laker team has a record of 51 wins and 31 losses.  In fact, the Lakers have won at least 50 games in 32 different seasons.  This year’s team has won only 15 of their first 35 games and is in danger of missing the playoffs.  The Lakers of old, with a 62% winning percentage, would be expected to get off to that poor of start once in every 60 seasons.

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