The Clippers land Morris and win the trade deadline battle over the Lakers

Thursday was a monumentous day for one Hollywood basketball team.

Because that team became a little less Hollywood.

At the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, the LA Clippers added veteran swingman Marcus Morris, another solid piece to an already outstanding roster.

And with the move – combined with the LA Lakers lack of a move – the Clippers are officially the team to beat in Tinseltown.

The Lakers’ perceived advantage over the Clippers is inside. With Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, the Lakers have more size than LA’s other team.

But is the NBA an inside game?

No, and it hasn’t been since the arrival of Steph Curry.

Morris brings averages of 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds to a Clippers team already stacked with perimeter scorers in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet. Morris is also shooting a career-high 43.9 percent from three.

Now, while the Lakers’ perceived advantage is inside the paint, the stats say otherwise.

The trio of Davis, Howard and McGee have scored 60 total points in two losses to the Clippers this season. The Clippers also out-rebounded the Lakers in both games: 50-42 in the first matchup and 34-32 in the second.

In addition, Leonard has outscored James, 65-41, in the two games combined.

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Seems like the Clippers are winning the ‘Battle for LA’ from all angles.

So, what can the Lakers do to turn the tide?

Well, potentially trading Kyle Kuzma – who is having the worst season of his young career – could have been the first step.

During his rookie season, Kuzma averaged 16.1 points on 45 percent shooting in 31.2 minutes. Last year, he upped it to 18.6 points on 45.6 percent shooting in 33.1 minutes per night.

This season, he’s averaging career-lows in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and minutes.

In his defense, Kuzma did not play alongside James or Davis during his rookie season, and was the second option to James last season.

This year, he’s been surpassed by Davis in terms of the hierarchy.

However, despite his underwhelming season so far, the Lakers were unwilling to part ways with Kuzma in order to acquire Morris, which shows that the purple and gold still value their young, blonde scorer.

It might have been the right move for the Lakers. But in not making the move, the Clippers were able to take a step forward.

Catch 22.

Now, we’ll see if the Lakers can catch up to LA’s second team.