FanShot

2nd Half Story - 5 out of 5 pick Clippers to win Pacific

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2. Clippers or Lakers: Who wins the Pacific Division? Adande: Clippers. They have the more difficult road itinerary left, but the Lakers face tougher opponents, including three games vs. the Spurs in the final seven. Plus, the Clippers have a better team. Foster: I'll take the Clippers winning the Pacific Division by the narrowest of margins, but the Lakers as the team with the better playoff outlook. The Clippers' offense is spectacular and Chris Paul will win close games, but teams that rank 22nd in defensive efficiency historically don't make deep playoff runs. Mason: Clippers. Paul and the Clips already own a three-game head start over the Lakers in the loss column and also boast a clearer sense of their team's identity. More troubling than the Lakers' 6-12 road record is that even with Gasol, Bryant and Bynum playing well, they have yet to sustain an offensive rhythm for more than a few quarters. Peterson: Clippers. If the Lakers were still running the triangle, I'd pick the Lakers because of their depth and, ahem, experience. But the NBA belongs to point guards, and when it comes to comparing Derek Fisher, a fine player representative, versus Chris Paul, the finest player at his position, it's no contest. Paul will be the difference between the Clippers finishing first and the Lakers finishing second. Sherwood Strauss: Clippers. When in doubt, choose the team that isn't dangling a star over the fishing pier. Also: World Peace, Derek Fisher, Troy Murphy and Steve Blake.

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