The Los Angeles Lakers were primed to have a breakout season before certain developments came up. There was that injury to DeMarcus Cousins and the latest of which was the signing of Tyronn Lue. Given these, the big question now is which Los Angeles-based squad will experience success this NBA season.

For the Lakers, adding a big man to take the place of Cousins is a priority. But even before that, there were other things they needed to address. That included possibly getting a third superstar and also figuring out if Frank Vogel can finally get the purple and gold express rolling. Given they have LeBron James and Anthony Davis up front, there is no denying the Lakers have little to no reason to succeed.

And while that remains to be seen, the Clippers are no pushovers. They have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard at the helm plus the vastly improved Patrick Beverly. But the real kicker perhaps is the inclusion of Tyronn Lue, reported. His inclusion sends out mixed signals but the most notable of them all is that he knows James pretty well.

For ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, these things would be enough to consider the Clippers as the main stumbling block for the Lakers. Coaching was initially pointed out as the biggest issue the purple and gold will face. But Smith believes there is more to that which Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka will have to face.

“You’re not wrong, you’re just not complete. It’s not just that they have the coaching, they have a more complete roster and they have better defenders. When you look at the combination of Kawhi, Paul George and Patrick Beverly, you got three elite defenders in your starting lineup with a coach who’s high with his motivational skills and then he adds the coach that coached LeBron for 3+ years, so you gotta take that into consideration as well.”

Smith brings up some reasonable points that NBA fans will have to monitor in the Western Conference. But the thing now is that the Lakers have plenty of problems to address. And while they are trying to resolve that, the Clips are quietly plotting their plans for next season.

The only thing certain is that both Los Angeles-based squads are expected to figure prominently. However, the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors will still be threats in the west, meaning the Clippers and the Lakers need to deal with them as well.