Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's been eight years since a team other than the Warriors or Spurs won the Western Conference. That's bound to change this season — and two of the teams that will be battling for supremacy play in the same city.

The big picture: While title contenders are only just now returning to Los Angeles, it's been the center of the NBA universe for a while now.

  • Players spend the offseason there, most free agent meetings happen there and the number of L.A.-based NBA reporters has exploded.
  • "Everything's going to run through the city this year. As a national writer, how can you not have a footprint on it?" said Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, who lives in Oakland but estimates he now spends 70% of his time in L.A.

The Lakers: It's LeBron James, Anthony Davis and … an assortment of role players (unless Kyle Kuzma makes a leap).

  • Yes, it's true, the Lakers lack depth. But the James-Davis partnership is as lethal as it gets, and they're virtually unguardable in the pick-and-roll — especially if guys like Danny Green are hitting corner threes with consistency.

The Clippers: While the Lakers were forced to blow up their roster to acquire Davis, the Clippers were able to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Paul George while keeping much of their roster intact.

  • As a result, L.A.'s "second team" is the NBA's best, at least on paper. They're talented, deep and could be downright scary defensively.
  • Plus, they're working on that whole "second team" thing, too — going after an untapped following of "grinders, outsiders, artists and counter-culture types who might be put off by the Lakers' preening Hollywood image."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

The state of play: Trump returned to the podium approximately ten minutes later and informed reporters of the news. He said the suspect has been taken to the hospital, but was unable to provide more details and said Secret Service may give a briefing later.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 19,952,057 — Total deaths: 732,689 — Total recoveries — 12,150,698Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,074,059 — Total deaths: 163,275 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: House will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week.

Why it matters: This is the lowest number of states to see dramatic single-day increases since Axios began tracking weekly highs in June, and marks a continued decrease from late July.