“This Lakers team isn’t good and won’t be all season. This game shouldn’t be close.”
Some idiot wrote those words in a preview about the Los Angeles Clippers as they were set to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in the season opener. Okay that was me. I was wrong. Completely wrong. But it’s only game one, so I’ll save the overreaction for another post.
The Clippers looked bad. The talent was there, but the effort displayed was nonexistent. It’s no secret the Clippers have a better team. But as a wise person once said, hard workers always beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard. That’s the story of the game.
If you missed the game here is a brief description of how the Clippers lost to the Lakers:
The lineup of Jordan Farmar – Wesley Johnson – Jordan Hill – Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks scored 47 total points (posted an offensive rating of 154.6!!), 41 coming in the fourth quarter. In the fourth, that lineup out rebounded the Clippers 12-4 and posted 17 second chance points. You don’t win a game letting a team’s bench unit post those type of numbers. Compared to the Clippers starting lineup, that group doesn’t compare talent wise. But talent didn’t matter as Jordan Hill and co. out-executed and out-hustled LAC.
The team that showed up in the first four games of the preseason was nowhere to be found tonight. There were lapses on defenses from all parties and when the first option didn’t work within the offense they went the 2012-13 route. A team without Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard posted 116 points. It’s safe to say DeAndre Jordan‘s Defensive of the Year campaign isn’t starting out too well.
Without going in-depth on a few things here are some notes on the game in it’s entirety:
- First half J.J. Redick looked as good as advertised. All 13 of his points came in a variety of ways coming off a set of screens to get his looked. Give credit to the Laker guards and forward for stifling him in the second half.
- Blake Griffin‘s post game was shoddy tonight. There were several instances of “Blake Griffin has a post game, see suckas!” to “wait, he can’t back down Shawne Williams and Wesley Johnson?” Blake post-game is an underrated aspects of his game, but he has to realize he’s a much better play facing up when 5-10 feet out from the basket. That allows him to put his biggest strengths — speed and passing — to use.
- Rookie Reggie Bullock scored his first two NBA points in the fourth quarter.
- Jared Dudley‘s Clippers debut wasn’t quite good. He struggled on both end of the floors tonight, especially on the defensive end which is supposed to be his specialty. Let’s just hope better days are ahead for him.
- Even after tonight, I’m still convinced the Lakers won’t be that good a team. But they’ll damn sure be enjoyable. Compared to last season this team has gotten younger and faster which is the perfect fit for D’Antoni’s offense. With no pressure on them to perform, they’ll make this season everything last year wasn’t.
- Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both played 35+ minutes. While they deserve the minutes, this’ll be detrimental to the team’s defense as the season goes on. Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens both posted DNP’s while Ryan Hollins played three meaningless minutes. The move to not sign a defensive-minded big man in the offseason is already haunting this team.
- Jordan Hill is going to be the heart of this Lakers team. He did everything you need a big man to do. Defend. Rebound. Create second chances. Annoy the opposition. It’s good to see him back on the floor after missing several games last season.
- This Clippers squad has a long ways to go defensively. You could blame injuries in the preseason for the chemistry being off, but Rivers will have his hands full getting this group to commit to the defensive end on a nightly basis.
Quotes of the Night
Jamal Crawford on the Defense: “Everything with us starts on defense. It leads to our offense. It gives us more energy. We’re more tuned in. We’re more locked in. We definitely had some defensive breakdowns.”
Doc Rivers on the Clippers being crowned champions before winning anything: “I think pros take that more personal. Once you win it, they still want to beat the champs … but they hate anointed champs.”
Doc: “Everything they did was harder than us, more physical than us; they destroyed us on the glass and destroyed us with turnovers.”
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) October 30, 2013
Next Game – Thursday, October 31st vs Golden State Warriors on TNT at 10:30 PM EST (7:30 PM PST)