Los Angeles Lakers
Recap | Box score
Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Xavier Henry. Henry scored a career-high 22 points off the bench in his first game as a Laker, slashing and shooting for four quarters. Eleven of his 13 field goal attempts were either 3s or in the paint.
X factor: The Lakers’ bench. The L.A. team in gold played its bench the entire fourth quarter and outscored the Clippers 41-24 in the final period. The bench combined for 76 points on the night and saw five players score in double figures.
Well that was…unexpected: Remember when we were wondering by just how much the Clippers would win this game? How silly does that seem now? The Lakers out-hustled and simply outplayed their hallway rivals all night, especially in the second half.
– Fred Katz
Tweet(s) of the Game
DeAndre Jordan hit with a Swagrent 1
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 30, 2013
Doc might want to ask if they can cover the scoreboard.
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) October 30, 2013
Doc says the defensive breakdowns started w/ 2nd unit, then it fell off teamwide from there.
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) October 30, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per 36 Stat O’ The Night
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Jordan proposes an interesting #hotsportstake involving Jamal Crawford’s role around the 5:30 mark.
Check Your Messages
That was unexpected. But this was a team missing several key rotation players throughout preseason and displayed little if any small-ball lineups. The Clippers played poorly, but the one thing most people seem to agree is that Mike D’Antoni knows how to coach offense. So I’ll maintain an even-keel about the defensive shortcomings tonight.
An area that is more troubling is the +12 in total rebounding for the Lakers; 37.5 offensive rebounding percentage versus 22.7 percent for the Clippers. Rebounding has been a problem for the Clippers every season Reggie Evans hasn’t been in a game. And it’s already peaked its ugly head this 2013-14 season.
Rebounding was a point of emphasis for the Clippers during training camp, with DeAndre Jordan verbally instructing teammates several times throughout the preseason that the Clippers have traditionally not been a strong rebounding team. Maintaining that tradition should be cause for anxiety more than anything else after one game.
- Andrew Han
Who needs a third big?
Remember when we wondered exactly who the Clippers’ third big man would be? Well, it turns out the answer is “no one”.
Ryan Hollins got only four minutes of playing time Tuesday night. Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens didn’t even see the floor. Are the Clippers just going to ignore the whole effect of having a backup big come off the bench?
It was an absolute layup party for the Lakers once DeAndre Jordan came out of the game. The Clippers need some semblance of rim protection, just like any other team. But at least Tuesday night, there was such indecision about a third big man that there wasn’t a third big man at all.
- Fred Katz
All you do is confirm biases in that game
When you’re trying to silence your critics, every bad game offers fuel for the fire — especially on national TV on opening night — and boy did Blake Griffin fan the flames. At a passing glance, his line of 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists looks halfway-decent. His 3–for-10 performance at the free throw line does not. I don’t know what’s most disconcerting: Griffin’s inability to convert anything outside the paint, his 0 points and 0 rebounds in the fourth quarter, or that the hitch in his release still persists. Regardless, it’s just one game, and the Clipper power forward will surely bounce back. But in the meantime, his play will reinforce those style-over-substance criticisms of his game.
- Patrick James
Redick and Dudley: Shooters…?
When the Clippers made the offseason deal that landed Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick for Eric Bledsoe, there was much debate regarding whether or not L.A. received a sufficient bounty in return for its prized backup point guard. Some speculated that anything short of LeBron himself would be an unworthy replacement for “Mini-LeBron.”
Lost in all the consternation was the fact that the Clippers managed to acquire two solid starters in exchange for a sixth- or seventh-man who might play 22 minutes per game. (Oh, but those minutes would’ve been sublime!) Tonight provided a glimpse of just what the Clippers have to show for their big trade: firepower, or at least the threat of it.
Redick essentially kept the Clippers in the game in the first quarter, posting 12 quick points, en route to 13 total. Dudley started cold, misfiring on several open shots, and never really settled in, finishing with 5 points. Most notable was the effect both players had on the Lakers’ defense, opening up space in the paint and keeping defenders moving.
For Los Angeles to contend, it’s going to require consistently better performance from both Redick and Dudley (and just about everyone else on the roster) than we saw tonight. But if we’re looking for silver linings in this particular game, it’s clear the Clippers have a new dimension – shooting – that opponents respect. Now the shots just need to go in.
- Luke Laubhan
To be blunt, the season opener did nothing to quell any concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the Clippers’ championship credentials.
Worried about Blake Griffin’s free throw shooting? Here, have a 3-for-10 night line from the night. How about the defense of the second unit? Boom, 76 bench points allowed. What about having the athletes on the perimeter defensively to close out? The Lakers, led by something named Xavier Henry, hit 14 3-pointers.
This was, by every definition, the worst case scenario to start the season. But it’s one game. It’s one game. One game. Our fearless leader Ralph Lawler would tell Mike Smith to settle down, and so I’ll do the same here.
- D.J. Foster
Trey (no) bien
The Lakers shot it extremely well from long range tonight. There’s no denying that. That said, it’s quite obvious that the Clippers left so many purple and gold men open on the perimeter. Whether they were missed assignments or more often, late rotations, the Lakers’ guards had a field day. They even appeared to be licking their lips when presented with such amazingly delicious looks. Last season, the Clippers allowed opponents to convert 37.1 percent of their 3-point attempts, which ranked the Clippers’ defense sixth-worst league-wide on that metric. In fact, Atlanta was the only playoff team to allow a higher percentage. Further evidenced by the fact that LAC gave up 41 points in the final period, Doc Rivers and his coaching staff have their work cut out for them in devising a better plan to stop not only the 3-ball, but also to better defend as a unit.
- Aaron Fischman
What’s up with Chris Paul’s 3-point shot?
Chris Paul’s 3-point accuracy has declined steadily since 2009. Last season, he hit his lowest mark on 3s since his rookie season (33 percent). What’s strange though, is that in the roughly same time period, Paul’s number of 3-point attempts has exponentially grown. He had by far the highest 3-point rate (3-pointers/field goals) of his career last season and nearly double the rate that he had in his highest PER season (2008-09). It’s bizarre, really.
He was 0-for-2 tonight, but that means almost nothing. If he can maintain his 3-point rate while raising his accuracy — remember, he used to shoot around 39 percent — it makes the Clippers’ offense that much more efficient. How the bigs improve on defense is the major X factor for the Clippers, but Paul’s performance from behind the arc is something else that will really swing things.
- Jacob Frankel
Welcome to the third dimension
With the Lakers back-pedalling in transition, Chris Paul dribbles to the left wing and executes a pick-and-roll with Blake Griffin. For Paul, this is an ordinary exercise but one that begets.
3:15 2nd Q. Score tied. Nick Young, who appears to be taking part in a dribbling exhibition on the left wing, hoist a three that rattles in and out— a warning sign if there ever was any. DeAndre Jordan snatches the rebound and hands the ball off to his crafty running-mate. Chris Paul, catching the back-pedaling Lakers quite literally on their heels, inwardly salivates.
3:08. Paul is stationed above the 3-point line as Jordan sets up a quick transition pick-and-roll, a tried and true staple of the Clippers’ arsenal. It’s in these moments of confusion that Paul flourishes; he detects, dissects and capitalizes on potential mistakes. That Steve Nash is even tempted to defend him is just one in a future many hilarious illustrations of what these Lakers will come to embody. Paul careens into the lane and three yellow jerseys surround him with immediacy, as if they didn’t care a 7-foot mammoth wasn’t flashing towards the rim.
3:05. Chris Paul, in what was a successful attempt at eradicating the foundational principles of gravity, threw a lob too high for DJ to catch. The result? The structure of our entire universe collapsed. In fact, just 30 regulation seconds later Chris Kaman completed an alley-oop from Pau Gasol, fulfilling his manifest destiny as a pioneer of Lob City.
J.J. Redick was clanking open 3-pointer’s from the corner. Jordan Hill was banking jumpers from the high post. Kobe Bryant smiled for an entire interview, candidly discussing his recovery and the possibility of adjusting his game. Xavier Henry… was.
A few years ago, you might have considered the Clippers and Lakers trading their respective posts as league laughingstocks and L.A. darlings a story only possible in the realm of parallel universes. By some means, it’s the world we live in today. Tonight’s game was simply the manifestation of a new new alternative.
- Seerat Sohi
3 thoughts with Jordan Heimer
1. Jamal Crawford suddenly seems expendable. There was some pre-season chatter about Jamal as a potential deadline trading chip, most of which focused on the move’s tax implications. But it may just turn out to make good basketball sense. A large part of Jamal’s value last season was how frequently his creative play-making was called upon to bail out another stalled possession. And while his skill-set will be called upon less on O, it will be exposed more in the Thibodeau defense Doc has installed (OK, is in the process of installing). Throw in the Clips’ glaring need for a third big man not named Ryan Hollins and a bench deep in wings and the idea of moving J-Crossover seems like something the front office will consider.
2. “I don’t want to think this or say this but Jared Dudley is giving me flashbacks to Ryan Gomes right now.” – a longtime Clipper observer with whom I watched the game. I’m sure we’ll all look back at this quote in May and laugh. Moving on.
3. Tomorrow, Clipper fans, will not be fun. Because Laker fans are everywhere and you can reasonably expect them to be unsparing – they are, after all, Laker fans. There will be the schadenfreude that always accompanies the crash of a team with high expectations. There will be Clipper condescension, and some inevitable talk about banners and rings and tradition. Someone may well even bring up Donald T Sterling, the Clippers’ living Bambino, the curse upon which all can be blamed. So I’ll leave you with the parallel pep talks the TNT cameras caught in the middle of the 4th quarter.
DOC RIVERS: We’re so good. Keep it simple guys.
MIKE D’ANTONI: We’ve got to have effort all the time, guys. We can’t play little and slow.
One of these coaches sounds like he believes he holds a winning hand.
- Jordan Heimer