Defense, depth, defense, protecting the ball, and defense all played keys in the Clippers’ wire-to-wire win. As we thought, the Clippers got off to a slight lead, and as their overpowering bench dominance took its toll on the Lakers, the lead expanded, to an eventual ten point win.
Five keys to the game were: 1) The Lakers poor team defense, apart from Deee-Wight Howard, that is, and in particular their total inability to play any transition defense whatsoever, letting the Clippers score fast-break baskets time after time. 2) Big-man play in the middle – While Deeee-Wight played solid defense, the Clippers’ combo of DeAndre Jordan and Ryan Hollins had him otherwise totally flummoxed all evening, limiting him to seven shots and eight boards. 3) The Lakers turnover problem was more than evident tonight, with them committing 20, to the Clippers total of 11. 4) The difference in the Clippers overpowering team defense as compared to the Lakers non-existent team defense was demonstrated by the Clippers collecting just short of twice the number of steals the Lakers could muster.
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|And, No. 5 – The teams’ respective benches. The Lakers bench, as we have mentioned, stinks. Only four guys got off the bench and made it onto the court for the Lakers, and they collected 16 points. But, contrast that with the six Clipper subs who poured in 46 points, collected 15 rebounds, and made five steals. In the mid-third quarter, when the Clippers pulled away, sparkling defensive plays and baskets by Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford were key.
The Lakers would have been totally embarrassed were
it not for Kobe, who scored 40 and did his best to keep them in the game. That did not make up for another horrible exhibition by the psycho Artest meta tag thing who hit one of seven three-pointers, and put on a clinic on how not to play professional defense in the NBA. He can’t shoot, and his defensive skills have deserted him; so why does he continue to get 35-40 minutes a game? For the same reason the slightly limping Kobe Bryant is playing more than 40 minutes a game – the bench is so pathetic, there is no one else to put out there. The Lakers have no NBA caliber shooting guard to back up Kobe, and just who could play instead of the psycho Artest meta tag thing? The pathetic Jordan Hill? The non-entity Earl Clark?
Laker fans, that perfect season is looking better and better.