Preview & Chat: The Los Angeles Clippers

Kurt —  October 29, 2008


Records: Lakers 1-0 Clippers 0-0
Offensive ratings: Lakers 107.9 Clippers N/A
Defensive ratings: Lakers 85.4 ClippersN/A
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vladimir Radmanovic, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Clippers: Baron Davis, Cuttino Mobley, Al Thorton, Tim Thomas, Chris Kaman

Lakers notes: That is the way you want to start. Good things were happening everywhere.

The most important thing is that the Lakers defense looked good. The length of the Lakers starters really bothered the Portland shooters, the rotations were crisp, they switched very well (and a lot) on screens, they seemed to communicate and there was very good hustle. Kwame a. added some good points in the comments:

Who says Phil can’t coach defense? I loved the defense last night. I liked the effort on the PNR’s (hard show and recover, forcing the ball handler to go horizontal, not towards the hoop, trapping and playing the passing lane) and how we were denying wing passes.

I also was feeling how Fish, Vlad and Kobe would collapse on the ball when it went into the post.

Also, the 1-2-2 zone we threw at Roy when he was gonna try to penetrate from the top of the key. We did this a little against SA in the playoffs, and I think with Bynum back, it will be even more formidable. Especially when LO is in at the top of that zone, this is where our length will really come in handy.

I liked that zone look and Portland didn’t beat it with ball movement. The Lakers held Portland to 35.7% (eFG%) shooting in the first half.

Offensively, the Lakers did a good job of recognizing mismatches in personnel and exploiting those. The Lakers were 7 of 10 from three-point range for the game. That is a good sign, they only really took open threes from within the offense, and they hit them

I thought that was a great pass by Odom in the first quarter, he drew the defense in and hit a wide-open Sasha. If he had been in the game it would have been a wide-open look.

I think we all hope Oden is back soon and this is nothing serious.

How much can we read into one game? Commenter JD Hastings reminded us that one game is a very poor way to judge a team by looking at the first game from last season.

Sure enough, as we began the game against the Rockets, none of the role players even showed up, doing their best interpretation of their awful showings at the end of 07. Fisher was the only Laker other than Kobe to reach double digits. The team fell behind until Kobe turned it on, looking quite P.O.’d as he single handedly brought the team back and tied the game (maybe even took a lead), only to be devastated when Shane Battier buried the team with a buzzer beating 3.

At the end of the game I text messaged a friend, “It’s going to be a looooong season.” I was sure this game proved nothing had changed and Kobe would be gone within the week. I prepared myself to wander the wilderness…

The next game the Lakers creamed the Suns by 21 points with 8 players scoring 8 points or more and every role player turning in a solid showing.

And we all know how the rest of the season played out. The moral: this one game doesn’t tell us a whole hell of a lot about anything that will be happening come April. Or even January.

The Clippers Coming In: This is the first game for a revamped Clippers roster. People have made the argument that Davis/Camby is a better combo than Brand/Maggette, so the Clippers should be better. That’s debatable (at best), but it only really works if the two stars can stay healthy, and both Davis and Camby have a history of missing games. Davis has a finger issue but will play, Camby is out for tonight.

And, according to Kevin at Clippersblog, losing Camby will make the entire half-court offense tougher for the Clips.

If Marcus Camby is a no-show Wednesday, don’t expect things to improve for Chris Kaman, who’s had — to put it kindly — a choppy preseason. Opponents need to have a reason not to send help down to the block to defend Chris. Marcus Camby at the elbow is one reason. Tim Thomas along the perimeter is another. But neither Brian Skinner nor Paul Davis provide that kind of insurance for Chris in the post.

I’ll happily admit that Baron Davis is one of my favorite players to watch in the NBA — when he is on and focused he can be as good as anyone. He is so entertaining. In the preseason he looked very good, and his Clippers teammates seemed to figure out that if you get out and run with Baron on the break good things happen.

The question is depth. Al Thorton is a good young player, of whom now a lot is expected. Rookie Eric Gordon is going to get a lot of quality minutes. Cuttino Mobley is solid. Tim Thomas is 31 and not on the upside of his career anymore. Then we’re into Ricky Davis and Mike Taylor, guys who had nice preseason, but can they really get key minutes on a playoff team?

But don’t read my opinion, Steve at Clips Nation does a great job and he has his team preview posted. Not that he is sure of all the answers.

Link to Click: One of the better Western Conference previews I’ve seen is up at the very good Pick Axe and Roll blog.

Keys To The Game: Without Camby and with the Lakers in the second night of a back-to-back, if I were Dunleavey I’d go smaller and try to run the Lakers off the floor. Wear them down. The Lakers have the depth and players to match that, but they have to get back in transition defense. That will be key.

Kevin from Clipperblog has another idea:

The best option is physical brutality. The Lakers generally appear least comfortable in their offense when their opponents are banging them around as they move from spot to spot. When that happens, they settle for contested jumpers. Defensively, they’re long, but not great physical defenders – particularly in the post. Both Baron Davis and Cuttino Mobley understand how to apply physicality as a defensive tactic against a team like the Lakers. Kaman has really improved in this capacity. His first couple of years out of Central Michigan, Chris would still occasionally get a little intimidated in the paint. Now, he takes getting beat on the block much more personally, which you can see in his defense. The others are variable. In this regard, slotting Brian Skinner in for Marcus Camby could make a lot of sense. It compromises the Clippers offensively and potentially creates trouble for Kaman, but it would allow the Clips to establish themselves physically against one of the better finesse teams in recent memory.

Where you can watch:In LA we can watch Joel Meyers and Stu on Channel 9, nationally the game is on ESPN. Feel free to watch this and four innings of baseball tonight. Go Rays!

Kurt

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133 responses to Preview & Chat: The Los Angeles Clippers

  1. I want to see the same defensive intensity. Clogging the paint, switching, showing hard on PNR, cutting off passing lanes. If the Lakers can keep that up they will be really good this year. The clippers are a little different than Portland though because they will get out and run, especially when Davis is in the game. So we should get to see how the Lakers transition D looks.

    Baron Davis should show p motivated and tuned in tonight. His first NBA home game in LA. I expect a big night from him. When he wants to be I think he is one of the best players in the league on both ends of the floor.

  2. let me say this….Thank GOD that the NBA season has started!!!!

    They Show looked really good last night…that D was fantastic…the whole team was into suffocating Portland. They saw that they were staggering and went in for the kill.

    A little lapse at the end of the 2nd and the begining of the 3rd until Pryzbilla had the shoulder/hip check thing he did and the eyed Kobe as he walked around him. Kobe made him pay for it on the next play that was chosen as play of the night for the game…and the other 13 points he scored. Once that happened the rest of the team picked the D back up.

    Roy started making some shots so the score didnt get run up like the first half…had he remained cold it could have easily been a win by 40 or so. But the Lakers didnt get frazzled and looked good.

    And Lamars pass was text book…great form…crisp…and solid catch by Sahsa too.. I also liked Arzia getting that T…that kid has some heart…I like that fire….and he didnt lose his compuser and was not a loss for the rest of the game…so that was good to see as well.

    They play consitent D like that all season long….the 96′ Bulls stat of 72 games will be beaten.

  3. Last night, I think PJs comments summed it up:

    “Portland is not shooting the ball well right now, and I think we had something to do with that.”

    The Beard always has huge games against us. I expect nothing less. Some other things to think about tonight:

    How will the new Clippers meld together?
    Additions of the Beard and Camby with subtractions of Magette and Brand make this a fairly different Clippers roster. Will the Clippers immediately adjust or will they look out of sync? I think the Lakers will have lots of opportunities to create turnovers.

    Can we continue the defensive intensity?
    I say yes, but I don’t want the Lakers to be overconfident and start patting themselves on the back (well not just yet). In the 2nd half, the defense should have been much better. Gasol looked tired in the 2nd half and there were a few lapses.

    Overall, I expect a fairly close score in the 1st quarter, but would like to see the 2nd unit really gash a lead in the 2nd quarter. Much more depth. Did anyone else think the b-mob looked slightly jittery (nervous) last night?

  4. 81- I thought the 2nd Unit looked a little rushed. It is clear they are gonna try to change tempo, but they have to be smart about it. Odom was getting a rebound and blindly throwing outlet passes, Jordan and Trevor were moving a million miles a minute and Sasha was chucking up….wait, that’s what he always does. I think the 2nd Unit (which played really good yesterday) could play even better if they slow down just a little bit, and execute better.

  5. I’m trying hard to ignore my own advice right now…

    I think Kwame A. is right that the bench looked a little over-geeked up, as did Bynum maybe, but thankfully that’s the kind of thing early back to backs should cure quickly. Get the team into the daily grind so that its more a matter of repetition and patterning, while obviously hoping the defensive intensity stays where it was last night.

  6. The Lakes looked good in game one, but it’s a long season. All it takes is one bad night like Jan. 13, 2008, and all of this hype, hope and expectation would dry up in no time.

    No champions are crowned in October, at least not in this sport, so let’s all hearken back to the Wolf’s great advice in “Pulp Fiction” and — how shall I paraphrase his great line? — not get overly excited about what we think has been accomplished so far.

    If Portland was an indicator of potential, I love the Lakers’ chances to make Paul Pierce really cry — and maybe really need a wheelchair — come June.

    But until then, it’s all just promise.

  7. I like the aggressiveness that the 2nd unit displayed. They were not hesitant at all and played with purpose. I’d just like them to be a bit smarter, which I think will come. I understand that there are times where you throw risk out the window and just play, and I’m fine with that. But, you also have to read the play a little bit and not make the blatant error. Just like Kwame A. referenced, Odom made a couple of blind outlet passes where the guard receiving the pass isn’t aware of the player in front of him and it led to TO’s…and in that case it’s up to Odom to see that and not make the pass. But those are little things, and overall I want them to keep pushing the pace and playing with that controlled chaos that can make the other team’s 2nd unit submit.

  8. Does anyone not enjoy games when the Lakers play the Clippers? I feel like the Clippers are a younger step-brother that you try to keep an eye out for. A win over them is always a little less satisfying.

    (I go to school in NY and trying to explain to them that I don’t HATE the cross-town team is utter heresy in their eyes.)

  9. It’s been said before, and I agree, that the second unit needs to keep the pace while keeping their heads. I think a rallying cry for the second unit might have been born from last night’s thread:

    Chris H said, “I keep think of speedy gonzeles’ cry “yehaa, andelee, andelee, ariba!…and some way to tie in Ariza!”

    My variation: “Jordan, andale, andale, Ariza!!!!”
    I don’t know what people think, but I think its a good rallying cry for the bench. Now I need to get Kobe to drop it off-handed to a reporter.

  10. You know, I hate seeing the Clips at home in Staples. It should be an NBA rule that the Lakers shouldn’t have to be the “road” team at Staples. Should be in the tenant agreement. The Clips should play in Anaheim. The Los Angeles Clippers Of Anaheim.

    Aaron,

    I’m also a NY Giants fan. I don’t think Giants fans hate Jet fans. It’s similar to Lakers fans with the Clippers.

  11. 10-The one difference is that the Jets and Giants are in different conferences, whereas the Lakers and Clips play eachother 4 times a year. I get excited for all of them. I have a Clipper friend (don’t we all) and I love when he feels his team is finally gonna capture the City’s attention…just before they have a season like last year. I love to see the Clips struggle, it just makes me feel like the world is right.

  12. Great game last night. The thing that struck me right off the bat was the length and athleticism of the Lakers and Blazers. Both of those teams are huge. There just wasn’t a lot of room to operate.

    The Blazers played a very undisciplined game. I know they’re a young team, but I expected more from them last night. Maybe that was unrealistic.

    LA’s defense was very impressive. And Kobe played had an extremely efficient ballgame.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s game.

    Cheers.

  13. “The Los Angeles Clippers Of Anaheim.”

    heh. that wouldn’t be as funny to you if you were from anaheim. :)

    now that i’ve moved out of los angeles of anaheim territory (its temporary, i’m coming back when school is done!) i’m going to miss going to laker – clipper games, no matter the home team it always feels like a laker game at staples to me

  14. Not to bring this up again, but I’ve seen it mentioned in a few articles today- I don’t think the video of Bynum at the club for his birthday is a big deal. I mean he turned 21. My 21st birthday party might not have been at a club, but I doubt I had the coordination that night to succesfully pull a wad of bills out of my pocket, let alone make it rain one at a time. He looked downright sober. Let the poor kid have a life- its not like any birthday cakes were harmed in the making of that video…

  15. Kareem,

    It happens a lot with the 2nd Unit and big leads. They take them for granted and get careless. they play much more solid in close games. That needs to be corrected because, they need to be play focused. We might have a lot of games like that in the regular season, and they need to stay sharp.

    Kwame A.,

    Good point. I enjoy seeing the Clips lose as well. But could care less about the Jets.

    Silly Bitch,

    I didn’t mean to knock Anaheim. I know you wouldn’t want the Clips. Maybe they can go back to San Diego.

  16. By the way, those of you who thought Portland looked sloppy last night (they did), I think the team you saw last night and the Portland team we will play in March or April will be totally different. That team needs to learn how to play at the NBA level, but they are going to get it.

  17. As a longtime devotee of this blog, I’m happily de-lurking to leave my first ever comment. I’ve followed the Lakers religiously ever since the first post-Magic season in 1991, but I can honestly say that last year was the most fun I’ve ever had rooting for this team. Yes, that includes the Three-Peat squads. Now that I’ve finally sprung for the NBA League Pass, I intend to catch every game on the 2008/2009 schedule and (hopefully) help contribute to the conversation here at this oasis of thoughtful, measured and civil sports discourse.

    For tonight’s game, I humbly predict another easy victory for the Lakers … last night’s defensive effort was very encouraging, even if it was only the first game in a very long season … and The Clippers are simply overmatched and outclassed. I can’t BELIEVE that Camby is hurt already! Simply shocking. However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Baron Davis go off for a big game in what is ultimately a doomed effort. Back when I was broke and still living in the Bay Area I used to treat myself to one live game a year, and although I had the good fortune of seeing some great players play (including Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, Dwayne Wade, KG and others I won’t soon forget), without a doubt Baron Davis was always the most electrifying guy on the court. It looked like he was playing the game at a different speed than everyone else out there with him. Too bad he got the short end of the Elton Brand defection, because I once again see him putting up big numbers on yet another lousy team.

  18. wondahbap,

    its ok, i think i just get emotional over orange county being “the same as” los angeles in general and the “los angeles of anaheim” thing didn’t help. haha.

    j.d.,

    agreed! and while we didn’t make it rain at my 21st, i spent $1,800 at my own party (in addition to what my friends spent) and i only know that from the bill the credit card company sent the next month. i’d say andrew’s version of a 21st birthday party was pretty tame. and it didn’t seem like his game was disturbed last night because of it.

  19. Joel, thanks for jumping in. Fortunately for you, we have no gang-style initiation rights.

  20. 19 What?! Then why did I have to get ‘I Love Kurt’ tatooed on my butt after my first post?

  21. How many failed alley-oop attempts were there last night? They missed, and missed, and missed on those all night long. It wasnt even just the shots, but the lob passes too. very sloppy. Someone needs to let them know that after the lob pass doesn’t work for the 14th out of 16 times that it is probably a bad idea!

  22. The Dude Abides October 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Reposted to new thread:
    Greetings everyone. It was a long summer after that heartbreaking defeat in the Finals, but I had the Olympics and Manny to tide me over. I absolutely love our new defense. Having Drew and Pau down low lets our wing defenders gamble in the passing lanes. Vlad had 4 steals, and that’s a bonus because Kobe and Trevor would be the guys you’d expect to have a stat like that. Drew is still young, it’s his first real game back and as time goes on, he will improve. I think he’s a little bit anxious about the October 31st contract deadline, too.

    Trevor is simply awesome, I absolutely love watching this guy. Kobe is Kobe, and our second unit of Lamar, Farmar, Trevor, and Sasha will overwhelm the opponents plenty of times this season.

    As for the Blazers, I think they’ve assembled a great young core of excellent players and quality individuals. The problem? Their cornerstones are Brandon Roy and Greg Oden, perhaps the most brittle cornerstone combination in NBA history. They might win the championship at some point in the next five seasons after this one, but I can’t see them staying healthy for an extended period of time.

  23. Thanks, Kurt … it’s my pleasure to be here. Also, it’s good to know I won’t have to drive around all night with my headlights off waiting for someone to flash their brights at me.

  24. Welcome Joel, post often

    Dude Abides-I like your posts at DT! (if that’s you)

  25. 22-There is that other brittle cornerstone over at Houston, and yet another one in Davis-Camby, not to mention the one in Washington…

    Our schedule seems to favor Bynum, with opposing centers being limited or not showing up so that he can slowly adjust.

    Let’s hope we build a quick lead so we can rest both Pau and Kobe in the 4th…

  26. 19 – If there are no initiations to this website, then who subjected me to “The Unblinking Eye,” “Crossing the Desert”, and “The Paddling of the Swollen Ass… with Paddles”?!?!?!!!!!!

  27. Holy moly, Shaq is in awesome shape.

  28. Speaking of the Clippers, the best thing they have done in recent history is move to the Staples Center. Watching them at the LA Sports Arena was kinda like seeing a High School basketball game (I mean the arena, like lighting and such).

  29. I’m unfortunately stuck without cable tonight, does anyone know where the game could be streamed?

  30. @ bo_cat: It looks like streams will be available here: http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=22580&part=sports

  31. Is Baron getting the biggest crowd response during intros tonight, it being his homecoming and all?

  32. Woah, TD just got the ball at the elbow extended with shaq on him, dribbled a couple times, put it between his legs, dribbled a couple more times with a jab step before going up with it to bank it in. Downright Kobe-esque, but with the trademark TD finish.

  33. re:Oden injury

    Can you say SAM BOWIE?
    Quick Laker fans, without googling, what year did Bowie don the purple and gold?

  34. The Spurs really miss Manu’s ability to create his own shot. They have no depth. In another game, the Heat look bad.

  35. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3671791

    oden injury is official now.

    2-4 weeks isn’t that bad, is it tho?

  36. 35- don’t look now but Wade is threatening to bring them back. down 6 with 2:18 left…

  37. New York held on, but Miami made a game of it. Mario Chalmers is for real. Beasley may not be the best rookie on his own team.

    On a side note, I’m pleased to say I have Jamal Crawford, David Lee and Nate Robinson in my fantasy league. Mike D’Antoni is God’s gift to fantasy basketball.

  38. Clippers v. Lakers and no John R.?

  39. League Pass is free right now, if you have it check out the Griz giving the Rockets a game.

  40. 38. John R. is a regular at Clips Nation now, but rarely is here.

  41. Suns actually look better without D’Antoni. A lot more trust in the bench guys than before.

  42. Mike Breen doesn’t know the meaning of “Ironic”

  43. Thanks Elle I appreciate it

  44. The Dude Abides October 29, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Kwame A, that was me over at DT. While I still love the Dodgers, the Lakers will always be my team, and there is no team that I hate more than the Celtics. As for the earlier games tonight, the best moment was San Antonio playing Hack-a-Shaq five seconds after the opening tip. That one will be all over the blogs.

  45. Sorry guys are there any other game links?

  46. First play by the Lakers, Gasol goes at Thomas, once again going at the best mismatch. Next time the double comes, dump off to Bynum for the dunk. Nice.

  47. 45. Dude, I tell you that a lot of what I did when I started this was based on Jon and Dodger Thoughts. That is one of my favorite sites.

    And, on cue, Joe Torre is at the game.

  48. Very sloppy.

  49. Kobe needs to protect the ball better, he keeps getting stripped by Davis and Mobley.

  50. Lakers seem a little slow getting back on defense? Only the first quarter but they’ve had quite a few sloppy possessions.

  51. I swear, I’m about one game away from making a call for Phil to pull Fish every time he pulls up in transition for a contested three. This is a bad habit he has picked up this season.

  52. The Dude Abides October 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    25–I think of a cornerstone combo as your top post player plus your top guard, and McGrady’s early career wasn’t marked by constant injuries like Roy’s. And at least Yao has played in the majority of games practically every season. I don’t know if Oden will accomplish that feat for one out of every two seasons.

  53. Kurt,
    I seem to remember Fisher doing the same thing many times last season (although it was usually a 2 rather than a 3). For such an experienced point guard he makes some weird decisions on the break.

  54. II llove Baron Davis’s game. The Clippers could be fun this year.

  55. The Dude Abides October 29, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Have to agree Kurt, both on your thoughts about DT and about Fish shooting contested jumpers. With all their other options, all he needs to do is spot up and make the opponent pay for double teams.

  56. JR –

    Game Link – Try ESPN360 – works for me here in NY but might be blocked in LA.

  57. Clippers leading now

  58. Another corner 3 for Ariza!

  59. Trevor Ariza can shoot jumpers.

    But come on take these guys seriously please.

  60. I’m a little frustrated already. We’re being non-chalant with the ball…both in shot selection (that means YOU Fisher) and in protecting the ball. We’re losing the ball on drives, making errant passes, and just being careless. Even Phil is talking about the Clips ability to take the ball away…

    On offense we need to go back to Gasol in the post now that he’s back in the game. We need to slow the game down some and not try to push the pace so much as that’s what the Clips want. I’d also like to see more ball movement rather than just shooting jumpshots and trying to drive everything to the basket.

    On defense we need more disciplined close outs. We’re closing out too hard and letting guys get into the lane on us…

  61. The tamed version of Baron’s beard makes me a little sad. It was a thing of beauty in its feral state.

  62. Is that the Phoenix ’06 version of Tim Thomas out there?

  63. Here comes the second unit…

  64. Hooray for the bench.

  65. 66 – Is it a contract year?

  66. 9-0 run by the Bench Mob. The defense has really picked up lately.

  67. this is what we’ve been talking about.. the other team will have to choose whether they will exhaust their starters, or allow our second unit to dismantle theirs

  68. I moved to Boston from CA about a year ago, and most of my friends here are huge sports fans. Last season, each one of them chose a member of the Patriots to be “their boy” … the only rule was that you couldn’t choose Tom Brady … that way when the player in question made a good play, they could say, “That’s my boy!” with pride. Anyway, I think this year Jordan Farmar is going to be “my boy.”
    Who will yours be, with obvious caveat that Kobe is excluded (he belongs to us all).

  69. 68
    I think the Clippers might have tricked him into thinking so. Don’t know how long they can keep him fooled though…

  70. I don’t believe in Ariza’s newfound shooting touch, but I’ll take it so long as it lasts.

  71. Just another turnover for Kobe…

  72. Every time that Ariza hits a three I feel like when Happy Gilmore start to make puts in his final showdown against Shooter McGavin

  73. good sign that the Lakers got it good that Kobe has only 7 points and the Lakers are still up by 11.

  74. *Kobe’s lobbying to the Refs HARD right now.

    *Reed, I’m not sure if I believe either, but honestly there are fundamental aspects of his shot that are very sound: good arc, nice follow through, and he shoots from a good base. Really all we need is for him to shoot 33-35% and I’ll take it.

    *I love how our starters have built on what the 2nd unit started. The defense has picked up and we’re playing more steady on offense.

  75. Fisher’s last two bad decision pull-up threes in transition have paid off, but I still don’t like them …

  76. Kobe flicked his wrist from halfway between the 3-point line and half court and the ball went all the way to the rim.

  77. Love that the work Ariza put in on his 3 is paying off.

    The frontline rotation seems a bit awkward to me in terms of minutes. I understand it’s a problem every other team would die to have. But the rotations are so quick, it seems like it’d be difficult for Pau or Lamar to get in a good rhythm. Seems like Pau barely gets lathered up before Lamar comes in. Hopefully they’ll get used to it as the season goes on.

    Another note: Bynum may have bulked up, but he is not, and likely will never be a “banger.” Guys like dare I say Kendrick Perkins, who are rather short on talent – these guys initiate contact, like for contact, and create a physically aggressive presence. I’m amazed at how weak some of Bynum’s box outs are. He has the body, but he doesn’t have that blue-collar mentality that Phil wants him to take on. I think he’ll get it, though, it’s only been 1.5 games.

  78. Many thanks for the links guys, I’m aussie so espn360 doesn’t work but one of yours did Darius, cheers.

  79. #80, I’m in agreement with you on Bynum. He doesn’t quite have that mean streak yet. But I anticipate it coming..someone is going to light a fire under him when they are getting real physical with him ala Shaq two years ago. Hopefully this will carry through to consistent enforcer status down low for us. Other than that, we looked a little lackadaisical to start the game but w/ the second unit, we picked it up and it should carry on through the second half.

  80. Man, the passing ability on this team is just amazing. Everyone on the court at any given time can make plays. That one-handed touch pass by Gasol to Radmanovic is not something a 7-1 PF should be able to do.

  81. it’s only the blazers and the clippers, without their starting centers, but 20+ margin is something i won’t mind seeing every day.

    … even if that means fisher being our leading scorer with the most attempts. hah.

  82. His rehab may not be going well, but Marcus Camby is looking dapper tonight on the bench. Hopefully that’s not a sight Clippers fans will have to get used to.

  83. Wow. Up 28 with 10 minutes left in the game, the entire team locks down defensively, rotating perfectly several times to force a hasty shot with a second left on the shot clock. What is our defensive Efficiency Rating?

  84. Showtime!!!!!!

  85. Feels like the 1980s. Pure joy to watch.

  86. Wow. This is one dangerous team. Were they sandbagging during the preseason?

  87. Hornets-Warriors is a 1 point game with 2:40 left

  88. I don’t think we were sandbagging, just playing with some unusual lineups, trying to learn what we can in games that mean nothing so that we would be prepared, and playing our starters limited minutes. That’s why even though Phil has only had two winning preseasons ever (this year, and one other time) he has had many more successful teams.

  89. The Warriors/Hornets game is very good right now…

  90. Wow I had to turn the game off after the 1st quarter (work) and just turned it back on. 37 point lead, what happened??? Who broke it open? Was it a team effort?

  91. If they keep this up, Walton and Mihm won’t have to worry about getting enough minutes.

  92. Farmar alleyoop play of the year.

  93. Farmar needs to work on his hops. :)

  94. 95 — That’s my boy!

  95. Wow. i can’t wait until we actually play a decent team.. and still dominate. This is going to be quite a year..

  96. 94 – yeah, they may get 10 minutes every game at this rate.

    Sasha is having fun…

  97. hrm, we were *this* close to having an all-caucasian team out there, not that it means anything.

  98. Joel, if you got Farmar then I get Ariza. (But I’m jewish, so we should get to switch ;-) ).

    BTW All 12 players scored, with Powell and Luke bringing up the rear with 4 each.

  99. Nobody on the active roster leaves with less than 4 points. The Lakers have yet to give up 80 in a game.

  100. That last dunk by Powell really tied the game together.

  101. One word: DOMINATING.

  102. 9 players with +/- numbers in the double digit positive…

  103. Increible! Great, now I can’t go to sleep. So excited. The Clips and Trailblazers are not bad teams by any stretch of the imagination and would fare well in the East. However, I would like the Lakers to take on some of the more traditional powers versus the up and comers.

    Most notably, would love to see the Lakers match up against the Suns, New Orleans, Houston, or San Antonio before giving them a fantastic evaluation.

  104. 101 — Fine with me, Aaron! Although, the fact that Farmar is the only Jewish player in the NBA also happens to be one of the many reasons why I love him.

  105. Man, NBATV just made Gary Payton talk over highlights of the Not-OK Thunder. I think I’m going to be sick.

  106. Off topic: The Knicks won their debut tonight, and D’Antoni didn’t play Eddy Curry OR Stephon Marbury. That’s almost $32 million worth of DNP-CD.

  107. so when does the ‘real’ season start?

    We have Denver on saturday and Clippers again on Wednesday, so it’s not until Sunday against Houston that we’ll get to see something, no? (I mean, we swept the Nuggets -Bynum +Camby, so I don’t think +Bynum and -Camby should be too difficult).

    still have to clean up some silly mistakes here and there, but I really like how our lead keeps ballooning no matter who we have out there. Depth leading to more depth…

  108. No disrespect, but why are we bringing religion into this? If a guy can ball, he can ball, whether he’s Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or atheist. I never understood liking players for off-court reasons, by that standard I wouldn’t like Kobe because I think adultery is an awful thing. But to each his own, I guess.

  109. ^Although, to be fair, some off-court reasons do naturally endear a player to the fans, like the natural class of Hakeem, the gentleman-ness of David Robinson, etc.

  110. Just got back from the game, and WOW! That was about as dominating a performance as I’ve ever seen in person! It was like watching Varsity vs. Junior Varsity. There was more chanting for the Lakers than the Clips. The Third Quater ended with a Clippers Suck chant. MVP chants the whole second half for Kobe. And at one point during a timeout they were showing people dancing on the jumbotron and this pregant girl, who looked like she was carrying triplets, was dancing like crazy and pulling her shirt up! She almost got a standing ovation! Well, she did in my suite at least!

  111. Ahh Snoopy, people have an affection for players who they view as similar to themselves, and many people do like players for what they bring off the court (personality, humor, community). I hear what you’re saying though.

    Great game again – can’t wait for the next one…

  112. ^Fair, insightful post. Thanks Aaron.

  113. I feel what you’re saying, Snoopy, and I’d certainly agree that it’s what happens on the court that truly matters. I think Aaron said it well, but I’d also add that it’s not actually Jordan’s beliefs that appeal to me as much as it’s that I like seeing him defying the odds and busting stereotypes.

  114. Also, the ears. Those glorious ears.

  115. ^lmao. I like what you said about the breaking of stereotypes, I didn’t really look at Jordan like that before, but I’m all for an underdog proving people wrong.

  116. Baron Davis usually busts out the slick, but it looks like our bench is playing with swank and nothing else. The last quarter was complete, one word: jubilation. TWO, count em, two Sasha behind the back passes, and Odom put on a dribbling exhibition before the behind the back pass. What a night. I can’t wait for Houston.

  117. Anyone else at the game hear the MVP chants for Mihm during the fourth quarter?

  118. the other Stephen October 30, 2008 at 6:00 am

    117. seriously, those ears must’ve grown over the summer.

  119. I didn’t get to see the clips game, I’ll try to download the game anywhere, but one thing I love from the boxscore is Ariza’s 20 min and 2-3 threpointers.
    Oh! and that Farmar guy 15-5-5 line looks pretty cool too.

    By the way, I was kind of disapointed with Sasha in the blazers game. As happy shooter he is he kept the ball in his hands after that no look pass from odom when he was waaaay open of bounds. If he had shot that ball I would be the next guy to buy his jersey

  120. The Dude Abides October 30, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Great news on Andrew. Adande writes that he and the team are close to a new deal that compromises in years and money. About 3 yrs/$42m, with a team option for a fourth year. Smart way to go, IMO, as he hasn’t shown sustained franchise numbers yet, but has the potential to do so.

  121. I will be interested in seeing how the Lakers do this season, relative to other teams, in back-to-backs. With this roster fatigue should not be an issue.

  122. I was at the game last night. It was my first time watching Kobe play. It was too bad he didn’t score like two or three seasons ago, but it was great to see such beautiful team work.
    The Lakers were not playing good D in the first quarter. I think it is safe to say that the Bench Mob broke things open for us at the start of the second quarter, and then the starters came back on and stretched it. It’s a great second unit we have there. Has Phil ever had a team this deep??? Unbelievable!!!

  123. The Lakers and Andrew Bynum have agreed in principle on a four-year contract extension worth about $58 million.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers31-2008oct31,0,6564933.story

  124. Great news on Drew! Fair deal for everybody

    One other quick point: Our defense so far looks like Boston’s…but longer

  125. 127. I agree on both fronts. Boston also plays a “zone-like” defense overloading the strong side. Hopefully the Lakers can keep this up. Denver is a great offensive team so it should be a good test for our defense. Then Detroit will be the first really good team we play.

  126. 128-
    Boston is so much more physical! They’ve actually been taught how to foul without being called for it. Which is cheap, dirty, and wins games.

    The past two games we’ve played, the other team’s main offensive threats have been from the perimeter (Blazers- Roy, Fernandez, to some degree Outlaw, and Aldridge is not a traditional PF; Clippers- The beard, Ricky Davis, Mobley). Both teams have had their main big injured, which has made things pretty easy for Gasol and Bynum. Since toughness was said to be a big issue last year, I want to see the Lakers defend some of the tougher post players. The Houston game is what I’m waiting for, that should give alot better understanding of how many games the Lakers will win this season.

  127. 130-They asked Phil yesterday about the whole “soft” label, and how physical Boston is. Phil said the team is neither soft, nor scared of physicality, it’s just a little light in the pants. This is why our speed and length will be so important. What we lack in girth (not physicality) will be made up in speed and length, allowing us to choke off angles and get into passing lanes. Each games a test. I’m not cherry-picking games in October, I just wanna see the team develop good habits. So far, good start.

  128. 131.-Kwame,
    I totally agree with what Phil said and what you said about forming good habbits. Earlier this summer when I wrote on us being tough enough, I talked a lot about experience being the bigger key than any (supposed) lack of physical toughness. I think this team needed to grow and learn what it takes to acutally win and that the loss in the Finals would be a good stepping stone to that realization. I think what we’re seeing so far this season is a bigger commitment to defense and a better understanding of how to play together as a team on that end of the floor. Phil’s emphasis on technique has obviously helped as well with us implementing a scheme that plays to our strengths while also choking off the other team. I like what I’m seeing so far, that’s for sure.

  129. New post up with the Bynum news, which is all good.