Preview & Chat: The Los Angeles Clippers

Kurt —  January 15, 2010

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Records: Lakers 30-9 (1st in West) Clippers 17-20 (12th in West)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 108 (11th in league), Clippers 104.8 (23rd in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 101.5 (2nd in league) Clippers 107.1 (18th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Clippers: Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Rasual Butler, Marcus Camby, DeAndre Jordan

Gasol Returns: For the first time in a long time, the Lakers will have everyone ready to go tonight. (Notice I didn’t say healthy, what with Artest’s foot and Kobe’s finger and Sasha’s brain.)

The question is this: Do the Lakers build on a good team performance in Dallas, or do they relax because Kobe and Pau are back. The Lakers got one of their best games of the season from Odom and Artest — who were aggressive from minute one — and Andrew Bynum, who has been a more focused rebounder and picking his spots better on offense. He has been passing out of the double team better. Does Bynum lose focus with Gasol in the lineup, or is he maturing?

The Clippers Coming In: Since the news came down that Blake Griffin was not going to return this season, the Clippers have lost two in a row. (That is a terrible break, by the way, this is a very good player and a good young man. You hate to see it happen, but with his work ethic I believe he will bounce back next season and remind everyone why he was the number one pick.) Tough stretch as they get the Lakers tonight and the Cavaliers tomorrow.

Baron Davis has been as good as any guard in basketball the last two weeks. His shooting has been good (not great) but he is using his quickness to really set up teammates, and the results is him averaging 18 points and almost 10 assists (9.9) per game over he last 10. He killed the Lakers coming off a high-elbow screen from a big last game, the Lakers are going to need to stop that tonight.

Reading up on the Clippers: Two great Clippers blogs out there: Kevin at Clipperblog (and his team of guys) just continue to amaze, while Steve and the guys at Clips Nation continue to put up great post after great post.

Keys to game: No Kaman tonight, but that means the far more athletic DeAndre Jordan will be on Bynum and it will be interesting to see how he deals with it. The Clippers, with Camby at the four, are one of the few teams who can match up decently lengthwise with the Lakers up front. However, the Lakers are far more skilled and should attack.

The Clippers killed the Lakers last game with a double high post (big at each elbow) where Davis could choose his side for the pick-and-roll. The Lakers bigs need to step out and defend the penetration but keep an eye on their man (Camby can both pop off the pick and take the midrange shot, while Jordan’s athleticism makes him a tough roll to cover). The Lakers almost never helped the helper in that game, they need to tonight.

The other thing the Clippers did great last game was run on the Lakers, who almost never got back in transition defense. The Lakers need to rebound, and they need to run back on defense and stop the easy transition points. Making some shots would help that, too.

Where you can watch: 7:30 p.m. start on Fox Sports here in Los Angeles and ESPN 710 radio.

Kurt

Posts

96 responses to Preview & Chat: The Los Angeles Clippers

  1. This one goes for Warren!!

  2. yeah, come one Warren, let’s get a revenge W!
    you’re the top 2 comments, so we’re a shoe in

  3. A Warren double double!

    Thread locked.

  4. The key to me for tonight’s game (and from here on out) is A. will the bench show up consistently like it did against Dallas now that Luke and Lamar are back in their regular roles, and B. Will Bynum be the counterpart that we really need to pair with Gasol down low or will he continually mentally check out like he has done so in the past. Those are really the only 2 issues I see going forward because we have 3 tough tough games coming up, Orlando, at Cleveland and At Boston.

  5. Very excited to see a somewhat healthy Lakers team compete tonight, along with Monday and Friday. It’s time for this team to shine and show everyone what they are capable of.

  6. Didn’t Bynum drop 42 and 15 on the Clipps last year when Jordan started against him. Maybe we will see that Bynum again tonight.

  7. You guys are funny, but great, three Warren first comments. I already have a good feeling inside of me now about the outcome of this game.

  8. LOL guys… that and Pau Gasol coming back. /thread haha

  9. links?

  10. A couple of X’s and O’s notes about this game:

    *Last game the Clippers went on their run when the pressured the ball full court and denied passing lanes. If they try this same tactic this game, the Lakers should look to set more screens in the backcourt when facing the full court pressure and look to use the built in pressure releases when the Clips deny post entries and ball reversals to the Guard opposite. This type of scheme can be defeated with quick decision making and crisp passing, so let’s hope we see more of that tonight.

    *We should pressure Camby when he gets the ball at the top of the key. As Kurt mentioned, he’s a dangerous shooter from that area – but he’s also a dangerous passer. Camby is actually one of the best passing big men from the top of the key and is one of the leaders in assist %. The Clips love to play high low with Camby initiating the post entry to both the Center and to Baron on the block. If we pressure/close hard on Camby we can force him to put the ball on the ground and make him much less effective.

    *I’ve mentioned this before, but we must have proper floor balance on offense. Not only will this create better shots for us in the half court, but it will help us in our transition defense. The Clips got too many run out layups on us last game and most of that was due to missed jumpshots in isolation where the man contesting the shot just leaked out for easy buckets in the open court. We need to pound the ball inside, but also make hard cuts, and then even out the floor by continuing our motion. The guys that are taking shots must also show patience and ensure that our guys have set up so that if the double team comes we have created the proper passing angles that lead to open shots.

    *Last, but not least, stay aggressive. The Clips want to run? Well we should push it right back at them. DeAndre Jordan and Camby are light in the shorts. Run the floor and get early post position. Run our early offense drag screen P&R’s. Push the ball to the front court and then swing the ball if the first entry to the sideline or post is not there. Put pressure on their defense to defend the entire court and we’ll find wide open 15 footers and layups at the end of possessions. Let’s get this win.

  11. @Darius, another key to the game: scoring more points than the Clippers. Do that, and you win the game.

    Basketball is easy.

  12. FISHER MAKES A DRIVING LAYUP!!!

  13. 12

    …AND THEN RUNS A TEXTBOOK FAST BREAK!!!!

  14. CRAWFORD PULLED A KOBE!!!!

  15. i hope the guys dont go back to post up and everyone else stand around and watch offense

  16. Would love to see Shannon om Gordon, potential all star dunk competitors but they are very similar athletes

  17. online links?

  18. Bynum taking it to the hole is money in the bank tonight.

  19. Thanks ray. I was unsure about that.

  20. Um if Jordan continues getting easy dunks and layups all game I am gonna be really worried about Dwight Howard coming in to Staples monday

  21. No problem Darius. Love that the lakers are stuffing it down low. 16/18 points by the bigs according to stu.

  22. Nothing that Bynum is doing right now is complicated. Just nice and smooth.

    When he is playing like this I start dreaming of getting him 25 to 30 touches a game…

    Do not stop what works until your opponent makes you!

  23. Bench is terrible tonight.

  24. Shannon, with the PUJIT haha

  25. maybe someone else should guard gordon

  26. Luke looks rusty tonight.

    And Gordon looks really good tonight.

  27. Defensive lapses are the biggest issue right now, offensively it will come just need to get some stops

  28. After that timeout, it looked like the bench was hustling more. Luke and Shannon hustling playing good defense.

    Is anyone else worried that Kobe will take Gordon hitting his shots as a challenge and will go into Mamba Mode?

  29. offensively we have to get Pau going when he’s in the game and take advantage of his minutes

  30. Ray, Eric Gordon is good.

  31. This looks like one of those games where the Lakers rely on talent to get them through a half of lackluster effort, almost toying with the opponent and then in the second half they turn it on to win the game.

  32. Very scary watching Bynum fall on the floor like that. It’s also scary seeing Kobe out there right now. I wish the guy would just take 1* game off, please!

  33. @Kurt, I know. He’s also in a slump, well before this game anyway.

    We all know how kobe loves a challenge.

  34. Flipping back and forth between this and the Magic Blazers game, yuck the Magic have been in a major slump lately mostly because of their poor offense and shot selection (who knew a team with so much talent could have that problem usually you would think defense would be the issue).
    Anyways we don’t want to be the team to help them out of their slump Monday by getting a win at Staples against the best team in the league, the defending world champions

  35. I love Fish but goodness he needs some help when it comes to scoring in transition in a one on one situation

  36. Lakers8884, something just seems off about Jameer Nelson. He seems indecisive now, and a step slow. Just not the same player as last year.

  37. Fish has as many rebounds as Bynam and Gasol combined!

  38. Agreed Kurt, it looks like the surgery he had this season is still affecting his game. But still dont you think with as much talent on that team they would be able to figure out Dwight howard needs more than 9 shot attempts per game? Vince has struggled lately, but goodness it has been ugly to watch them play since the Christmas game against Boston. Rashard needs more touches too. I’m sure theyll get it together by the end of the season since they are struggling incorporating new parts, but it’s kind of embarassing to watch them struggle against a Blazers team without Brandon Roy (among the other players out) down 20 at the half.

    But Jameer struggling equals good news for the Lakers because when he was healthy he was a stone cold assassin against us during the regular season.

  39. Why’d Odom play only 3 minutes?? Is it just cuz of the 2 fouls and bynum playing well or is there another reason to that?

  40. Watching the game from the 300 level gives an interesting view on the offense. Several times the ball has gone into Bynum on the strong side, only to have the guard vacate that side of the floor. When the double has come, Drew had no relief outlet on the same side, which forced him to kick out across the key. I can’t fathom why the guard is leaving that side, but it’s been a patern.

    Maybe that has something to do with the Black Hole rep? :)

    Either way, Drew’s looked good in the first half. Let’s hope they tighten up the D and pull away in the early third.

  41. Gordon is the business. I don’t know why he’s in the Slam Dunk though. I’ve never seen him dunk.

    The Clippers are alot better than most give them credit. If they had Griffin, they would have made the playoffs. All they lack is a post player for closing games out.

  42. If Pau can start to consistently hit that midrange shot like he did last season it would be a huge boost for the Lakers offense in that it would enable Bynum and Gasol more room to operate their moves, and make the Lakers very tough to guard.

  43. Chris J,
    That cut is one of the reads in the Triangle. A lot of times, when the post entry is made from below the FT line extended the player that makes the post entry will cut to the baseline looking for the handoff while also allowing the post player to have more space to operate. The topside guard should be rotating over to provide the pressure release in case the double team comes.

  44. liking how bynum is playing with gasol

  45. A new trend emerging from Joel:

    The tendency to say “Don’t forget” after he notes that a Laker defender contested a shot after an opponent miss. How could I forget when I just saw it 2 seconds ago?

  46. When the triangle is run properly and the passes are crisp, it’s such a nice offense. Not as fan friendly as the Suns 8 second shot clock offense, but it’s so fluid and just so much more fun to watch.

    I mean, remember the Del Harris days when Shaq would post and pound ? So boring.

  47. Busboy,
    Here is some of what Eric Gordon can offer in a dunk contest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrAc3mSeyyE&feature=player_embedded

  48. Great steal by Fisher!!

    Hi everyone! Good game so far. :)

  49. Good time for the bench to come in and show how good they are. Starters and Lamar have played a great game so far.

    I want to see farmar and shannon run the offense and play tough defense.

  50. Speaking of Fisher, he remains our leading rebounder. For some reason that really amuses me.

  51. This is a great defensive effort in the second half, (and a poor shooting quarter by the Clippers)

  52. Okay Baron, that was very ugly. Sit down and calm down. That type of elbow swinging should be beneath you.

  53. 47

    I’m still waiting for Kurt to unveil the official ‘Joel Meyers Bingo Board’. Although at this point we might need 2 or 3 boards to hold all his catchphrases.

  54. Great free throw defense this quarter too.

  55. Joel, that’s a good project for next week. We’ll do a post on an off day looking for suggestions.

  56. I still dont see what Baron was so ticked off at Fisher for?

  57. kobe looking like his old self

  58. WTF was Baron thinking there? And why are they taking so long to toss him?

  59. Baron with the crazy eyes. Wow.

  60. Fisher did nothing wrong there. If i read baron’s lips right, he said derek went after the face…

    i didnt see it. did you?

  61. Some good corner defense by the Lakers trapping Baron Davis who throws an elbow and hits Gasol in the chest,

  62. I’m glad they didn’t toss Baron, yes it was a flagrant 1 but refs to me always tend to overreact on fouls as opposed to 5 years ago when stuff would just be called regular fouls. Tossing players takes away from the game, and while I want players to be protected, they are grown men they can handle it.

  63. Fisher was clearly going after the ball. I didn’t see anything that would get Davis so riled up. Clearly he’s just frustrated about how the quarter has been going. Not sure how he managed to avoid an ejection there, and of course we get a BS double-technical thrown in for good measure.

  64. speaking of fisher, am i seeing his best defensive game of the season?

  65. @ray
    Based on the replays Fisher didn’t go for the face at all. Baron Davis just lost his temper and thought it’d be a good idea to elbow Pau in the chest.

    By the way, impressive the way the bench all stayed seated right there, instead of getting up. Nice to see some restraint there.

  66. Eric, I think the flagrant 1 was the right call, it’s the tech for fish I don’t get.

  67. How is that a double technical!? Baron not only initiates the incident with the unprovoked elbow, but he also tries to start a fight afterward. How does that not warrant an ejection? And what in the world did Fisher do?

  68. omg.. i just remembered that when gasol drafted, kwame is the first pick that year.

  69. @ Kurt, I agree Fish didn’t deserve it, I’m just glad the refs didn’t get caught in the moment and toss Baron, alot of time refs are too quick to react.

  70. Ron “Herman Munster Feet” Artest….still the funniest, truest Artest comment I’ve seen here. I forget who posted it, but every-time he runs to the hoop on a fast break, I think of it and laugh.

  71. Question of the night . . . . Are the tacos safe? I love being able to ask that

  72. Kobe, Pau, and Ron Ron playing A LOT of minutes.

    Lets see if the bench can hold the team back in the fourth quarter.

  73. never know with the Taco Unit if the tacos are safe, one thing is that it will be interesting

  74. You know what would be great at Staples Center? Before they play I love LA?

    Chick Hearn’s voice putting it in the fridge.

  75. Did Joel just say the Lakers extended Shannon’s contract two years?

  76. No, he said he has a new 2 year contract.

  77. why is kobe still in there? should be on a masseuse table right now!

  78. stat of the night: kobe is +41.
    amazing!

  79. stat #2 of the night Derek Fisher leading rebounder for the Lakers wth 8

  80. Fish is also leading the team in assists with 6. He’s 2nd behind Kobe in Per with +28.

  81. That does it for me, cant wait to see Monday’s game. Nice little tune up before we play some elite teams.

  82. stat #3 of the night: both lakers big with 100 FT%.
    Pau 12 – 12
    Bynum 4 – 4
    surely never happened during the last lakers dynasty..

    (sorry cannot resist *grin)

  83. Good win.

    But perspective, they didn’t have Kaman in there.

    So good win. Good blow out. Starters played well. Unsure of the bench because we didn’t learn anything about them since they have played mostly garbage time.

    So I didn’t learn anything about the team in this game.

  84. Total Lakers domination. And I hate to be the one to beat the dead horse, but that double technical was atrocious. Poor Fisher did nothing. Baron’s elbow was not only uncalled for and completely intentional, but it also could have been potentially dangerous had Pau’s head been there instead of his chest. If Kobe or Bynum had done the same thing, they would have received a Flagrant 2 or even been ejected so fast your head would spin. If Artest did it, people would be calling for a 10 game suspension and demanding he be put in a straight jacket. Awful officiating. Not that I’m surprised.

  85. most important stat of all is lakers wins the game by 40

  86. You know you suck when……….

    You’re up by 45 and you still can’t get in the game. Ammo!!!!

  87. Ammo was inactive for the game

  88. Pau and Bynum played pretty well together tonight taking turns. Both have 20 with 6 rebs for Pau and Bynum with 7. None of our bigs rebounded well, but Fish had their back. Weird. Is this all an anomaly or a sign that Bynum and Pau are turning the corner with renew effort to be more effective when on court together? If so, this next road trip is going to be fun to watch.

  89. Rebounding against the Clippers is no easy task. They are one of the few teams in the league that really have length in the 3-4-5 positions… Kaman, Camby, DeAndre, Blake Griffin, Al Thornton, Craig Smith all make up a tremendous rotation of bigs that body well and not to mention block well.

    Good game for us. I stopped watching at the Baron elbow to Pau point coz I knew that 3 consecutive posts mentioning my name would be a lock LOL.

  90. Actually, there were a number of defensive rebounds where Drew, Pau, and LO blocked out their men, but the ball didn’t carom right to them. It would carom off into in-between spots, one of our bigs would get his hand on it, and the ball would get deflected to Fish or Ron-Ron or another of our backcourt guys. When the Clips got their offensive rebounds it was usually after Drew or Pau successfully defended against penetration, but either Camby or Jordan would go to the rim and get the rebound after the missed shot.

  91. Is it me or was that stadium kindof empty?

  92. #94 The Dude. Good point. I was noticing the same thing. I didn’t watch the game live, had it recorded. I always like coming to this site after I watch it recorded. It’s interesting the observations between watching it live and recorded.

    I’m just as guilty of it as anyone, but I think watching it live and trying to comment, you sometimes get caught up in the flow of the game and comments. But watching it later in isolation, it can be a little easier to notice nuances like what you mentioned.