Records: Lakers 9-4 (2nd in West), Clippers 5-3 (6th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 100.3 (14th in NBA), Clippers 104.2 (6th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 94.8 (4th in NBA), Clippers 102.1 (22nd in NBA
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Clippers: Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan.
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (out), Jason Kapono (day-to-day), Derrick Caracter (out); Clippers: none.
The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers have won five games in a row with the most recent victory coming at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the winning streak, the Lakers have held opponents to 86.8 points per game on 41.6 percent field goal shooting.
The defense is one of the stingiest in the league and has kind of gotten lost in the shuffle of Kobe’s spectacular three-game scoring stretch.
In addition, Matt Barnes seems to have a stranglehold on the starting small forward position. The UCLA product has been solid on defense and has also contributed on offense within the flow of the game. During the Lakers win streak, Barnes has been averaging 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds on 61.5 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 shooting from 3-point range.
His easy transition opportunities as well as his long range shooting have given the purple and gold new options on offense that the team did not have early on in the season.
The Clippers Coming in: The Clippers are coming off a thrilling home overtime victory against the Miami Heat. Chris Paul was at his absolute best, scoring late in the shot clock and setting up the likes of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler for open shots.
As good as Paul is, the Clippers rely too much on him; especially in late game situations. Far too often, the Clips fail to show any variety in their play-calling, preferring instead to simply run a pick-and-roll and go with whatever options they get from the set. The end result is that Paul ends up always having the ball at the top of the key with a bigger defender (a lot of teams like to switch in pick-and-roll defense late in games to avoid giving up uncontested shots) guarding him as he explores his options. Usually he can blow by the defender but finishing is typically an issue because of the bigger player that’s there to contest this shot.
These situations presented themselves against the Trail Blazers and the Bulls; and until a more fluid offense is used late in fourth quarters, it is quite possible that the Clippers will have issues scoring the ball in late game situations.
Clippers Blogs: Make sure to have a look at Clipperblog for some solid Clippers coverage; but one can also direct their attention at The No Look Pass.
Keys to game: The Clippers present an interesting matchup for the Lakers because they have the speed, quickness and ball-handling skills at the point guard position to get by the Lakers perimeter defenders and score in the lane or dish off to their big men that can finish at the basket. Also, if Paul or Mo Williams are able to get inside the lane and take high percentage shots, the Clippers big men are smart enough to get into position for offensive rebounds and they also have the athletic ability to finish over the Lakers’ frontline.
In addition, the Clippers are one of the few teams capable of giving both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum fits. Indeed, DeAndre Jordan’s length will make it tough for Bynum to finish at the rim and although Griffin is not exactly a great defender, what he brings to the table on offense may progressively wear down Pau Gasol.
With that said, in the two preseason games in December, the Clippers were victorious against the Lakers because they did three things extremely well:
1. Turnovers: they forced the Lakers to commit a boatload of turnovers and then ran back the other way and got some easy transition opportunities.
2. Rebounding: The Clippers lost the rebounding battles in both games but managed to stay close in terms of offensive rebounds. Second chance opportunities should be a huge factor in this contest.
3. 3-point shooting: The Lakers have given up a lot of open 3-point attempts so far this season, and the Clips happily took advantage of the Lakers inability to close out on shooters by shooting a combined 21-for-48 from deep.
If the Lakers can do a better job in these areas against the Clippers, they should have the chance to win the game late. It’s worth noting that the Clippers do not have a player on the roster capable of making Kobe truly work for his points.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on FSN Prime Ticket but the game will also be on national television courtesy of NBA TV. Also liven live on ESPN Radio 710AM.
smart adjustment by cleveland last night to body-up kobe in the 2nd half. if kobe is reluctant about driving to the basket, the clippers ought to employ that tactic tonight.
Andreas G. says
Pau vs Griffin has been a good match up for the Lakers in the past. Pau normally defends him really well.
ANY link to the game please
This could be a missmatch if Andrew is going to stand around and watch.
Can you tell which team is playing the fourth game in five nights and which team has had two days off?
If Kobe keeps up his cold shooting this is going to be a long long night
Andreas G. says
Ken: Yes, really.
come on, morris.
woo. no look by morris to pau for the score.
Caron Butler is an underrated player
this is one of those games where a loss is fairly acceptable
Rebound advantage and turnovers are really big so far
Morris for 3…LOL
Way to go Morris, a half court buzzer beater
Slightly different then playing Cleveland or under .500 teams. Where is Brown’s vaunting defense? 31 points in first quarter?
Morris from 5-point range! 😀
Side-note: I like how angry Brown got over Blake Griffin’s mid-air push and tug on Darius Morris. It’s the rookie, the nobody on the roster, and he reacts as strongly as if someone had tried to kick Pau or Kobe. Good sign for the future of this team-coach relationship.
Bench so far so good with Pau leading the 2nd unit. Needs improvement on rebounds and too many fouls committed.
6th game in 9 nights? The Lakers have had a brutal schedule.
let Brian shoot
kobe needs to stop shooting. And before you say “oh you say that because he’s not making the shots”, well, he’s forcing all his shots. None of them are within the offensive system. Time to let that spoiled brat grow up and face his age, and play within the system (if that means taking 30 shots per game WITHIN the system so be it, but he’s not doing that)
Looks like tonight is one of those nights where you take the little bit of bad with the mostly good with Kobe. Starting to remind me of that game in DEN earlier this year, where the shot selection was a little off. I don’t mind him taking 25 shots if they are a little more in the flow of the offense. Jordan has two fouls. Would be nice to see them attack the paint and see if they can get three.
Let Kobe shoot. Oh wait, he is.
is it me of are the clippers getting every call?
not only does kobe shoot every possession, he also missed his defensive assignment big time. Good job.
The Lakers would be getting a few more calls if they were attacking the rim. Right now, we’re jacking jumpers. DeAndre Jordan has two fouls, and Bynum has gotten one touch in the post since he reentered the game. They have to commit to the inside-out game, or they will continue to have nights like this when Kobe isn’t on.
For Kobe to stop shooting someone is going to have to step up offensively so that he can trust them to share the scoring load.
Why cant Kobe shot within the flow of offense every time we face a good team??
Lakers8884.. Did u just really say that? If they actually get the ball from kobe then maybe they can actually have a chance to score.
Offensive rebounds are killing this team right now.
Time to let that spoiled brat grow up and face his age
Let Kobe shoot. Oh wait, he is.
Less of this.
Anonymous yes I really just said that…Throughout Kobe’s career (post Shaq) he has shot a ton when he doesn’t trust his teammates, and right now is one of those cases.
Starters not named Kobe are 10-26 shooting. And as close to the basket as Bynum and Pau typically shoot they aren’t exactly dominating by any means.
Robinred: There is nothing in those 2 comments that were factually wrong.
Clips swarming the paint inside. They can’t really put the ball on Pau and Drew. Hence, they’re double teaming drew and Pau is scoring from the perimeter.
Rob, the spoiled brat comment was uncalled for and you know it.
We all knew this Kobe centered offense wouldn’t work against great teams and it’s showing its ugly head however, the biggest issue lies in the lack of talent. The clippers just have a more well rounded team and that’s a fact.
The Lakers look a little tired out there. They are giving up too many offensive rebounds. The Clippers are just getting to the ball faster.
Lakers8884..are you watching the same game?
Lakers have beat only one team with a current winning record. Clearly this team with a bad bench and a starting point guard shooting 7% from 3 can not compete with the good teams.
Anybody who can’t see that is in deep purple and gold denial.
I only hope the front office can see the truth.
This is a 5th or 6th seed that has yet to beat one good team.
Lakers 8884–In order for Kobe’s mates to step up, he has to get them the ball. Again, I generally defend Kobe taking a high volume of shots, but not when he is forcing the action, outside the flow of the offense, like the second half last night, and the first half tonight.
The clippers just have a more well rounded team and that’s a fact.
Indeed. Chris Paul is Chris Paul: working on 15/4 with no TOs. That and the OREBS noted above are the keys.
Really liked what i saw from morris so far. Fisher, as much as i like him, just doesnt seem to be alive tonight and its showing on every posession. Kobe will get his points, but if he can get bynum involved a little bit more we might have a chance of pulling this one out. if not, we will lose even if he goes for 50 because were not getting any rebounds right now, so the clippers putbacks will kill us all night (and get us into early foul-trouble again).
tonight might be a game where playing fisher less might result in a big plus. i hope mb has the guts to make it happen
This is not Kobe’s fault. He is the best. The FO has thrown together a bunch of unwanted or untalented slow players.
Without Kobe this us a lottery team so be thankful for what we have. The Lakers of 8 years ago.
Darius Soriano says
Baiting comments and personal attacks at other commenters will be moderated and deleted. If you’re new here, read the commenting guidelines. If you’ve been here a long time, don’t get caught up in the drama because a moderator (likely me) will clean up the comments when they’re read.
Also, we want an intelligent, nuanced discussion here. Repeating the same point over and over isn’t that. It’s the opposite. If that’s not the type of conversation for you, there are other sites to visit. I won’t miss you.
Mindcrime, I’m not disagreeing with you about Kobe’s shooting, I am just saying guys like Drew have to step up and grow some and say hey Kobe get me the ball. He may not be the personality to be that way but you you know all the great players go get what they want, they don’t pout in the lane or let their lack of touches affect their performance.
Kobe can’t box out 5 players and prevent offensive rebounds, or prevent one of the other 4 guys on his team from turning the ball over. Offense is one side of the ball, and the least important one. Defense wins championships and on that side of the ball the Lakers are a step slow tonight.
14 second chance points is the story of the first half. Lakers need to do a better job on the defensive boards, 13 offensive rebounds given up in one half is too many.
Sure feels like we´re not getting any calls tonight, doesnt it? Poor Barnes…
46. Im pretty sure Barnes is one of the more disliked player in the league amongst players and refs, cant say i dont see why..
Did the Clippers really improve that much? Maybe its their era to shine now…
It’s getting chippy…I like it.
I hope we avoid this team in the playoffs! The Clippers are just complete team than us. They have inside game, outside shooting, inside-out, dribble penetration, name it, and they have it.
Adding cp3, Caron and billups would definitely improve any team.
no matter what happens the rest of the game, i am already impressed with how morris is playing tonight. the simple fact that he can stay with paul should get him more pt and he sure looks as if he knows what he is doing defensively. cant ask for more from a rook
Has there ever been a Laker team this pathetic offensively? No cutting, no slashing, hard to watch…
For all the improvement on D, this offense is truly offensive.
Live by black mamba die by black mamba! You know that’s how we roll! No aggressive Kobe and Laker nation would be as boring as the Wizards (umm who plays for them anyway?)So stop acting like spoiled babies when Kobe doesn’t shoot well!!! Tired of you people who cry when this dude shoots! That’s what he does!!! Geez
Our PG and SF positions hurt us tonight.
53. Well, Barnes has just bad luck, he is missing easy-ones. as for pg, hope you are watching the last couple of minutes…
Damn Kobe…pass the ball to Morris!
I hope the Lakers have the energy to keep up this effort in the 4th, asking a lot considering the number of games they’ve played lately and the amount of energy they just spent trying to get back in the game
Good recognition by Morris to find Gasol on the break for the layup. The rookie is earning more PT
Serve me more helpings of ballhog. PLEASE.
But this is seriously a 4v4. Neither bench is contributing much.
Kobe livi’n up to the reputation!
The Terminator shows up again. Let’s see if Kobe has enough left in the tank for the fourth
Chris Paul is pretty good…..
Chris Paul is pretty good…..
Heh. Yes indeed.
why the HELL was artest guarding paul just now? is this some kind of joke?
Morris has been solid tonight. Nothing flashy but hes playing OK defense and not making too many mistakes on offense.
Seriously I will always be thankful for Fisher’s contributions but Morris and Blake have to get 95% of the minutes when Blake returns from injury. The rookie will make mistakes as expected, but this trial by fire will make him a better player.
Yes, Chris Paul is very good
the rest of the team can’t get in any sort of rhythm when kobe is hogging the ball.
clippers had trouble scoring the whole 4th quarter, but the lakers switch to zone… nice coaching mb. watching mwp play is just painful at this point.
It’s not fair. We have one great player against 5 good players. Not fair!
Bigs don’t get the rock because they don’t ACT like they want it!! Hiding behind the other teams bigs..shrugging my shoulders!
I just don’t understand why Kobe has to do something weird whenever the lakers get within striking distance. He’ll opt for the toughest play possible every time. Either he’ll take an off balance contested 3, try to dribble out of a triple team or just try to force a pass and turn the ball over. To me that indicates that he doesn’t trust his teammates at all.
Two things about Pau for me: 1. Anytime he has under 10 rebounds he should be docked pay. 2. I hate this new perimeter oriented shooting, he is so crafty around the basket it just minimizes what he is great at.
14 games and still only one win against a good team. to bad for Kobe.
i wonder if andrew is quietly hoping to get traded for dwight. must be really hard to be able to score on any clippers defender with ease and not touching the ball at all the whole 4th quarter. poor guy
Money…it’s hard to take the ball away from a ball hogger.
This game was lost on the glass, 2nd chance points killed this team tonight. And that CP3 guy did some damage too
It’s hard watching this game on NBA TV. In the first half the announcers were all “Kobe is a ball-hog, his teammates must hate playing with him.” Then in the third quarter it became “Can you believe they called Kobe the 7th best player in the league?”, then in the 4th it again became “that dumb ball hog kobe, get the bigs involved.”
Just very tiring to watch bad announcing.
I think the problem with the Lakers getting it to the bigs isn’t Kobe. Kobe is getting the ball behind the arc and the bigs are on the other side of the paint. MOVE THROUGH THE PAINT DREW AND PAU.
Kobe has 40+ points for the 4th consecutive game.
I rather see Kobe score 20 pts and have them win any day…who cares he scored 40 pts. It’s still a loss.
kobe is not a ball hogger, its the pg´s fault. when kobe gives it up, he wants other people to shoot or make something happen. its not his fault that they just throw it right back to him.
I think Pau being in that 10-20 ft area is intentional on Coach Brown’s part.
Kobemoney–Drew is visibly frustrated about not getting the ball. You clearly aren’t watching the same game I am.
Ken’s prediction last night. Clip by 8. Reality.
Everyone feeling bad for Drew or complaining about his touches. Seriously the guy is the biggest dude on the team nobody would mess with him, if he wanted the ball he would demand it. And it doesn’t have to happen on the court, there are dead balls and time outs. Shaq would have made everyone in the building aware that he was demanding the ball, sure it rubbed Kobe the wrong way but it worked for several years.
Looking at the box score you can see it was basically the Lakers big 3 against the Clippers team tonight. I will give Morris some credit, but other than that the team contributed nothing.
Are people even watching the same game?
now kobe passes it? to fish? great.
The bigs just looked tired out there. 4th game in 5 nights is why. But the lakers desperately need a scoring guard off of the bench(preferably one who can handle the ball). The lakers just have too many players that you can’t count on to contribute much of anything on a nightly basis. If the lakers can somehow some way find someone who can, these stretches of 4 games in 5 nights may be a bit easier on Kobe and the lakers overall.
Bynum normally dominates this front line. They should have gotten him more involved. But, that strategy is predicated on being able to space the floor – and the Lakers are a terrible outside shooting team. And Bynum’s not the greatest passer either. So its not like it a 100% win.
Frustrating loss. Lakers cut it to 3 but could never get over the hump. Technical fouls and missed rebounds at key times.
I know we aren’t supposed to direct comments toward one another with too much angst but, seriously dude, you have no clue if you think Andrew Bynum is going to be able to walk into a huddle on a timeout and demand the ball. I love Kobe, but I know how that would go down. Kobe would look at Drew and tell him what’s up–and it wouldn’t be Drew getting the ball. Even the Clipper announcers had it figured out tonight…if you aren’t going to use him, you might as well trade him.
Now, all that splenetic ranting aside, the Lakers lost tonight because they didn’t clean up the glass. The Clips got too many second chances. That IS on Drew and Pau.
Kobe shot 50%. So his shooting is fine.
What killed us tonight is rebounds. Lakers are the best rebounding team in the league (until tonight, which we dropped to #2 behind the Bulls). The Clippers are at the bottom – absolute last – in rebounding.
To be out-rebounded tonight is a simple side effect of being the team that has played the most games in the league so far vs. a younger Clippers team that’s had 2 full days of rest. I’m not too worried.
Should be interesting to watch the Dallas game Lord willing.
Did we beat any big market teams yet?
Seems like it is just a Kobe centered offense, and as long as that is the case, this team has no shot of winning anything. I think it is going to be a long season boys…..
No. Lakers have not beat any of the top 10 winning teams d-tree thus year.
Warren Wee Lim says
The blog is filled with such negativity from pessimistic posters nowadays thats its hard to string intelligent discussions anymore. Seems like people are better off being commenters on an ESPN writeup than discussing actual game merits. That said, did you know that ESPN accuscore also posts game spreads?
The game had lots of factors in it. The Clippers did a great job zoning and denying entry passes. Couple that with the fact that we had either: the 37yo Fish or a 20yo rookie guarding CP3… it was a game that CP3 had bookmarked for quite a bit. Not saying Steve Blake would have better impact but it sure was a case of lack of productive depth hurting us tonight + the aforementioned 4th game in 5 nights.
I wouldn’t put too much stock in a gloom and doom scenario… we are still 9-5. And while that records demands the “fool’s gold” comment from the last thread, 9-5 is better than 5-9.
Kobe strings up 40+ outing for the 4th consecutive time. He didn’t actually shoot us out of the game, the game would’ve been over in the 3rd without him pouring in 21.
We were playing catchup since the 1st minutes of the game and it just felt like we needed more than 48 to close out the deal.
Kobe played 44 minutes, Pau 40, and Andrew 39. That has to stop.
As far as the shot selection thing…Kobe was 14/28. Pau was 7/17 and Drew was 6/13. It seems to be getting to the point where people are complaining any time Kobe misses a long jumper. Bynum is good, but he’s not Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers lost this game mostly because Chris Paul is one of the greatest PGs in the history of the game, and he played like it:
12/22 FG, 33 points, 6 AST, 3 STL, 1 TO.
Morris and Fisher did the best they could, but you simply can’t give away that much at the 1 in today’s PG-dominated game and expect to win. Add that to the Lakers’ extremely weak and unathletic bench, there it is.
Also, the Lakers bigs have never boxed out that well, and Reggie Evans is the kind of guy who makes you pay for that.
Going forward, Morris needs to play some, and if the coaching staff is as
concerned about shot ratios as
the fanbase appears to be, then Brown needs to take advantage of the respect Kobe appears to have for him and talk to him about it. But the issues with this team are personnel, plain and simple. The Big 3 are doing fine.
I would like to see some more of Kobe on the Box, with Pau up high, and more high-low action with Pau and Drew, incuding Pau some down low. Drew supposedly has been working on his J.
But the cook is only as good as the ingredients.
Note: not everybody is complaining, and I am not counting Anonymous. He is not here to talk basketball.
But I do not think Kobe’s shot totals are the biggest issue right now at all.
Based on kobe’s shot selection. It’s more like too many cooks spoil the broth.
Robinred, couldn’t have said it better myself. Agree completely.
Chris J says
It’s like 2005-06 all over again, only this time someone needs to drive into Kobe’s head that he’s not running with Kwame Brown and Smush Parker anymore.
To not work the ball inside at all for basically the entire second half is just criminal.
That’s the unspoken issue with the team’s point guards — Morris is too deferential to Kobe, which is only natural as a rookie. But if you’re playing the 1, your job is to get everyone going, and the Lakers have totally gone away from that in the past few games.
Also, the Lakers have no players who can defend the three-point line well. When they see a team that has more than one decent spot-up shooter, they’re screwed. Dallas killed them with it last summer, and Paul and Billups and Foye did tonight.
Warren Wee Lim says
But the cook is only as good as the ingredients.
The meat (Kobe) can only be a perfect dish beside the perfect garnishes as well. Bynum and Gasol are just the right pair of potatoes/rice but it seems we lack a bit of “seasoning” (others).
Chris J, you are right Kwame and Smush aren’t on the roster, there’s Pau and Bynum but other than that who is there? 3 Players can’t win games themselves, the Lakers guard play and bench play is severely lacking. And Barnes had been playing great until tonight, but overall the SF spot is an inconsistent one. This team still has talent issues no matter how you slice it.
Typical Cleveland style offensive night. Kobe got 42, 50% shooting 14 free throw attempts, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a block, only two turnovers. Kobe was terrific–just like Labron was under Coach Brown.
The rest of the Lakers did their best to stay out of his way on offense and play at least some defense–but they were pretty awful.
Usually that would mean that the Lakers were saved by their superstar again.
Unfortunately, this time the Laker team was humiliated by the LA Clippers.
Now how could that happen?
Right. What some people seem to miss is that the talent is tied directly to the Usage patterns. If the Lakers had a legit PG and decent backup 2, Kobe would play fewer minutes, and take fewer shots. Instead, they have Fisher, Blake, Morris, Kapono and Goudelock.
Don’t get me wrong: Fish is a serious, competitive man and Lakers fans owe him a lot. Morris is doing fine for a guy with his exp level and pedigree and will have an NBA career. I have seen no reason to think that Steve Blake does not give it everything he has. It is not a personal thing, and I think Mike Brown is doing fine, too. I disagree with him sometimes, but you can say that about any coach.
But…with this system, and with the league the way it is now, that group is not going to work if you want to have an elite team.
Michael H says
This happens on the 2nd of a back to back, 4th game in 5 days, clippers with a couple of off days and having played 5 more games then the Clippers since Christmas. The Lakers are tired. Fortunately the schedule eases up a bit soon.
Chris J says
Lakers8884 — No question there’s a lack of talent in some key places. I’ve been saying that for weeks.
Still, I’d like to see Mike Brown find a way to maximize the talent that is there. Kobe’s amazing, but the balance with he and Bynum and Pau isn’t there yet. Hopefully it’ll get better as they season goes on, but even then there’s a glaring lack of perimeter depth that will kill this team when they play a tough match-up, and the Clippers are a very bad match-up for the Lakers right now.
Michael H Chicago has played the same amount of games. They are 12 and 2. OKC is 11 and 2 . Stop with the tired junk. This is a talent thing. Teams that are 8 deep are not tired. The Lakers are 4 deep and lose to deeper teams.
@97 Warren Wee Lim – Your points are on the money.
Kobe scored 42 pts, 7 rbds, 4 assists as a 2 guard, that’s 2 less assists than Chris Paul the point guard for the Clippers.
Matt Barnes ran out of gas this game. He is going to be affected by the back to backs because of the way he plays the game. It would not be a problem if the Lakers did not have Troy Murphy (DNP), McJosh not ready to play a sustained amount of time on the floor, Walton well, you know…. MetaWP does not appear to be engaged with this team this year, he does not appear to be happy. Maybe, he misses LO far more than we know. Coach Brown appears to have lost faith in Ebanks. Everyone knows why Kapono is in the game, so he will rarely get an open 3pt shot. And Goudeloch whom is not ready to play in the NBA.
People, that is seven players that do not play. Blake is injured and Fisher is playing in cement sneakers.
Are you really surprised that the Lakers lose to good teams?
If the Lakers only play for championships, then I think that as this team is currently constituted the Lakers will be hard pressed to get to the 2nd round.
The Lakers have too many plodders on the team, not enough ball handlers and no one but Kobe to either shoot consistently from long distance or to create his own shot off the dribble.
That aside, I enjoy watching this team play. There’s an edginess to them, that makes them fun to watch.
yeah youre right again ken no way 2 of the youngest teams in the league would have less fatigue than 30 something year olds thanks for mentioning it 300 times in the past 4 games nobody knew til you pointed it out