Me and My Nine Iron

December 9, 2010

Lakers vs. Clippers 12/8


Last night, I went to the Lakers’ and Clippers’ first meeting this season and boy, was it a good one. After a Lakers’ 8-0 start to open the game, my worst fear was being realized: an uncompetitive game, not surprisingly, of the defending champs punishing the league’s worst team. Thankfully, the Clippers got back into it and even led for most of the second half with the help of the Lakers’ off night. There were exciting finishes at the end of both quarters in the second half, as Baron Davis nailed a three pointer with one second left, only to have Shannon Brown heave the ball for a miraculous make from well behind midcourt to end the third quarter.

While the Clippers held a two-point lead at halftime, the numbers were ugly. Both teams were shooting under 40% from the field, with the Lakers shooting 53% from the free throw line. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom all didn’t bring their ‘A’ game for whatever reason and sadly, they still ended up beating the lowly Clippers with their lowest effort, albeit with the help of an unlikely Derek Fisher buzzer beater.  Gasol, Odom and Ron Artest combined to shoot 9-for-31 (.290), and Bryant played a quiet 31 minutes.

The Clippers looked lost on offense at times due to their two main needs: lack of another go-to scorer and a true point guard. Blake Griffin‘s still unreliable and Eric Gordon has got to be the least feared number one scorer on a team. There were several times in this game where they moved the ball around well but then had to rush a bad shot to avoid the shot clock violation. It’s like no one wanted to take the shot. As for their point guard problems, I know it’s unfair to grade Eric Bledsoe this early and he might even end up losing his job to Davis, but here’s to hoping he becomes their Russell Westbrook. For now, he’s unable to make plays and isn’t looking to score, even though he seems capable of attacking the rim which he showed flashes of in this game. Davis, meanwhile, despite superior handles, can’t shoot or pass the ball accurately. If only they morphed into one player.

On paper, this was the Clippers’ first sellout of the season, although I can tell you thousands of people didn’t show up to the game. They need to make attendance the number of people who actually went to the game, which should be easy since they scan every ticket that comes through. For those that were there, it actually felt like a playoff atmosphere, especially at the end…I sat next to a Lakers fan to the left of me and a Clippers fan to the right of me. I have to admit there was a lot of sexual tension and prolonged stares from the two, I was starting to feel a little comfortable…Lastly, some player notes from the game.

Gasol – One of the best big men in the game certainly did not show up for this one with a lackluster 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting and hopefully, receiving a wake-up call when he got swatted nasty by Griffin.
Odom – Probably the most versatile player in the game also took a dump. He spent the whole game elbowing Griffin as he ran by and fouled out with a measly 8 and 6.
Artest – While Gasol might be the most underrated player in the game and is finally receiving some consideration, maybe, we need to start considering Artest to be among the overrated. I find his effect on the game minimal, and he showed a lot of bit of Dennis Rodman in this one, falling on Gordon and flopping like a fish out of water after getting a jump ball call.
Griffin – A sure thing to get the defensive board, in possession of an insane vertical and an electrifying player that should sell out seats in the coming years. The scary thing is he could get better. On his only breakaway, everyone quickly got off their seats in anticipation of something crazy, in which he settled for a light dunk. That’s LeBron James status, is it not?

I almost forgot…

Lakers 87

(16-6, 6-4 away)

Clippers 86

(5-18, 5-8 home)

BJ

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2 Comments »

  1. Griffin is must-watch. I’m waiting for the moment he accidentally jumps through or over the backboard.

    Comment by Chris — December 10, 2010 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  2. Blake Griffin is absolutely reckless. Lawrence Taylor style. I really need to see a Clipper game before he hurts himself again.

    Comment by dan — December 9, 2010 @ 11:54 pm | Reply


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