The Los Angeles Lakers (22-25) hosted the Los Angeles Clippers (25-24) on Tuesday. The Lakers wished to increase their successful streak to 3 video games. The Clippers wished to increase their successful streak to 3 video games, as nicely. However the black jerseys lit the Purple and Gold up from deep en path to a wire-to-wire victory, 133-115.
LeBron James scored 46 factors on 16-for-29 taking pictures, together with 9-for-14 from past the arc, with 8 rebounds and seven assists.
Russell Westbrook scored 17 factors on 4-for-13 taking pictures and dished 5 assists.
Paul George scored 27 factors on 11-for-20 taking pictures and pulled down 9 rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 factors on 11-for-16 taking pictures and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Listed here are three observations from the Lakers’ loss.
The Clippers’ three-point taking pictures within the first half was the grand separator
The proverbial away group shot 15-for-22 from three within the first half. Fifteen makes is a good complete for an entire recreation, however the Clippers completed that in simply 24 minutes.
There was some unimaginable shotmaking, as there often must be while you hit 15 triples in a half. Nevertheless, the Lakers’ transition protection was completely dreadful. All half, it felt just like the Clippers had been one or two passes away from an open three. That’s fairly tough to do in opposition to a set protection; there simply isn’t sufficient area on the court docket for that.
However, you have a look at the court docket and also you usually see a five-on-four push for the Clippers. It then happens to you that somebody — whether or not or not it’s James, Westbrook, or another person — is both sulking on the ground after blowing a layup or slumping shoulders in disgust at a foul possession.
The Lakers don’t have to love what occurred on their finish of the ground. However letting that have an effect on their urgency to get again on protection isn’t making something higher. They absolutely aren’t going to win the sympathy of officers doing that. That’s merely novice conduct, and good offenses will crush them in the event that they don’t match them step for step in transition.
Do not get caught up within the display screen
Even when the Lakers had the self-discipline to include the Clippers to a half court docket setting on offense, they actually struggled to defend screens. A few of that’s basic communication. It’s important to keep true to your scheme, however you even have to speak as a result of not each display screen goes to suit your scheme. The Lakers struggled to get round screens shortly, or they telegraphed the protection forward of the motion. The Clippers weren’t pressed to make cut up selections or act below the duress of a closing window, turning their main actions into what appeared like apply drills, giving them open threes in opposition to the Lakers’ drop protection.
The Lakers’ roster flaws are on full show
The Lakers, largely by the desire of James, tried to shoot their manner again into this recreation within the remaining 12 minutes, even chopping the deficit to only 10 factors with greater than half the quarter to play.
However, there’s no staging a comeback with out stringing collectively stops on protection. And that by and huge didn’t occur whereas the Lakers had been taking pictures the ball nicely. Merely put, that James may amass the stat line he did, not commit any turnovers, and the group nonetheless be minus-14 with him on the court docket says lots in regards to the gamers on the roster not named LeBron James.
On a deeper degree, the Lakers’ roster confirmed that it’s basically one huge over-correction after one other. Patrick Beverley was on the court docket with James to attempt to assist make opposing stars uncomfortable, mitigate dribble penetration, and be lively within the passing lanes. But, his teammates throw the ball his manner and, most of the time, it’s only a hole few seconds of dribbling earlier than James rescues him from doing one thing disastrous.
Thomas Bryant was on the court docket throughout the Lakers’ run, as nicely. The Clippers weren’t perturbed, bringing his defensive task into the pick-and-roll and benefiting from him at varied ranges of a drop protection. Whether or not it’s late contests on jumpers after taking part in on the degree on screens or being out of place or flimsy on the rim on deep drops, the Clippers scored at will.
However, Bryant can come out of ball screens and knock down the three or dive to the cup for thunderous dunks.
This recreation was a microcosm of the Lakers’ largest downside — they’ve a celebrity, a star-level participant when he’s wholesome, and 13 NBA contracts for gamers who cowl up issues on one finish of the ground on the expense of offering worth on the opposite finish.
They could beat the dreck of the league on a night-to-night foundation and sneak some wins previous the NBA’s higher groups, however they’re not beating anybody persistently at a excessive degree with that roster development.
The Lakers (22-26) will host the San Antonio Spurs (14-33) on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Pacific time. You may catch the sport on Spectrum SportsNet.