LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, 103-101, of their NBA restart opener. Regardless of each groups getting out to double-digit leads at completely different factors within the recreation, neither might run away with the sport, making for an thrilling end.
Paul George led the best way for the Clippers with 30 factors, 5 rebounds, three assists, and three steals on 11-of-17 capturing from the sphere and 6-of-11 from past the arc. Kawhi Leonard added 28 factors, three rebounds, 4 assists, two steals, and two blocks on the night time. Regardless of the loss, there have been lots of issues to remove from this recreation if you happen to’re the Clippers, optimistic and damaging.
Listed here are my 5 takeaways from this thrilling matchup.
5. Sloppiness dominated
There’s no approach round this one: the Clippers have been sloppy, committing 20 turnovers on the night time. It was tied for his or her second-highest turnover complete in a recreation behind the 21 turnovers that they had earlier in video games towards the Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans, respectively.
“Once you don’t have guys, it’s a must to execute,” head coach Doc Rivers stated after the sport. “We didn’t execute many performs tonight offensively. We had 20 turnovers. We gave up offensive rebounds. We misplaced guys in protection defensively. So in that approach, it was disappointing. The positives are that we had each alternative to nonetheless win the sport. That may have been a candy win for us with what our guys have gone by way of.”
A part of these turnovers have been a bit anticipated, nevertheless, because the Clippers have been enjoying with guys who hadn’t seen the ground but in months like Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet.
Rivers has been laborious on his staff and expressed his unhappiness with excessive turnover video games. If it’s one factor these Clippers have been good at doing, it’s bouncing again from losses, so count on to see a greater staff on Saturday towards the Pelicans.
4. Foul Difficulties
The Clippers got here out like a staff that was nonetheless making an attempt to get their legs underneath them. They have been gradual on defensive rotations, resulting in a bunch of pointless fouls. Kawhi Leonard and Marcus Morris each performed fewer than 5 first-quarter minutes after selecting up two early fouls. To Leonard’s credit score, each of his first-quarter fouls appeared very nit-picky and shouldn’t have been referred to as, however the Clippers did a poor job defending within the interval.
By the tip of the quarter, the Clippers had racked up 13 private fouls (six gamers had not less than two) and gave the Lakers 14 free-throw makes an attempt. In complete, the Clippers dedicated 30 fouls, allowed 37 free-throw makes an attempt, and dug themselves right into a deeper gap by messing with a rotation that was already brief.
Granted, Anthony Davis isn’t any simple man to defend. He punished the Clippers inside early on, and it opened up his recreation late on when he began pulling down 3-point photographs.
3. Marcus Morris’ Struggles
Marcus Morris has performed two video games towards the Lakers this season as a member of the Clippers. Thus far, not so good.
Morris is a mixed 0-of-13 from the sphere, 0-of-10 from past the arc, and has 9 fouls in 48 minutes of play over these two video games. He did have the second-highest plus/minus on the staff in Thursday night time’s loss, nevertheless it’s evident he’s struggling to seek out his rhythm offensively on this matchup.
All through his time with the New York Knicks, Morris was the go-to man with the ball in his fingers able to take any shot. His recreation and his love for the off-the-dribble, high-post jumper can be evident. I’d be curious to see how Morris matches in the remainder of the seeding video games because the Clippers attempt to work out all of the kinks.
On the optimistic, Morris did do an incredible job on LeBron James all night time, serving to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George maintain him to only 16 factors on 6-of-19 capturing.
2. Clippers Make Life Tough For LeBron
Thursday night time’s remaining outcomes marked the fourth time in as many video games that LeBron James has delivered subpar capturing performances:
Sport 1: 7-of-19 FG, 1-of-5 3PT, Loss
Sport 2: 9-of-24 FG, 2-of-12 3PT, Loss
Sport 3: 7-of-17 FG, 2-of-6 3PT, Win
Sport 4: 6-of-19 FG, 2-of-7 3PT, Win
Total, LeBron James is capturing simply 36.7 % towards the Clippers this season. Clearly, they’ve had success making life tough on James with the our bodies they will throw at him. Leonard has taken the problem of defending James at instances, as have Paul George, Marcus Morris, and JaMychal Inexperienced.
If you happen to’re the Clippers, that is precisely what you’ll be able to hope to do to LeBron James within the playoffs. It’s unattainable to close down LeBron, however making his life tough like that is all you’ll be able to ask for.
1. Second Unit Rotations
The Clippers began Reggie Jackson rather than Patrick Beverley, who got here off the bench in his first motion in over 4 months. With Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell nonetheless out, the Clippers’ second unit struggled to generate any kind of offense.
LA actually could have discovered one thing with Patrick Patterson in his matchup towards the Lakers. He simply occurs to be efficient in small bursts for LA and seems capable of maintain his personal towards Davis. JaMychal Inexperienced has additionally been surprisingly versatile, simply because the Clippers thought he may very well be once they re-signed him final summer season.
All season lengthy, the Clippers touted lineups that includes Inexperienced on the middle place. We noticed a few of it briefly throughout the scrimmage video games, and much more so throughout this loss. It’s a floor-spacing weapon the Clippers may simply need to save till the postseason begins.
With no timetable for Harrell or Williams to return, one other factor I’m wondering is whether or not Rivers can be higher off beginning Patterson and bringing Morris off the bench to supply an offensive punch to the second unit. Morris has struggled to seek out his rhythm in Orlando to this point, so giving him some freedom to run the offense whereas Williams is out may simply be the best way to go.
The most important takeaway from the sport is that Doc Rivers has lots of completely different lineups to fiddle with, and I count on lots of experimenting over the seeding video games given the truth that coaching camp is just about over.