Oct 30, 2013
Lakers start the season with a statement against the Clippers
In a season where people's expectations weren't so high on the Los Angeles Lakers, the team had something to prove to all the naysayers and pundits. The Lakers are made of some seasoned veterans, and young players that are hungry to win. Last night, they proved it against their arena rivals the Los Angeles Clippers. There is certainly a lot of hype for the Clippers going into this season. Understandably so, with the additions of JJ Redick, Darren Collison, and Jared Dudley. With the Lakers hearing all preseason, that they aren't good enough and will finish near the bottom of the Western Conference, they knew they had to come out with a lot of energy and make a statement.
It was a battle for both teams, as they went back and forth during the first three quarters of the game. Pau Gasol looked like the Gasol of old. He is certainly thriving in the Mike D'Antoni system now that he is back in his natural position at center. Another player who is greatly benefiting from D'Antoni's system is Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry. It has allowed Farmar to be more aggressive and shoot the ball. The same can be said about Henry, which has been a pleasant surprise and is becoming a favorite amongst Laker fans. Henry scored a career-high 22 points and Farmar added 16. In total the Lakers bench scored a whopping 76 points. Mike D'Antoni decided to leave the second unit out on the floor for the entire fourth quarter. The second unit took advantage and won the game for the Lakers.
The Lakers won without their main star Kobe Bryant, who is still rehabbing from his torn Achilles injury. If the Lakers can sustain this type of effort throughout the season, then they will surprise a lot of people in the NBA. The bench has great chemistry going forward, and they will have to continue that energy tonight as they take on the Golden State Warriors. If the team can win some games until Kobe Bryant comes back, they will be in a good position to make the playoffs down the road.