Last night’s loss to the Clippers was tough. The Lakers came out swinging first, knocking down shots and getting an already excited crowd more into it. The Lakers were in control in the 1st quarter. Unfortunately, that’s where all the fun stopped shortly after. The Clippers took control in the 2nd and outscored the Lakers 40-29. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that was where the game was lost. The Lakers did pick it up in the 3rd, thanks to Danny Green who went on a shooting explosion finishing with 28pts. From halftime, it was all Clippers as Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams hit tough shots, whereas the Lakers struggled. LeBron James had some costly turnovers and didn’t have a good offensive game to boot. Davis had a solid debut finishing with 25pts, 10rbs and 5ast. He did also struggle with his outside shot. The Lakers bench was outplayed by the Clippers bench by a wide margin.
Although the Lakers looked solid in preseason, the regular season is another story. The Lakers are going to get the very best from their opponents due to the fact that the spotlight is on them after acquiring Anthony Davis. It was one game, but it was a loss. There is plenty of time for the Lakers to correct things. The offensive plays showed in last night’s loss isn’t going to work against good teams like the Clippers. Seemed like the game plan was to dump it into Davis in the paint at all times and let him go to work. The Clippers keyed in on that and it was just too easy for them. It frustrated Davis at times and took him out of his rhythm. There was hardly any pick and roll plays like we saw this preseason. The pace also slowed down in the second half.
The Lakers need to go back to the film room and see what went wrong. Defense was subpar, and there was a lot of standing around when Davis had the ball in the paint. They need to figure out how to space properly, cut to the basket, and make it hard on the opposition if they double on Davis. LeBron at point guard all night didn’t help either. Hopefully Rondo and Kuzma can be back soon to help the depleted bench. The good thing in all this is that it’s very early in the season. They have time to implement different game plans and execute them. The Lakers will have the Jazz next for their home opener. I expect James and Davis to correct those mistakes and play a more efficient game. With a new team getting to know each other, I didn’t expect a fast start off the bat. It also takes time to understand what plays to run against certain players and teams. I have no doubt they’ll figure things out as the season progresses.