Tag Archive for 'clippers'

Lakers – Clippers Running Diary

Andrew BynumAs always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.

Previous Lakers – Clippers Running Diary/Postgame
Lakers – Clippers Running Diary 11-05-2008
Lakers 117, Clippers 79: Postgame

Inactives
Lakers: Jordan Farmar, DJ Mbenga
Clippers: Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph

Rarely do we have pertinent news just before the game (e.g. talking about Madagascar a few games ago), but tonight’s an exception: Luke Walton is back in the starting lineup for the Lakers, and back to the bench goes Vladimir Radmanovic. Vladi’s expressed … how should we say it … complete disappointment after being put on the bench 20 games into the season in favor of Walton’s ball movement and general team play.

Starters
Lakers Fish, Kobe, Walton, Pau and Bynum
Clippers Mardy Collins, Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, Brian Skinner and DeAndre Jordan

First Quarter
11:54 Walton “christens” his start (Spero Dedes’ words, we’re listening to the broadcast) with a dunk after Gasol’s perfect bounce pass. Before I forget this stat, the Clips have lost 54 games to injury from their top four players this season, none of whom are playing tonight (Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby).

10:05 Pretty good lil’ start from ‘Drew: 3-for-3 for six points, including two dunks and an offensive rebound for an 8-2 Lakers start.

8:01 The Lakers aren’t letting their opponent’s inferior talent affect their intensity, and have been getting any shot they want offensively, while holding the Clippers to perimeter jumpers save one Thornton dunk. Bynum hit again for his fourth bucket in four minutes, and Walton’s baby hook made it 14-6 Lakers.

5:30 Bryant gets his first two points of the game with two foul shots (his release looked good despite his heavily-bandaged right hand), and the Lakers first two points outside of the paint in an 18-12 opening.

3:52 It’s been all Bynum early on. After dunking on Skinner’s head for his 11th point, he destroyed a Mardy Collins layup attempt with a touch of nastiness.

2:19 Bynum, again scoring in the paint for a season-high 13 points in one quarter for the big kid.

An unrelated note: Two possessions earlier, Luke Walton pulled up in transition instead of feeding Gasol or Bryant, who weren’t quite far enough ahead of the defense to receive a pass. Walton bricked badly, but the ball went right into Pau’s hands for an easy layup. What’s notable wasn’t the play, but that the whole Lakers bench was quickly off the bench to make chatter at Walton. It’s always a good sign when your teammates are willing to get on you like that (translation: Luke’s teammates really like him).

0:29.8 Gordon’s three capped a quick 7-0 run to tie the game at 25 as L.A.’s defense grew a bit on the poor side.

0:01.0 How about a 9-0 run to close the quarter? Collins’ 20-foot jumper saw to that.

In short, the Lakers missed their last four shots, and the Clippers made four of their last five. Why? You can blame a slight drop in intensity, but I’m not sure it’s anything about which to worry about for L.A. However, if the Clippers are still hanging around after the second quarter … eh, that might not matter either. After the third? We’ll talk then.
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Clippers Missing Four Best Players

Perhaps the biggest story heading into Wednesday’s Los Angeles battle is that the Clippers are one of the least healthy teams in NBA history.

When Phil Jackson was asked if he could remember a time when a team was missing its four best players, he had to go all the way back to the 1978 Portland Trail Blazers squad, a good 31 years ago.

Here’s the scratch list for the red and blue:

Baron Davis: Bruised tailbone
Marcus Camby: Sprained left ankle
Chris Kaman: Strained left arch
Zach Randolph: Sore left knee

Yikes.

With those four players healthy, plus Al Thornton, Eric Gordon, Ricky Davis and Mardy Collins chipping in, the Clips could actually be a good squad.

Tonight, however, it’s going to be tough to beat the Lakers unless Collins, Gordon, Thornton, DeAndre Jordan and Brian Skinner shoot a collective 65 percent from the field. That’s sort of like asking the L.A. Dodgers to bat .600 in a game when they had seven starters out with injuries.

But that’s why they play the game…