How bout this one. The Clippers blew the nuggets off the floor. Game over in the 3rd. The Lakers gave up over 120 to the exact same team 23 hours later. That is a stat you can compare.
The Clippers have an identity and a deep bench. Like I said, you are looking for two different things when you're comparing these teams for comparison.
With the Clippers they have their identity and will play this way for the rest of the season and it's about seeing if their weaknesses are getting fixed to get them over the hump into the playoffs.
With the Lakers it's about seeing if they've found their identity to build on while those weaknesses are being ironed out and fixed.
Tonight you saw that the offense became stagnant whenever Duhon entered the game, you saw that the pick and roll help defense had gotten lazy and you saw that Gasol cannot stop Faried from rebounding.
So basically tonight you saw things you already knew existed that need to be consistently fixed. Second chance points and such being an issue as we got the first stop and sometimes the 2nd but not the third. That is on Hill/Gasol and Howard alike.
Didn't get to see all you could see because we lost Dwight halfway through the 3rd(and I won't talk about the officiating) and were still in the game despite the terrible ending of the third.
What we learned basically is stuff we already knew, if we don't play pick and roll defense consistently then teams get the shots they shouldn't and that Gasol isn't going to be vocal defensively even if he is directly behind Dwight when someone comes for the ball. And that the Nuggets are a great team at home and have the best home record in the NBA so you can't afford to come in that way.
Stuff we already knew.
Main thing though is that our offense seems to flow and has an identity UNTIL our bench point guard comes in. Now that we have Nash back we actually have a barometer to start judging where our problems lay, and Duhon IS a problem.
We played good defensively down the stretch of the last 5 games which is why we won them late. But our problems in terms of back door cuts that Gasol allows reared their head in this game and are going to have to be worked on.
All that happens as we're trying to find our identity as a team. So nothing I'm very worried about.
You still cannot compare it to the Clippers because they already have an identity and a deep bench. Our bench is basically Metta and Meeks and Hill's hustle. this is a known. Hill wasn't boxing out tonight, Meeks shot was off, and Metta had his first bad game, although his effort was there. But the biggest issue was we were allowing too many inside shots(both on Gasol and Dwight) to start and not pressuring them enough on the inside and our defensive anchor looked fatigued and let people 3 steps behind him beat him up the court. But it's no surprise that Dwight isn't 100% nor is his stamina. So no surprise there.
When we find our identity and how we want to play these things will come second nature when we read the defense we're facing.
But ultimately we're gonna score over 100 each games, it's just about finding our defensive identity and cutting out the weak points.
Unfortunately we have NO CHOICE but to play our weak points because they are our only backups till our main one comes back and the drop off is just that dramatic.
That's basically all there is to it.
Edited by Majesty, December 26, 2012 - 09:18 PM.