I just want to let you guys know, Clippers' Topbuzz is FULL of Laker haters. Tonight, they were all awestruck and filled with respect for the Lakers, and gave them the credit that they deserve. I ask you to give the Clippers some credit too, and give them some time. They will learn how to win... Soon.
Have Faith Clipper Nation!!
Post game reaction by TheCalmInsanity
After seeing the game live, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I WAS SATISFIED.
Yes, you're reading correctly. I said "satisfied" without the "dis". Call me optimistic, but I may be seeing things that you guys haven't, so READ ON!
I'm going to keep this as unbiased and analystic as possible. First of all, let's give some credit to our cotenants for playing a good game as a great team. =Phew= That being said, I'm just letting you know we weren't dealing with chumps here.
The motto of the Clippers this year should really be "Trial and Error". Because that's really what the Clippers have to go through to make it on the playoff train. Clippers have to learn the hard way how to win, whether it be the players learning about the other players, or the coach learning about the players.
Remember when we were up 33-32 in this game? And Dunleavy subbed out Thornton AND Baron? Lakers went on a 19-0 run. You think Dunleavy will make that mistake again? Dunleavy needs to learn which players click together. Just like the Lakers know how Farmar and Ariza have good chemistry. Dunleavy will have to learn which set of 5 guys can't score. Some of the lineups he put in this game had difficulties scoring, so next time he'll remember to stick Al Thornton or someone else in that lineup to get the juices flowing.
Baron said that the biggest problem is going to be learning where each player likes to get the ball. Where each players' hot spot is. Just look at the Lakers- How many alley oops and stuff they're throwing. You think Al Thornton, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Thomas, and Camby can't recieve alley oops? Of course they can. But they need teammates who know exactly where they like to catch the ball. Right now the Baron to Al passes are magnificent because Baron is a great passer, and Al is a great finisher. But when they get to know each other's strengths, they're going to throw unstoppable alley oops and passes to each other. Right now the only reason they're making it work is because they're both individually so talented. Look at Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler, after getting to know each other's games they're the best 1 2 alley oop punch in the league.
Marcus Camby. Bigger impacter than you might think.
As Clipper fans, I know you deal with Clipper haters. I've gotten all the same responses you have such as "Oh well if Camby was so good, Gasol wouldn't have beasted him in the playoffs last year" or "Camby isn't good enough to make the difference of 38 points". Here's my response.
1. "Oh well if Camby was so good, Gasol wouldn't have beasted him in the playoffs last year".
We all know how hard it is to play 2 on 1. Gasol and Odom vs Camby? That sounds unfair. Especially if you make it 5 on 1, because none of the Nuggets played defense. So if you think about it, who's the one that has to slide over every time Kobe crosses Allen Iverson or Carmelo Anthony? Who's the one that has to cover Gasol, while also making sure Lamar Odom doesn't get shots down low? Isn't that a pretty hard job? Camby's stats last year were amazing. Kaman's stats last year were amazing. They both got beasted during games though. Do you realize why? They had the same problem, they were the only down low defenders on the team, and every game it was 2 vs 1. Whether it's Duncan and Thomas, whether it's Gasol and Odom, or Shaq and Amare, it's always going to be hard being the lone center.
2. "Camby isn't good enough to make up the difference of 38 points".
Camby brings alot more than scoring to the table. Good defense leads to good offense. A blocked shot by Camby can result in a fast break that leads to scoring. Camby didn't get the points, but he did an intangible thing. Another thing is his defense will change the whole Laker offense, and they would have to try to score around Camby, changing their whole game plan. And if Clippers keep the game close, they would be more motivated to play better defense and score better than if they were down by 38, don't you think? Veteran leadership is another thing Camby brings. He's great with help defense and talking to players on the court. He can tell someone to settle down, or dictate the defense. Only until we see Camby play on our team can we truly see the presence of the runner up Defensive Player of the Year.
Why we lost
1. Coaching decisions
2. Lack of offensive cohesion. Lakers played good defense, but Clippers offense was really out of line when Baron wasn't in. Even then, it was still out of line but Baron always finds a way to make it work. Again, this will all be better during the season, when players learn each other's tendencies (how they cut, how quick each player is, how high they can jump, where their hot spots are on the court).
3. Lack of interior defense. Clippers couldn't play defense down low. No Camby- enough said. Skinner had a great day defensively because he was the only one that showed up down low. If you though Skinner's shot blocking was refreshing, wait till you see Camby.
Positives we can get from this game
1. Coaching problem is not a big problem, not something that I blame Dunleavy for. Dunleavy still has to learn exactly when to sub, who to sub, and how to run each lineup's offense with trial and error of course. This game brought us one step closer, maybe it is that one step we needed, who knows.
2. Players learning each other's tendencies, and most of all, in this game, players learned each other's weaknesses. That's the hardest one to learn, because the only way to learn about a players weaknesses is through failure. So at least we got that out of our system.
3. Look at Al Thornton's game tonight. If this was last year, this would have probably been a 6 point, 2 for 15 shooting night from Al. His outside shot was giving him no love, and he wasn't getting to the free throw line often. But the awesome part of having Baron Davis is that even on a horrible game from Al Thornton, he manages to get 16 points. The points that Thornton got, were from Baron creating. Last year, Thornton had to create all his shots for himself. He can still do that this year, and tried it this game. His shot was just a bit off. Now- imagine if the shots he create for himself are going in, AND Baron Davis is creating for him? Al could have scored 30 easily this game if his jumper was going in. I think that's going to be very easy for him this season.
4. Just wait till Camby is in our starting lineup!
Clippers are a beautiful puzzle. The only thing is, all their pieces are all over the floor. Someone needs to put them together, and make the big picture. Whether that happens after a single blowout like this, or after a week, I'll take it. We just need some time to figure out the formula for success and winning, and which lineups work and which don't. We'll learn exactly which lineups will be good to match up with certain teams after we try each one out and see how it is (Trial and Error of course). And while the first few experiments might blow up on our face, the potion we make at the end can cure cancer (Clippers' playoff cancer at least).