For a recap, see Sir Steve's main pager. This is just my take aways.
#1. Rasual Butler was impressive.
Were you like me? Everytime I saw him drain a three, I thought "I dunno if Al woulda made that shot." When he came down the lane, trailing Baron for a perfect fast break dunk I thought "Al might have tried to finger roll that. Al probably wouldn't have gotten enough elevation for a dunk. He might have botched that."
I am not an AT hater. He seems like a nice guy - but what do I know? I've never met him or hung out with him.
Overly simplified, the offense seemed to stink like last years Clippers in the first half with AT on the floor. The offense looked awesome in the second half with Rasual out there. Yeah, I know, Baron picked it up in the third but I'm just sayin...
Clips should start Butler and bring AT off the bench so we don't end up down 20 at half time.
#2. As Baron Goes, So Do The Clippers
1st half Baron bad, Clippers bad. 2nd half Baron good, Clippers good. Sure there were lots of other factors such as better team energy and defense (and less AT in the second half) but I think even Steve wrote that Baron will be very important in the team's success this year. I have to agree completely.
A happy (though scowling on the court), healthy Baron will mean the Clippers have a chance to win every game this year. He showed up in the third quarter of this game and it was magic. If he can bring that energy to every game? Wow.
#3. Kaman was OK, but I wanna see more DJ!
Yeah, yeah Kaman looked OK - but did he look dominant against a smaller Dub team? No.
But DJ sure did, rolling down the lane for the alley-oop SMASH! Sure, Kaman may be fine against more traditional centers, but when he's playing against a bunch of little guys trying to swipe the ball, he seems to shrink away instead of bully through.
I wish we got to see more DJ. More DJ, More FUN!
Kaman could start looking very klunky in this new 120 point sports car Clipper team.
#4. Shake n Blake = AWESOME
EG and Might Griff are spectacularly SOLID players PERIOD. Instead of mostly rookie play with flashes of greatness, they display mostly greatness with flashes of rookie-ness!
I AM STILL CRAZY. I still think Eric Gordon could be a point guard in the Deron Williams range IF he wanted to be and IF he were used in that capacity. Last night he showed signs of that while Baron was off the floor (Telfair was hurt and did not play - but gave a nice in-game interview with Milph).
He has all the tools - the ability and willingness to pass, the quickness and burst of speed to get by defenders and cover opposing PGs, the size and strength to play and defend other big PGs in the post. The most unseen aspect of his PG skills so far to me is court vision. Maybe he has it, maybe not.
Either way, I can see EG ending up an awesome combo PG/SG ala D. Wade. He doesn't show as much aggression, yet but you can definitely see similarities in that quiet determination to kill you. I forgot which teammate was asked that question in an interview last year, but they said the scariest Clipper when mad was EG because if he got riled up he would absolutely try to kill you on the court.
ALSO CRAZY. I still think Blake has enough skills and quickness to play the three. Although I was a proponent of that happening when appropriate, mostly due to the fact that the Clips still had Randolph at the time, last night's game had Mighty Griff matched up against Uh Oh Maggette-o and he did not in anyway look overmatched or out of place. Sure the Wacky Warriors had Mag at the 4, but come on, Corey in all reality is a SF.
The LAKERS, is primarily where I could see BGriff at the 3 vs. Odom. Camby vs. Gasol. Kaman or DJ on Bynum. BIG BIG BIG. Odom might have a quickness advantage, but BGriff might have a physical bang down low advantage. Blake could also be used at the 3 when opposing teams have a slower or non-offensive threat at that spot.
Overall I don't care where he plays because he's straight up solid and only looking to improve. I only bring up the 3 thing because so many citizens seemed to think there was no way in hell he could play the SF.
#5. Matt Kemp May Be Convertable?
During his interview, Matty said he was a Laker fan all his life, but that he is a Mighty Griff fan. Prime showed footage of them hanging out in the Dodger dug out, fooling around.
Well, I know last year when he was interviewed he said his main boy was ARIZA, who is now gone. So with some winning ways and maybe even a win or two against the Lake Inferiors, maybe he will come over to the real side?