Clippers - Lakers Summer League Recap - That Went Well

If you wanted that to go any better for the Clippers, you're just being greedy. 

Here's a link to the box score.

Turns out, this guy Griffin is pretty good.  27 points, on 11 for 15 shooting, and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes.  That greedy guy might want fewer than 5 turnovers, better than 4 for 8 from the line.  But this way, the guy has something to work on during practice, right?  More important perhaps than the raw numbers is just WHO this guy is.  After the game, MDsr said basically, "Hey, this is what he's been doing to guys in practice this week, so we're not surprised.  But you never know how a guy is going to react to the stage."  Well, Blake Griffin LOVES the spotlight.  He scored the first three times he touched the ball, and he was demanding the ball on every trip.  He's ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.  So he has the qualities and the temperament to be a star.  But he's also an incredibly hard worker.  He was talking on every defensive possession, going after every ball.  What a luxury to have a player this talented, who also has all of the other qualities you most want on your team.

Eric Gordon also looked great.  He scored 21 points on 11 shots.  He got to the line a dozen times.  I only remember him taking one jumper (he missed a three).  I was wondering a little why Gordon was here - what does he have to prove in Summer League after averaging 20 points per game for months in the NBA?  Obviously, there's an advantage to playing with his teammates, and that's a great thing.  But to his and the Clippers' coaching staff's credit, he was clearly WORKING on things today.  He was defending the Lakers ONLY offensive threat in Adam Morrison, while giving away 5 inches.  He posted up, and made a nice back to basket move, something he never did his rookie season.  And he basically never settled for the jumper - after all, we know he can shoot, right?

DeAndre Jordan has clearly been working on his post moves this summer.  He made several plays in this one game that were better than any single move he made all of his rookie season.  It's also pretty clear that Blake is going to have a major positive impact on DJ.  They'll be in the gym together, and they'll each others back on the court.  No way DJ is going to take a possession off with Griffin busting his butt on every play.  I would have liked to see more rebounds from DJ, and he too turned it over too much, but it's hard to complain with an 8 for 9 day (easy to complain about 0 for 5 from the line).

Mike Taylor was the not so bright spot for the Clippers.  As I suspected might be the case, summer league brought out the worst parts of his game.  He was out of control with the ball in his hands.  He finished with 5 assists, and he was clearly trying to be a facilitator.  But he also had 4 turnovers.  He's got a lot of talent around him in this league - he needs to save his top gear for when he needs it.  If you're always in the red, there's (a) nowhere else to go and (b) it's hard to stay in control.  I think he'll figure that out eventually, but who knows?  If he could discover the power of the change of pace, he'd be a very difficult player to stop.

Of the guys NOT on the Clippers roster, Nik Caner-Medley looked very good with a 12-11 double-double.  Did he look 'make the team' good?  Well, in many ways he did.  But the fact that the coaching staff chose to put Gordon on Morrison tells you a lot.  I'll try to keep an eye on NCM's defense tomorrow to get a better handle on him.  He does some things well, that's for sure.  He made a terrific touch pass on an offensive rebound to Gordon in the fourth quarter - it was just a terrific, instinctual basketball play.

Kyle McAlarney looked better than expected with 5 assists and a 3.  He handled the ball well and found DJ on a couple of really nice passes.  But he doesn't have much of a chance to make the team.  He did a good enough job defending Taylor Rochestie, but that's Taylor Rochestie. 

Sean Banks and Dionte Christmas are the two guys I wanted to watch coming in, but neither did much in this game.  They'll get another chance tomorrow.

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