I don't really care about ever talking about the Lakers this season. When the idea comes up about this city being "our town" and all that yadda yadda, I don't really bother participating. You'd have to be fairly blind to think for a moment that the Lakers are relevant basketball discussion this season. Injuries or not, that team is just plain bad. All I care about is who the Clippers are playing next.
Well, today they played the Lakers. And not gonna lie, this one might've felt a little bit sweeter than say, dismantling the similarly terrible Sixers not too long ago.
The Clippers laid a beatdown on a team unlike many beatdowns you will ever see on a basketball floor. All this after a fairly frustrating first quarter, a quarter where Doc Rivers fairly assessed that the team was trying to do "too much." The team had 10 turnovers in the first, botching alley-oops and carelessly handling the ball. But after that? Ooooooooooooh-wee.
While that first quarter played like some sloppy pick-up, the next two played like a Clipper highlight reel, particularly highlighted by an absolutely vicious Chris Paul to Blake Griffin alley-oop that had absolutely everything. From the Griffin board to the Paul pass to the beautiful Griffin finish, that play perfectly typified the Clippers night. While Mitch Kupchak's reaction immediately afterwards captured the Lakers season.
The stat sheet was loaded. Griffin, Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and the continuously wonderful Matt Barnes all had easy double-doubles. Griffin extended his 20+ point streak. Darren Collison also continued his fantastic play with a team high 24 points on 9-15 from the field. All of them shot 50+%. In fact, everyone shot 50+% except for Willie Green. We got an extended look at Danny Granger, and results were mixed.. If any sort of explosion is coming back, it's not there yet, as we saw very little from him off the dribble. But he still hit some nice shots, including a couple in transition. (Even that dunk he had felt like it had little lift, and he had one play where he had an open lane to the basket but had to dribble and recollect himself, only to miss a layup.. Yikes) At the least, you can see him as a rotation player, but with the way Barnes is playing, Danny's not looking at a starting job any time soon.
So no, the Clippers didn't manage to hang to big 5-0 on their crosstown tenants, but this'll have to do. Enjoy the win for a bit, and then let the Lakers crawl back into tank town. Time to focus on the next imploding team coming to town, the reeling Atlanta Hawks.
For the Lakers perspective, kindly check out Silver Screen and Roll.