clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Clippers top Lakers 93-87 in Summer League, also sign Kawhi Leonard

New, comments

Relegate the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v LA Clippers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After spending all week going head-to-head with the Lakers to compete for free agent superstar Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers had a chance to face their cross-town rivals tonight on the greatest stage of all: the Las Vegas Summer League.

Last night, the Clippers agreed to a deal with Kawhi Leonard. And tonight, they beat the Lakers in Vegas.

These two things are definitely similar in magnitude.

The Clippers got off to a really strong start and led 32-15 after the opening period, but faltered at times as the game went on, eventually squeaking out a close victory. The Lakers never took the lead, but they did come all the way from a 22-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter.

Here’s some notable takeaways for individual performances:

  • Jerome Robinson was pretty unimpressive on the court and only played 11 first-half minutes before staying in the locker room for the second half. He reportedly was sick, which explains his lackluster play and low minutes. Hopefully Jerome feels better soon and can get some reps in this week, but if he isn’t 100% the team should hold him out. While he does have a little bit to prove, he ultimately already has a guaranteed contract for next season and should play it safe.
  • Terance Mann had a really solid performance, finishing with 5 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 3 turnovers. He was given the most ball-handling duties of any Clipper in this game, and while he was a little shaky at time as he’s not a natural point guard, ultimately he has the smarts and skills to pull it off. He didn’t do anything necessarily special, but he was all-around solid and confirmed evaluations that say he could be a really well-rounded role player if his shot progresses.
  • Mfiondu Kabengele was good at the things he’s good at—even with some open three-point shots not falling, he finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds on just 14 field goal attempts. Don’t be totally fooled by the stats, though. While he definitely demonstrated his scoring ability and touch, the defensive end of the court was a bit of a mess for Fi tonight. The biggest issue seemed to be his strength, where he was getting bullied out of position for rebounds and post defense. It’s a troubling sign for a player who is about to turn 22, and if he can’t find a way to hold his ground down low it will limit his upside.
  • Amir Coffey was the Clippers’ best player for most of the night, and it’s easy to see why the team likes him. While Coffey wasn’t drafted by the team, he is likely to be with them on a two-way contract next season. He was a little shot-happy in this game (but hey, it’s summer league), but what was really impressive was his overall activity level. Defensively, he moved his feet really well and bothered his man, which are traits that the Clippers have really prioritized in recent years. Overall, he finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal.
  • David Michineau had a really interesting game. On the one hand, it seems clear to me that he’s a bit past Summer League as a player—he’s 25, in his fourth SL, and coming off of a really strong season as a starter in France’s top league. But his playing time and touches were low—in just 15 minutes, he only got a few possessions but was mostly clinical, finishing a couple of floaters and dropping in pocket passes for a team-high five assists. When he wasn’t on the ball, he seemed mostly disinterested in anything but getting the ball back. It’s nice that he is confident and performing, but it doesn’t do the other players any favor when he isn’t playing off of them at all. At times, his body language seemed to suggest that he was a little frustrated with the sloppy, disorganized play. Again, I go back to my suggestion that he’s just past the Summer League phase of his career and is more of a legit professional now.

The Clippers’ next SL game is against the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night at 8:30 Pacific time on ESPN2.