My take away from the Lakers vs Clippers game III – Lakers may have just solidified their position as the best team in the NBA. Not only did the beat the Milwaukee Bucks, who hold the best record in the NBA, they also beat the biggest nemesis, whom they share a stadium with – the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard underwhelmed and seemed to disappear in crucial moments of the game. Yes, he scored 27 points on 9-18 shooting, but he was 2-9 from 3 and seemed disinterested at times. PG was clearly the best player for the Clippers today. Paul George shot 9-16 for 31 points and was 3-7 from the 3-point line.
Zubac was playing amazing defense and protecting the rim, but Doc Rivers, the most overrated coach in the NBA, failed to give him any minutes in the 4th quarter. Without any rim protection, A.D. looked unstoppable out there.
Pat Beverly was pretty trash out there. Got stripped twice, back to back for quick points for the Lakers. Lou Williams didn’t show up. He shot 3-11 for 7 points. The biggest disappointment was Marcus Morris. Clippers gave up their 1st round pick and Mo Harkless, who was playing quite well for the Clips, to get Morris. Morris was 0-9 with his single point coming from a 1 made free throw. Morris’ defense was subpar as well. Doc Rivers should have pulled Morris from the lineup and replaced him with someone to help the team generate some offense.
There was so much that was made about Clips getting better by trading for Morris. The truth of the matter is that the Los Angeles Clippers were a much better team with Mo Harkless.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 30 points on 11-19 shooting. LeBron James added 28 points on 7-17 shooting. Avery Bradley went crazy from the 3-point line and torched the Clippers for 24 points on 9-17 shooting.
LeBron seemed to be invigorated out there. Both he and AD were taking charges and playing defense like it was game 7 of the NBA playoffs. Kuzma made some great defensive plays to justify why the Lakers didn’t trade him. Lakers handed the Clippers their first loss as a completely healthy team and sent a loud message across the league they, and not the Clippers are the team to beat this year.
Clippers will have to go back to the drawing board to figure things out, but based on Docs inability and unwillingness to make in-game adjustments, this might be a sign of things to come for Clippers fans.