For the new-look and better-coached Clippers, Tuesday’s matchup wasn’t a matter of who would win, but by what margin. The shooting of J.J. Redick unveiled a new and exciting dimension to a team that relied on point guard Chris Paul to bail out a stagnant offense when the fast break was not an option. Yet, Redick’s early scoring and Blake Griffin‘s highlights weren’t enough as the Lakers were very much in the game.
DeAndre Jordan, anchored the defense as much as he could, but it was obvious that he alone bought into head coach Doc Rivers‘ commitment to defense. The Clipper ended the first half with a mere two-point lead, with no assist by Paul, and with Griffin proving that his low post game was far from a finished product.
The Lakers outscored the Clippers 41-24 in the second half. The Clippers looked unprepared on offense and disinterested on defense. Meanwhile, the Lakers were getting easy baskets, dominating the boards and getting production from a cast of player all but out of the league last season.
In the end, the Clippers fell to their rival Lakers hard. It was the one team they have to beat and do so often to remain relevant in the league. Normally the NBA marathon makes wins and losses insignificant this early in the season, but these aren’t normal circumstances. The Clippers made public that they’re out to take what has belonged to the Lakers since the gold rush.
After just one game, the Clippers were more convincing when the games didn’t count.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook at Christopher-Rant Sports.