The battle of Los Angeles starts off with the Clippers shooting 5/5 from the field. The Lakers continue their theme from previous games struggling on the offensive end. Frank Vogel, the head coach of the Lakers, has seen enough, and calls a time out. The Lakers thus far are shooting 1/4 from the field, and let the Clippers take an early 10-2 lead into the quarter. The Lakers after the timeout get a backcourt violation, and an offensive foul. So far the Lakers are in shambles this quarter.
Markieff Morris from the Los Angeles Lakers has got it going with his shooting, and has kept them within striking distance. The Clippers halfway through the quarter are still hot from the field shooting 10/14 from the field. Rajon Rondo makes his first appearance for his Clippers debut. Rajon so far has created two turnovers, and the Lakers are back in the game down 15-22.
The Lakers defense has come to life a bit. Montrezl Harrell blocks Kawhi Leonard in the paint which leads to a mismatch of Talen Horton Tucker being guarded by Rondo. That leads to an easy inside the paint score. Despite the 6 turnovers, and bad shooting the Lakers are only down 20-27 to end the first quarter. For the Lakers to make this a competitive game have to take care of the ball, and get easier looks at the basket.
3 minutes into the quarters and the Clippers pushed the lead to 10 points. Paul George hits a mid range jumper, and Terance Mann hits a corner 3 pointer. Montrezl is trying to pick up his energy offensively, and gets a bucket inside the paint. The Lakers are still within striking distance due to their defense. As noted by ESPN Stats Info it’s not hard to tell what the theme has been lately without LeBron James, and Anthony Davis:
Paul George has found his rhythm this quarter. Paul this quarter has 9 points halfway through the quarter. The Lakers 3 point shooting is still a disaster as they are 0/7. The Clippers have expanded their lead to 17 points. This game is slipping away from the Lakers very quickly if they can’t find consistency on the offensive end.
Marc Gasol finally ends the Lakers cold streak from the 3 point land, and hits a 3 pointer. However he draws a technical foul for arguing the no call. Gasol thought he should’ve been awarded an and one on the 3 point attempt. In this scenario I agree with Marc. Shortly thereafter Alex Caruso hits a 3 pointer as well. The Lakers finally get some continuity beyond the arc. To end the half the Lakers get a stop on the defensive end which leads to Dennis Schröder making a lay up. The Lakers are down 15 to the Clippers 53 to 38.
The Los Angeles Lakers, for a quarter and a half, gave great effort defensively. However the same theme just keeps repeating itself again without LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, the Lakers continue to struggle offensively. Not one Laker today is having a great game thus far in the first half. The Lakers as a team are shooting 37.5% from the field, and 18.2% from beyond the arc. This is simply a recipe for disaster when going up against a title contender in the Clippers.
For the Clippers, they have been spectacular all around so far in the first half. The two players that have stand out for them are Marcus Morris, and Paul George. Marcus has 17 points on 7/9 shooting, and 6 rebounds. Paul George has 11 points on 4/7 shooting, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds. The Clippers should win this game comfortably barring the Lakers getting scorching hot from the field.
Breaking news halftime via Shams Charania of The Athletic
Let’s get back to the second half of the game, and see if the Lakers can make this interesting, to say the least.
Kuzma starts the quarter, and draws an and one foul. However his free throw struggles continue. Marcus Morris Sr. for the Clippers continue his hot shooting and hits another three. The Clippers quickly expand the lead to 20 points. The Lakers call a timeout to regroup, and see what adjustments they can make to cut the lead.
The Clippers came out this second half and are determined to put this game away within the first 6 minutes of the quarter. As long as the Clippers keep applying this type of pressure, the fourth quarter should be garbage time. Halfway through the quarter the Lakers are down 18 points.
The only contributions they are getting from beyond the arc is Marc Gasol as he is 3/3. The Clippers call a timeout, I suspect to tighten up defensively, and to be reminded by their head coach, Ty Lue, to not let the Lakers cut this lead down to 10-12 points. Which would make it a manageable deficit for the Lakers to possibly steal a win.
Rondo gets his first basket as a Clipper with a sweeping hook in the paint. The Clippers lead has expanded to 20 points again. The Clippers close out the quarter with a 22 point lead. This game is all but over as we are just waiting for the final score, and the final buzzer to sound.
I know my daily readers are here and are wondering where is the 4th quarter break down? However due to the Lakers playing great for a quarter and a half, and mailing it in thereafter I decided to not recap the 4th quarter. Takeaways from the game is the same theme for the Lakers. The effort is there defensively. Offensively they are having a tough time running plays, creating ball movement and getting good looks whether it’s driving into the lane or shooting the 3.
During this stretch without Lebron, and Anthony Davis something has to be said in regards to Dennis Schroder. He obviously wants a big contract in terms of years and money, but he’s not going to get that with the Lakers. I believe he is good as gone and the Laker know this. That is why they weren’t scared to trade him at the deadline, possibly for Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors.
If the Lakers can’t improve their level of play they are probably looking at entering the playoffs as the 7th seed in my opinion. Which, in honesty, the Lakers might not care about seeding as long as Lebron, and Anthony Davis are healthy. That’s not an ideal 7th seed opponent to see for a 2nd seed team which currently would be the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers play the Toronto Raptors their game on Tuesday at 4:30pm.
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