I have to begin by stating unequivocally that I know bad basketball. I used to cover the Clippers before they drafted Blake Griffin for Bleacher Report. In fact, I admit to watching the team play, and I use the term lightly, even before they landed BG.
It’s true, I know bad basketball.
So, please believe me when I say that tonight’s game between the two powerhouse professional teams in Los Angeles was bad basketball. No really bad. The teams combined for 50 turnovers and a staggering 57 fouls.
The Clippers get a pass of sorts in that they started and played players that should either still be in college, playing overseas, or not playing at all. At best the majority of the team with Clippers jerseys on tonight were G-League players. This was a group that hadn’t played together and it was understandable that they looked as sloppy as they did accounting for 23 turnovers and 27 fouls.
The Lakers on the other hand started the group that is likely to start when the season begins. They played the rotation of bench players likely to see the most action with only spot minutes to everyone else.
In short, the Clippers were dialing this one in, the Lakers brought their A-Team.
So, this was a Lakers rout, right? Not even the close. The Lakers A-Team actually turned the ball over more time (27) and fouled more times (35) than the G-League Clippers. This was a close game that the Clippers actually had a chance to win. In fact, this is less a game either team should take any credit for “winning” but rather one both teams should be glad they survived.
The preseason is now over. We really didn’t learn much about either team. It’s safe to say that the Lakers are still a big unknown but will likely not be as good as we had hoped back on draft day or as good as Lonzo Ball’s dad predicted. The Clippers will be, well, also not too sure. They have better players than the Lakers and have for some time, but this is a new group that we didn’t get to see enough to really determine whats in store.
With the preseason over however it is time for the LAPB to assume, speculate and rank. I’m excited to begin all that and more. The real season begins in six days for the LA teams and I have that long to get the memory of this “game” out of my head.
Wish me luck!