Before I say anything, I want to express that it is October 23rd. We are just one game into the season and history has told us LeBron James and a new roster/coach is bound for a slow start.
Things will turn around for them; yet, there is definitely a learning curve in all of this.
But Damn. The Los Angeles Clippers looked great and Paul George did not even play.
Kawhi Leonard made a statement last night, not LeBron. Kawhi contained LeBron in multiple key moments and he looked rough turning the ball over in an ugly fashion. It seemed like LeBron was passing too much, forcing it to Anthony Davis on many occasions. This can probably be pinned to the combination of LeBron’s age and Kawhi’s lockdown defense.
Kawhi poured on 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists in only 32 minutes.
The Lakers will need LeBron and AD to be great night in and night out to secure a good seed in the playoffs due to their lack of bench depth.
That is the difference between the Lakers and Clippers. The Clippers have such a vibrant, fluid mix of young and veteran players that they truly could win games resting Kawhi and PG consistently. They did win 48 games last year and took a HEALTHY Warriors to 6 games. People forget. It was almost like they were missing someone like Kawhi to be great.
The Clippers bench outscored the Lakers’ 60-19. This shouldn’t be a surprise seeing they had one of the best benches the NBA has ever seen last year and, if anything, it got deeper with the additions of Moe Harkless, Pat Patterson, and Rodney McGruder. It makes everything scarier. Lou Williams and Montrezl are and have been for real.
The size of the Clippers could be a concern as we saw in the first half last night, but the Clippers blueprint fits the modern NBA.
Yes, it is early but basketball is back and it looks like the LA rivalry will be must-see TV. The Clippers may never run LA fanwise, but they sure have basketballwise for about 7 years now. And to be completely honest, I don’t think Kawhi cares what anyone thinks. He is in his hometown, with likeminded individuals, and has a Hall of Fame coach. He may have got booed last night, but Kawhi got the last laugh.
What is great about the Clippers is that they don’t talk, cause media drama, or make excuses. They just ball. That is what is so loveable about this team. They are true underground dogs.
Check out this Kawhi New Balance ad that dropped last night. This is great marketing and seems to preface what the Clippers want to achieve.
It is a very exciting time for Clippers fans and when PG returns, this team could be deadly.