Friday, February 15, 2013

The Clips End The Lakers, And All Doubts

Notice The Team On Top
The Clippers played last night, getting a win against a game but undermanned Rockets team. Then they turned around and played tonight against the Lakers, in what was presumed to be a home game for the Lake Show, though whether that means anything in a shared gym is another story.

The Lakers are on the outside looking in to the playoff race. They are missing one of their best big men in Pau Gasol, and in terms of Needing The Game, had to have the edge in terms of motivation. So you might have expected this to have been a spirited affair, back and forth, and maybe one of those roar back the echoes games from Kobe Bryant.

Well, Bryant did his part, leading the team in scoring and assists. Their bench even played well, I guess, in that they scored about as much as the Clips. The celebs all showed up.

And the game had about as much suspense as a Globetrotter game.

How bad was it? The Clips never trailed. They were up 15 before the Lakers actually scored a point. They closed late in the first half before the Clips just decided, well, no. They outshot the Lakers from the floor while still out-rebounding them by a ton. They hit over half of their three pointers, with Chauncey Billups calling back the memories of the Finals early in the century when he eviscerated the last Shaq and Kobe club. They blocked four times as many shots, and even had the best center on the floor (DeAndre Jordan, who got his 11/12 in 30 minutes while taking 8 shots, as opposed to Dwight Howard's 18/8 in 32 on 10 shots, with more turnovers and fewer blocks). Chris Paul utterly owned his matchup with poor Steve Nash, who doesn't even look like the best white point guard on the roster named Steve, now that Blake is back. The margin was double digits for 35 of 48 minutes, and the lone Laker moment of fire that I saw in this entire game was when Bryant ripped a ref and got a technical over a blown call.

Ye Gads.

Your final was Clips 125, Lakers 101, and honestly, was not nearly that close.

How odd is this, historically? Well, the Clips have never won the Pacific Division. They've certainly never been the clearly best team in town. They have the best guard, the best center, the best power forward, the best bench, and even, believe it or not the best coach, given that Laker HC Mike D'Antoni looks to be the roundest peg in the squarest hole.

Oh, and if the Staples Center management had decided to change gears in the fourth quarter and given away taco coupons, I think everyone in the building would have been OK with it. The Clips are just that much more fun to watch.

Enjoy the lottery, Lake Show. And congrats, once more, to the Clippers for finally trading away the cursed hurt young guy (Eric Gordon, the pretty grenade in the Paul deal) for the real deal, rather than lose the same way they always used to...

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