It’s funny how far apart the Los Angeles and Los Angeles Clippers are right now, exemplified by the 114-89 demolition, in which Jeremy Lin started and played well although it didn’t show in the final result, while Kobe Bryant continues to play mostly terrible basketball.
Bryant scored just four points on 2-of-12 from the field, adding 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 turnovers. Bryant isn’t shooting uncontrollably which is good, but continues to take bad shots in big numbers. Yes, he’s looking to pass more than before, but when he’s shooting 16.7% from the field (37.5% for the season), it’s not going to do a lot of good.
Jeremy Lin played even less than Bryant for some reason (28 minutes to 26), scoring 12 points in that time. The Lakers were losing by 15 points when Lin was on the floor, but by 34 points with Bryant, Ed Davis and Wayne Ellington. It doesn’t really matter – the Lakers were beaten badly all across every possible aspect of this game and during every stretch. But the number and simply watching the game and this team shows the weird decision making coming from Byron Scott, with preferential treatment to players who don’t deserve to spend the time they are on the floor.
Above all, it was the Lakers defense that disappointed. Well, not exactly disappointed; we all know and have seen how bad it can be. Anything that’s not an isolation becomes complicated for it to defend or contend. Blake Griffin scored some of the easiest points he has in his career, finishing with 27, going with 9 rebounds and 8 assists. The Lakers got back in the game during garbage time. Well not back in the game, but at least had one quarter in which they weren’t completely humiliated.
Nick Young? 11 points on 4-of-15 from the field. The Lakers were doing better during his minutes, but that included a lot of meaningless garbage time. There wasn’t a lot of good to say about him either, as the once proud franchise got another slap in the face from their “little sister” which had a much more difficult time against the Lakers in the previous game between them this season, winning only by 7 points, 118-111.
We didn’t learn anything new in this game. The Lakers can’t defend, Kobe Bryant moves from productive and smart games to being a complete embarrassment and liability on the next and Byron Scott doesn’t like Jeremy Lin, even when Ronnie Price is injured. On some nights that toxic combination might work out for the Lakers – they’re not the New York Knicks after all; but until this team decides it’s moving away from the anchor called Kobe Bryant dragging it down, we’re not going to see a significant improvement.