Among the highlights of my breakdown on the Lakers' 102-94 loss Saturday to the Clippers:
- The Lakers look tired. No one is going to admit it, but the Lakers lacked energy to begin the game, and it's easily attributed to fatigue. The Lakers have played a league-high 14 games and have only had two days of rest since training camp. All teams go through this. But the Lakers will struggle more in this department because of their veteran-laden roster. It's a huge reason why the Clippers outrebounded the Lakers, 50-42.
- Kobe Bryant put on another dazzling performance with 42 points on 14-for-28 shooting. A poor first half, but the Lakers' offensive issues point more to their lack of identity and chemistry. The Lakers' game tonight showed that they can't depend on Bryant having a good night because the shots won't always fall.
- The Lakers understandably struggled defending Chris Paul (33 points on 12-for-22 shooting). Add in his ridiculous speed, the Lakers slow reaction on pick-and-rolls and Darius Morris' inexperience, and it's far from surprising the Lakers had a long night.
- The Lakers and Clippers don't like each other. Lakers Coach Mike Brown was given a technical for being rightfully upset with Clippers forward Blake Griffin delivering a cheap shot on Morris. The Clippers absolutely mauled Matt Barnes, who received a technical in frustration. Metta World Peace nearly elbowed Chris Paul in the head while trying to leave a scrum. And Morris himself picked up a technical while trying to stand up for Josh McRoberts. The two franchises lack similar history, but this should definitely be a fun and contentious matchup throughout the season.
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