We've got too much preview material on the front page, so in an effort to keep things tidy and neat, and recaps of preseason games will be found in the sidebar for the remainder of the season. While it's likely that will reduce the viewership from 10 to 5 for these bad boys, I will continue on with these bastardized versions of game recaps, because the bastardized versions of these games deserve it.
In case you missed it, the last two preseason games before tonight's were so remarkably similar that I was able to use the same recap for both games, by simply changing a very minimal amount of information. Both games featured a big early lead, uninspired play from the bench, the predictable giving up of said lead in the 4th quarter, then a couple of tense minutes and a Laker victory.
Tonight's game couldn't have been more different. The Lakers still won, but the similarities end there. Some quick hit thoughts as I drift off to sleep.
- In the previous two games, neither Farmar nor Brown distinguished themselves with their play. In fact, in the last game, they both played pretty poorly. Tonight, both of them had their different talents on display. Both scored in double figures, and both did it with very efficient nights. Brown was back to shooting well, after last night's 0-6 debacle. In addition to his youtube highlight per game (in this case, a dunk from just inside the free throw line that he actually had trouble controlling because he was too high when he got to the rim), Brown provided several high energy plays, including a tip in for a free throw that he got from a starting point beyond the three point line. This is the Shannon Brown that has Lakers fans drooling in their sleep. On the other hand, Farmar was at his creative best tonight. Several nice drives, some resulting in layup and 1's, but for more resulting in easy dunks and layups, or wide open outside shots. 7 assists on the night for Farmar. Honestly, I'm not sure which one impressed me more. They were both fantastic.
- AMMO rose from the grave tonight. Granted, it's the Clippers and its the preseason, and the Clips were closing out on Morrison as if he had swine flu and they didn't want to catch it, but he hit 5 open shots on 7 attempts. And those 5 shots are 5 more than I remember him hitting in any other game.
- Sasha only played 12 minutes, had three points on three free throws, missed all three of his attempts from the field, including two treys ... and had the highest +/- on the team, by a wide margin. So this clearly shows that Sasha is the best Laker player.
- As you can see from all the bench player related comments, unlike other games, the bench is completely responsible for winning this one. Great contributions from all, and a nice sign for a unit that was getting soundly beaten in previous games. For the record, the Clippers seemed to be pursuing the victory far more than LA was (2-3 starters in for most of the fourth quarter for the Clips), but even as the bench went up against a lot of the Clippers' first unit, they more than held their own. This was their game.
- Many were wondering how Bynum would do playing against a real center, someone who was his size. The results were a mixed bag. He shared the team lead in scoring with 20 on the night, but he needed 17 shots to get there this time. His efficiency is usually loads higher. Also, one could tell that he clearly wasn't fully comfortable as he was defended by someone just as big as he is. That said, 20 points is 20 points, and even better, he pulled down 13 boards. If his rebounding somehow improves when he's going against other actual centers, we may have hope for him yet.
- A quick note on Kobe. He continues to miss most of his post fade away shots. I have no idea whether he's just having a tough time shooting the ball (tonight he was 3-11) or if he legitimately just needs to do some more work on that particular shot, but it is slightly disconcerting that he has these new Olajuwon-approved post moves, but doesn't seem to have the shot to go with it. He's one of the greatest, and I'm sure he'll figure it out, but I haven't entirely liked what I've seen from this new post up Kobe.