The timing of this is… interesting. Last night, the Los Angeles Clippers were in the midst of a 4-1 series lead against the Dallas Mavericks, with one of the most anticipated games of the NBA season coming up in Game 5 on Thursday. Unfortunately, that’s when the unthinkable happened.
With a 2-0 lead, the Clippers seemed in a position to make it three in a row over the Mavericks. In a game where they were the team most likely to make a mistake, the Clippers seemed to be the perfect team to do so.
The Los Angeles Clippers have always been a team that hits the reset button to start anew every summer. This summer has been no different, but the Clips have done so in a way that has them up against the wall, in a 0-2 hole to the Mavericks.. Read more about clippers vs and let us know what you think.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ early loss against the Dallas Mavericks revealed a gaping hole in the backcourt, and reminded us again of the missed opportunity for a trade at the March deadline.
Los Angeles reportedly considered acquiring Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, but waived it due to potential salary cap issues. Lowry’s $30.5 million salary was a major obstacle for many teams, as was the Clippers’ asking price.
Instead of making a blockbuster trade, the Clippers turned around and traded Lou Williams to the Atlanta Hawks to acquire Rajon Rondo.
On the surface, Rondo gave the Clippers the quarterback they needed. But as the series against the Mavs demonstrated, Los Angeles still lacks quality at the point guard position, even with Rondo in the rotation.
So why was Lowry such a great buy? Let’s get this straight.
One of his best seasons in attack
First, Lowry had one of the best seasons of his career.
The six-time All-Star averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 46 games and shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc with 7.2 attempts per game. His batting average of 59.3 is the third best of his career.
Lowry was able to convert his throw in several ways. He can shoot from behind the arc or rip defenders off the dribble and play into the post.
Lowry is smaller in stature, but his physicality allows him to make contact and get in the paint for drives-and-kicks, making him just as dangerous as a facilitator and creator.
The Clippers desperately need that presence on offense right now. Rondo is just as good at getting to the rim, especially on pick-and-rolls, but he can’t finish his shot at the basket and is reluctant to look for his own offense. Patrick Beverley also tends to be passive on offense. Reggie Jackson may be hot, but he’s not always smart in his shot selection and true basketball play.
Part of L.A.’s need before the deadline was guys in the backcourt who could take the ball away from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and create their own shot, as well as pass into the Clippers’ offense. Lowry could be ideal in this regard, as he can stay with his stars or give them the ball and be available as a playmaker.
No one doubts Patrick Beverley’s reputation as a defender. Rondo has a similar reputation. But none of these guys are physical enough to bother Luka Doncic on that part of the field.
Doncic is a problem for any defense, but the Clippers look particularly helpless against him. The seemingly easiest decision would be to put Kawhi Leonard on it, although Los Angeles is unsure how that matchup would affect the Claws’ offense.
Reggie Jackson is not the solution to the problem, of course. He and Ivica Zubac kept losing their way in screen-and-rolls, and the Clippers’ penchant for switching became too much for them.
Lowry has almost no height. But again, he has more physicality to go into the body and chase down ball carriers.
Think about it: Doncic scored in the loss against Toronto on the 18th. January with 4:11 remaining in the game. Lowry and Fred VanVleet chased him all night, forcing him to defend and taking the ball from him at every opportunity.
It’s a very small sample size, but perhaps indicative of the stylistic advantage a player like Lowry has over current Los Angeles defenders in terms of the physicality and toughness he brings to the game.
Even if Lowry wasn’t the answer, his scoring ability could make the Clippers a little less worried about giving Leonard more time on Doncic.
Clippers big screen
Overall, the Clippers can make up for problems at the point guard position.
Maybe the answer lies in Rondo just playing more, or Luke Kennard finally getting some minutes to see what he can do as a combo guard. How about a mix of several large pieces? Serge Ibaka’s lack of minutes is troubling.
Overall, Doncic is affecting LA’s performance on both ends. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a problem if Lowry was on the Clippers team.
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