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Rich

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Clippers are currently only 2 games up on the Jazz and 1 up on Denver.

Getting Clippers vs Lakers in the 2nd round would be freaking awesome. I'd love it.
 

Rich

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Now will the Bucks get fined for resting, essentially, their entire starting line-up.
 

ACisKING

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Now will the Bucks get fined for resting, essentially, their entire starting line-up.
I’m surprised how much trouble the Nuggets are having trying to beat the Bucks’ C-squad at home.
 

Muffinalt

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  • Players felt that Atkinson needed "identify roles better [and] communicate the team's hierarchy better."​
  • There was "growing belief that [KD/Kyrie] had no interest in playing for [Atkinson] when the team is whole again next season." Incredible​
  • Not sure if this got to him but by December Atkinson saw the writing on the wall early right after acquiring Kyrie/KD.​
  • KD chimed in during an honest team meeting that the team must improve habits and were not building proper culture traits to win title (big yikes for a HC)​
  • Biggest issue (and funniest) is that DJ was promised a starting role (GM/Owner?) and Atkinson started Jarrett Allen in 58 out of a total 63 games. DJ wasn't happy about it and let it be known frequently. The clear disrespect shown by DJ demonstrates the leverage he wields.​

It's going to be fun watching Kyrie and KD fail next season LMAO. Atkinson set the very culture KD insulted that allowed them to attract free agents. KD complimented the players on the team like LaVert before joining but fails to realize that Aktinson helped develop and expand their games. Took a joke of a franchise that mortgaged their entire future (Tatum, Brown) for a weird accumulation of washed up ex Celtics and DWill and made them relevant again.
Absolutely pathetic.

This new age entitlement NBA is setting the worst possible example for today's youngsters.
 

Man Called X

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Maybe the FT calls for LeBron are setting him up to get a ton of calls in the playoffs. ESPN wants the "LeBron wins it for Kobe!" so bad they can taste it. (Never too early to start NBA officiating conspiracy stories).
Sounds like you've been in touch with the NBA's marketing team... We sign NDA's for a reason.
 

LeeBuckeye

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LeBron did an excellent job hunting mismatches against the Clippers. He completely wore out Lou Will and Marcus Morris (The LeBron stopper) down the stretch. The Clippers TRIED to avoid the switch and recover with Lou but that led to an uncontested layup for KCP and an open three pointer for Avery Bradley.

Kawhi has the best strength/skill combination in the league (his footwork and handles are next level and reminds me of MJ but less fluid) but the statistical jump in TS% from regular season to playoffs is why Kawhi will win his third finals MVP.



 

Jordan

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Something that LeBron does not get enough credit for is his ability to force switches. The Warriors tried to go under, too, but Kyrie and Love being on that team made it strategically impossible.

The Lakers do not have a Kyrie, but AD gives LeBron more than enough, because no team - including the Clippers - wants a wing switched onto AD. So you either give AD and LeBron space, or LeBron will use a quick off-ball screen from AD followed by one giving him the exact mismatch he wants.

LeBron is the best in the league at this because of his physical dominance, passing ability, and vision. The Clippers will not be playing Montrezl or Lou all that many minutes in a playoff series against the Lakers for this exact reason.
 

ACisKING

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Something that LeBron does not get enough credit for is his ability to force switches. The Warriors tried to go under, too, but Kyrie and Love being on that team made it strategically impossible.

The Lakers do not have a Kyrie, but AD gives LeBron more than enough, because no team - including the Clippers - wants a wing switched onto AD. So you either give AD and LeBron space, or LeBron will use a quick off-ball screen from AD followed by one giving him the exact mismatch he wants.

LeBron is the best in the league at this because of his physical dominance, passing ability, and vision. The Clippers will not be playing Montrezl or Lou all that many minutes in a playoff series against the Lakers for this exact reason.
I totally agree. Not every team hunts mismatches as viciously as the Lakers do so they might be able to get away with playing Lou Williams against some teams (the Bucks for instance should hunt mismatches much more than they do). But Williams and even Harrell aren’t good enough defensively to play in clutch situations against the Lakers.

Against the Lakers, Clippers could roll out something like Bev, Shamet, PG, Kawhi, and Morris, which preserves spacing while trotting out five solid to excellent defenders. But that lineup has no shotblocking to deter LeBron from driving. And AD will have a constant post mismatch (even though I think AD is not a good enough passer out of the post to really take advantage of mismatches down the stretch). I also feel like LeBron will still hunt Shamet and try to take him to the post, or hunt Morris and just blow past him. The better solution might be to substitute Shamet for Zubac. That allows the Clippers to have some shotblocking. But it does hurt their spacing and allows AD to camp in the paint where he can basically erase any drive. I also worry about Zubac chasing around AD or a wing shooter around the perimeter. I think LeBron would try and force a switch against Zubac and drop coverage by Zubac opens up the pick and pop game for AD or whoever Zubac is guarding.

What would you do if you were the Clippers @jking948?
 

Jordan

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I totally agree. Not every team hunts mismatches as viciously as the Lakers do so they might be able to get away with playing Lou Williams against some teams (the Bucks for instance should hunt mismatches much more than they do). But Williams and even Harrell aren’t good enough defensively to play in clutch situations against the Lakers.

Against the Lakers, Clippers could roll out something like Bev, Shamet, PG, Kawhi, and Morris, which preserves spacing while trotting out five solid to excellent defenders. But that lineup has no shotblocking to deter LeBron from driving. And AD will have a constant post mismatch (even though I think AD is not a good enough passer out of the post to really take advantage of mismatches down the stretch). I also feel like LeBron will still hunt Shamet and try to take him to the post, or hunt Morris and just blow past him. The better solution might be to substitute Shamet for Zubac. That allows the Clippers to have some shotblocking. But it does hurt their spacing and allows AD to camp in the paint where he can basically erase any drive. I also worry about Zubac chasing around AD or a wing shooter around the perimeter. I think LeBron would try and force a switch against Zubac and drop coverage by Zubac opens up the pick and pop game for AD or whoever Zubac is guarding.

What would you do if you were the Clippers @jking948?
I acatually think the Lakers are just a really bad matchup for the Clippers... so it is hard.

My gut tells me that I would go small when McGee and Dwight are out on the court and run a ton of screens to punish the Lakers. Try to win those minutes by a significant margin. When the Lakers move AD to center, I would probably try Bev-PG13-Kawhi-Morris-Zubac and see how that works defensively. If it does not work, though, then I probably would go all-in on small-ball and try to outscore the Lakers, double AD every time he gets the ball, and force LeBron to handle the majority of the scoring load.

Ironically, I think Houston and Dallas are really tough matchups for the Lakers and that the Clippers matchup well with every other Western Conference team. On paper, I even think that the Clippers are more talented than the Lakers. But this Lakers team poses matchup problems against both the Clippers and Bucks that I am not sure either team is prepared to handle.
 

JMoneyYourHoney

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^Funnily enough, it's been said all the way up until this past game that the Clippers are a bad matchup for the Lakers because of the horde of defensive wings they could throw at LeBron. That's why I said that the series could simply come down to LeBron's ability to force mismatches and telegraph the proper reads. The Clippers' biggest deficiency is arguably their lack of playmaking, which could really get exposed in this hypothetical matchup.
 

Jordan

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^Funnily enough, it's been said all the way up until this past game that the Clippers are a bad matchup for the Lakers because of the horde of defensive wings they could throw at LeBron. That's why I said that the series could simply come down to LeBron's ability to force mismatches and telegraph the proper reads. The Clippers' biggest deficiency is arguably their lack of playmaking, which could really get exposed in this hypothetical matchup.
I think their lack of playmaking and lack of interior defense are both big problems, but to me, the worst is that some of their best players are horrible defenders (Lou and Montrezl) and have a lot of mediocre-to-average defenders (Bev has really taken a step back, Zubac, Shamet, and Reggie Jackson).
 

ACisKING

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I acatually think the Lakers are just a really bad matchup for the Clippers... so it is hard.

My gut tells me that I would go small when McGee and Dwight are out on the court and run a ton of screens to punish the Lakers. Try to win those minutes by a significant margin. When the Lakers move AD to center, I would probably try Bev-PG13-Kawhi-Morris-Zubac and see how that works defensively. If it does not work, though, then I probably would go all-in on small-ball and try to outscore the Lakers, double AD every time he gets the ball, and force LeBron to handle the majority of the scoring load.

Ironically, I think Houston and Dallas are really tough matchups for the Lakers and that the Clippers matchup well with every other Western Conference team. On paper, I even think that the Clippers are more talented than the Lakers. But this Lakers team poses matchup problems against both the Clippers and Bucks that I am not sure either team is prepared to handle.
Interesting. I think both LA teams are the other team’s worst matchup. It really is a clash of styles. We discussed the problems the Clippers have with the Lakers above. But the Clippers are still the worst matchup for the Lakers in the whole league. They just have so many plus defenders to throw at LeBron that it’s going to be exhausting for him over the course of a seven game series. And unlike against a lot of other teams, LeBron himself is going to have to play heavy minutes guarding an elite wing. They also just have so much more offensive firepower outside their two stars. The Clippers are also so fast and athletic on defense that the Lakers can’t really play lineups with two conventional bigs against them because they will just pack the paint (Vogel seems to have figured this out and played AD or Morris at the five for most of the second half).
 

Jordan

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Interesting. I think both LA teams are the other team’s worst matchup. It really is a clash of styles. We discussed the problems the Clippers have with the Lakers above. But the Clippers are still the worst matchup for the Lakers in the whole league. They just have so many plus defenders to throw at LeBron that it’s going to be exhausting for him over the course of a seven game series. And unlike against a lot of other teams, LeBron himself is going to have to play heavy minutes guarding an elite wing. They also just have so much more offensive firepower outside their two stars. The Clippers are also so fast and athletic on defense that the Lakers can’t really play lineups with two conventional bigs against them because they will just pack the paint (Vogel seems to have figured this out and played AD or Morris at the five for most of the second half).
Indeed... I wouldn’t be thrilled to the face them if I were the Lakers, either. Kawhi, PG13, and Morris will be problems. It will be very important for AD to perform like a top-10 NBA player. I am bullish on AD, though, and do not foresee that being a problem, which is my bias.
 

Pioneer10

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Morris really changed what the book is in terms of attacking the Lakers. Reminds me of the Richard Jefferson pickup for the Cavs. Pre-All star break the book was pretty easy: if you have two athletic/big wings (ala Boston, Philly, Clippers, etc.) the Lakers couldn't match up as they just got bullied on the perimeter. But with Morris, they are able to swing Kuzma down to SF and suddenly instead of trying to make it work with AD at the 4 or putting one of their small guards on, you have another physical tweener to throw at the second big wing or when the switch occurs.

Now with AD the 5 and the Kuzma/Morris tweener solution, it's going to be much harder to stop them. On defense, they both have multiple good individual defenders backed up by multiple rim protectors. On offense, I'm not sure you can stop the AD at the 5 lineups unless you have some rim protection - Bucks probably still have the best chance now.
 
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