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Chris Paul looks really, really good in first game as Clipper

Dec 20, 2011, 8:08 AM EDT

Clippers' Paul sails to the basket as Lakers' players watch during their NBA preseason game in Los Angeles Reuters

We have to start with this disclaimer — it was a preseason game. Which means about as much as an autographed Derek Jeter baseball. Actually, less.

That said, Chris Paul had 17 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals and was a +24 against the Lakers in his first game as a Clipper. He was everything advertised and then some — silky smooth and smart.

The Lakers had big men like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol hedge out hard on him on the pick-and-roll, yet Paul seemed unfazed and just picked apart the Lakers defense. The Lakers turned the ball over 21 times so the Clippers had plenty of transition opportunities, and you knew Paul and his running mates would be good there.

The Clippers were putting on the show, they were fun to watch. The Lakers looked like a team with 10 days of practice with a new coach.

It should be noted that the Lakers interior defense was solid but they were terrible on the perimeter (Mike Brown even called out Kobe Bryant after the game). Paul and the Clipper guards exploited this mercilessly (13 of 28 from three). Chauncey Billups had a game high 23 points and looked comfortable as the two guard. (The Lakers played defense with the intensity of the team that was swept out of the playoffs by Dallas.)

Again, one meaningless preseason game — even Brian Cook looked good for the Clips, you know that is not going to last — but this Chris Paul thing could work out very, very well in Los Angeles.

  1. cakemixa - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Clippers beat the Lakers in preseason game #1? CHAMPIONSHIP!

  2. acdc363 - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    This game was magical

  3. narrabeen23 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    It was only a preseason game, but can something explain to me how exactly the Lakers are better when:

    1. The Lakers lost their 3rd best player and their biggest strengths: size and versatility

    2. The Lakers have a new coach who was unable to produce a title with the most talented player of our generation

    3. The Clippers have the two top 10 players in the league that compliment each other perfectly

    4. The Clippers got one of the best clutch players/leaders of our generation for $2 million

    5. The Clippers are going to do nothing but improve as the season goes on

    • mytthor - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      1. The Lakers lost their 3rd best player and their biggest strengths: size and versatility

      4th best player; and they didn’t LOSE size and versatility, it’s taken a bit of a hit but Bynum and Gasol is still a deadly combo if Bynum stays healthy.

      2. The Lakers have a new coach who was unable to produce a title with the most talented player of our generation

      Who’s commonly called out for being unable to lead a team to a championship, you’ve decided it’s the coach?

      3. The Clippers have the two top 10 players in the league that compliment each other perfectly

      No WAY Griffin is a top 10 player in the league — YET. They do compliment each other perfectly though.

      4. The Clippers got one of the best clutch players/leaders of our generation for $2 million

      Actually, he’s one of the best clutch players/leaders of last generation. And we’ll see how he likes not being Mr. Big Shot. Can he instead become Mr. Open Shot? Because with CP3, one thing the Clips won’t need is pull-up 3′s in transition from Chauncey.

      5. The Clippers are going to do nothing but improve as the season goes on

      Can’t argue with this one. Let’s not give them the title just yet, though.

      • progress2011 - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        mytthor…you could have saved us all a lot of time, if you would have saved your comments to narrabean23.

        After your numbered diatribe, you essentially agreed anyway.

        Don’t waste your our time trying to defend the Clippers dominance over the lackers.

        Even if it was only a Pre Season game. The Clips sent them a strong message.

  4. b7p19 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    I say read into it all you want. CP3 has always been good, and he played well again. Nothing “preseason fluke” about that I wouldn’t think. Now, the rookie performances, by all means, should include the disclaimer.

  5. cubalakeshow - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Good win for the Clippers but anyone that saw this game knows this is not how it’s going to be for the Clippers or for the Lakers. Kobe never put a handup for Chauncey’s shots so yes…they went in…hes a good shooter 5th all time in 3s are we surprised he’s making open shots? No. Preseason means everyone has the green light to shoot and it showed as the Lakers offense was stagnant, sloppy, inconsistent and downright terrible when Kobe went out. Preseason means the outcomes don’t matter hence no incentive to really try or play defense. The Lakers have a new headcoach and a new system to adjust to that’s tough on vets that are used to something that aren’t relying on freak athleticism and youth like the Clippers have so Clips had an advantage right away. Clippers are going to be good this year but let’s not roll out the bandwagon express just yet

  6. jcf78 - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    I don’t like the lakers, never have but come on preseason doesn’t mean anything. He’ll in 2010 the niners with sing start went 4-0, then lost the first 6 of the season! Preseason is time to get back into shape time

  7. thestudiokida - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    I’ve been a closet Clippers fan ever since they signed Baron Davis (live in Charlotte, old Hornets/BD fan). Now I’m really jacked. Guess i’ll be forking out the dough for the League Pass again.

    PS. Championship!!

  8. cordae - Dec 20, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Why do you think the Lakers went after him so hard? Yes they needed a point guard but those two games NO won last year against them in the playoffs were ALL paul. His ability to pick apart a defense is what sets him apart from everybody to me. His vision is crazy! Guarding him as a team is a nightmare, i’d imagine..

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