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6 Important Takeaways From Lakers Vs. Clippers Game

(via Fadeaway World)

(via Fadeaway World)

The NBA season is fresh off to a great start, with 4 teams playing on opening night. Most importantly, we saw the first showdown between the two Western Conference Giants in the LA Lakers and LA Clippers. Possibly a preliminary matchup to the Western Conference Finals, the Clippers managed to come out on top. 

We also got to see major stars in action, even if Paul George was out, with Kawhi Leonard leading the charge against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even though it is still extremely early, here are the five major takeaways from last night's heavyweight matchup. 

6. Clippers Won Without Paul George

(via Clips Nation)

(via Clips Nation)

The Clippers managed to defeat the Lakers opening night despite the absence of Paul George. Essentially, the Lakers had their star duo while the Clippers did not. And it did not make a difference. 

Kawhi Leonard was sensational, being the focal point of the offense while the key role players did their thing. Even if George missed some time at the start of the season, the Clippers have enough talent to remain afloat the Western Conference until he returns. 

Of course, the Clippers will need George to remain a top contender in the difficult West- but they proved they are an elite team with sufficient talent.

5. Clippers Are Deep

(via Clips Nation)

(via Clips Nation)

The Clippers had to fight without their star Paul George last night, who actually was suited up to the nines. It hardly made a difference. 

The Clippers were energized from tip-off, fighting for balls and moving the ball well. We learned that the Clippers, other than their two superstars, are incredibly deep with lots of talent on the roster. 

Lou Williams is the best 6th man in the league and can drop 20 in his sleep. Harrell plays like a beast, notably getting two And-Ones in a row. And Beverley grabbed more rebounds than two Laker centers combined. This team is scary deep.

4. LeBron James Has Gotten Older

(via CBS Sports)

(via CBS Sports)

LeBron, possibly for the first time in our lifetime, has shown age. Even though he is still one of the best players in the league, he is slower in his movement and does not seem to be the long term answer for the Lakers at point guard. James can still throw it down, but he has definitely lost a touch at his age. 

If he wants to remain fresh to lead the charge in the playoffs, James needs to play second fiddle to Davis and even Kuzma at times when he's healthy. 

3. Lakers Must Deal With Streaky Shooters

(via Silver Screen and Roll)

(via Silver Screen and Roll)

The Lakers did a fantastic job of filling out the roster after trading for AD. They grabbed guys who can shoot, and also defend on the perimeter. But most of these guys, including LeBron James, are very streaky shooters. Danny Green got very hot last night, draining threes in consecutive fashion. But he is one of the most streaky players in the league, along with Avery Bradley.

The Lakers will need consistent shooting around Davis and James if they want to usurp the Clippers. 

2. Doc Rivers Can Be A Difference Maker

(via Silver Screen and Roll)

(via Silver Screen and Roll)

Without a doubt, Rivers is a hall of fame coach and the best coach in Los Angeles. He can be the X-Factor for the clippers over the Lakers, especially with Ty Lue backing him up. Rivers will soon master his rotations, and did a perfect job last night. He motivates guys to play hard, and okay tough defense. 

Even with the Lakers' size, the Clips were able to rebound very well and move the ball to get good looks. It also helps to have Kawhi Leonard too, but Rivers is a big advantage for the Clippers. 

1. Kawhi Is The Best Player In The League

(via Sports Illustrated)

(via Sports Illustrated)

Kawhi has usurped LeBron James. He is simply younger, faster, and more effective at this stage of his career. Kawhi can play both ends, and drop 30 points a night. Not to mention, he is able to carry this load (as long as he does get his rest days) more than LeBron can. Age is showing on LeBron, who will have to settle for being the second option on offense. 

As good as George is, along with the rest of the Clippers, Kawhi is the man who will be leading the charge this season.