Do you blame us? With Kobe's return date up in the air and a roster that's still in beta, the odds of beating a Clippers team with team chemistry and talent towering over the Lakers was heavily against the home team - even with its uncovered banners.
But it is the NBA where the unpredictable can happen on any given Tuesday, and that's exactly what occurred tonight. I'm not going to glorify tonight's box score stats but I will tell you this, the Lakers bench played like a seasoned second unit, confusing everybody as if they've played together for years.
I know it's early but this is a definite statement win. You don't have to kiss a superstar's ass for a signed contract to get winning results. Journeymen with hidden capes who desire the same thing can do it at a fraction of the cost and with hungrier hearts.
We're talking about Farmar who was playing overseas just last year, Hill who is coming off an injury, Kaman whose hay day was with the Clippers years ago, Henry who had a career high 19-points coming into the game (tonight he scored a game/new career high 22 PTS), and Meeks who is probably the better bench player of them all (on paper) because of his contributions last season. I'm not going to talk about Wesley Johnson quite yet, he played horribly tonight.
Tonight, players who once scrapped for minutes metamorphosed into a 4th quarter surprise attack that stole the show from CP3 and company. Lob City headlines will have to wait. The Lakers bench played like warriors (loose warriors but who cares) outscoring the Clippers starters with a combined 76 points. Kobe may be healing from his torn Achilles' heel but so may be the Lakers from theirs - the bench.
Gasol had the only Lakers double double of the night - 15 points w/ 13 rebounds. His clean up around the glass helped his team dominate the REBS column with a total of 52, out rebounding their opponent by 12.
Great season opener victory for the Lakers tonight!!! Go Lakers.
I close with this great tweet by @DadWithAPen
Hey #docrivers - Cover THAT up. #GoLakers
— Dad with a Pen (@DadWithAPen) October 30, 2013