Los Angeles Clippers Breakdown: Baron Davis Returns, Clips Lakers

Over the past two seasons, starting with Golden State’s stretch run in 2007-2008 and continuing today, Baron Davis has wasted his considerable basketball talents.

Selfishness, passiveness, and a profound languor have palled over him, resulting in the listless play that led to a second-half benching with just a couple of games left in the 2008 regular season (the Warriors were still alive for a playoff spot), and the dismal performances he’s turned in since joining the Clippers two offseasons ago.

In the Los Angeles Clippers’ 102-91 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Baron Davis burned away the mist that’s been shrouding him and showed just how great he could be when he decides to be.

Davis lived in the paint against Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, and Shannon Brown, collapsing the Lakers defense before dropping passes off to bigs near the basket or kicking the ball out to open shooters, depending on the Lakers rotations.

Davis’ vision allowed him to see everything unfolding—10 AST 4 TO. Plus, of his four turnovers, one came when he posted up and didn’t anticipate a double team stripping the ball, and a second came on a bad pass during garbage time. Only twice did he make inappropriate passes.

When Davis drove to score—10-18 FG 1-3 3FG  4-5 FT 25 PTS—he usually got to the cup or unleashed a tricky step-back jump shot going left. Otherwise, his mid-and long-range pull-up games were on target and he simply shot over the shorter Lakers point guards.

Davis also made great push passes in transition to teammates beating the Lakers down the floor. In fact, it was the Clippers' ability to get out in on the break which gave them the extra points they needed to persevere.

Most impressively of all was Davis’ pitbull defense. While he wasn’t challenged much by Fisher, he made Shannon Brown look like a D-Leaguer. On one possession he stayed in front of Brown’s attempts to drive for ten seco...

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