Doc Rivers on the offense and Landry Shamet, the player Kevin Durant and the Warriors schemed against
OAKLAND, CA – Landry Shamet has been a focal point in Doc Rivers’ offense with the Clippers since his arrival at the trade deadline. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have rendered him ineffective over the last six quarters they’ve faced him.
Shamet upped his game in nearly every statistical category with L.A., averaging 10.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.7 three-pointers since joining the Clippers. He scored in double figures 15 times in his 25 games with the Clippers, but has been nearly shut out thanks to the Warriors’ tremendous game plan.
Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry all talked in depth on the importance of slowing down Shamet and how important he is to the Clippers offense.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers says it’s on him to find a way to get the rookie sharpshooter more involved in the offense.
“I didn’t think we played very well offensively, we tend to make too great of a deal about defense at times, and I’m probably a guilty party — but watching the game, I thought we were far worse offensively. I just think if we he had a very good offensive game, against Golden State, you actually have to have a great offensive game. You think you’re just gonna stop them and not score and beat them, but that’s not gonna happen. So, it was a lot of things, but that was one of them.”
The Clippers shot just 40.4 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, and turned the ball over 17 times. The biggest issue is that anyone not named Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell (22-of-36) combined to shoot just 16-of-58 from the field (27.6 percent).
Shamet was held scoreless until early in the 4th, when he connected on a three-pointer coming off a screen for his only bucket of the game. He finished 1-of-6 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.
“Give them credit, I thought they did a good job — reading their comments, they made a concerted effort to slow Landry down and that’s fine, they do that we should score in other ways, I just didn’t think — Lou really was the only aggressive party in the band yesterday – Trezz played well as well. Other than that, it’s not if you play well or not, it’s if you’re aggressive or not and I didn’t think we were aggressive at all.”
Durant, Curry, and Green spoke highly of Shamet after the game for what he does for the team, comparing him to former Doc Rivers player J.J. Redick.
“Doc had J.J. Redick for a lot of years,” Green said. “Doc is probably one of the people that helped change J.J.’s career. A lot of that is due to the great sets that he draws up, and now he’s using Landry the same way.
“Ironically, Landry got to study J.J. for half a season, and so he’s playing just like that and he can shoot the lights out of the ball.”
Saturday night’s Game 1 was the first time Shamet, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, or Ivica Zubac experienced playoff basketball as well as a team really scheme against their biggest strengths.
“I think Landry is used to that,” said Rivers at practice before Game 2. “They even mentioned the J.J. Redick reference with us, and he’s like that, so guys like that you have to scheme against. Landry’s used to that, the other two guys have never had that done and really wasn’t done that much in the series yet. Hopefully by game 3, they are scheming against Shai and Zu because that means they had a good game in Game 2.”
Danilo Gallinari, one of the more seasoned players on this team, also says the team needs to be much better offensively, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Shamet shooting more.
“I think it’s not talking about Landry’s shots,” said Gallinari at practice. “It’s not about him, it’s more on us and making sure that we call plays for him, that we set screens for him, and make sure he gets the shots that he needs to get.
“I think that our defense was pretty good for most of the game. I think that we were able to execute the game plan pretty well. Offensively, I think we need to get better. I think between the two things, offense was worse than our defense. We need to have better ball movement and better rhythm on offense.
“You can’t let good opportunities go away. We had a plethora of them where we just didn’t come up with points. We turned the ball over on 3-on-2’s, we were trying to draw fouls instead of score. you gotta come up with points on those.”
Game 2 will be Monday night at Oracle Arena, and the Clippers will have to make adjustments offensively if they want to stand a chance.