Kendrick Perkins Blasts Lakers Veteran After Loss to Clippers

LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Getty The Los Angeles Lakers may have a scapegoat.

Kendrick Perkins doesn’t hold one particular Los Angeles Lakers player in high regard.

Following the Lakers’ surprising 112-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night, the former NBA champion and 14-year veteran made sure to single out one Lakers player in particular — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The veteran shooting guard didn’t have a pretty game by any means in the loss. Despite playing the fourth-most minutes of any Lakers player (27) and the most of any bench player on the team, he produced a whole lot of nothing — in fact, literally nothing.

The 26-year-old guard finished the game with zero points on 0-of-3 shooting with five personal fouls and a minus-8 rating.

This lackluster performance prompted Perkins to list four players that he would take over Caldwell-Pope — Jamal Crawford, J.R Smith, Iman Shumpert and Carmelo Anthony.

All four of those players of course are free agents and could be signed by the Lakers on veteran’s minimum deals.

While it’s only one game through the season, Caldwell-Pope obviously needs to up his game. He played the sixth man role with the Lakers short-handed without Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma and he looked absolutely terrible.

Caldwell-Pope’s uneven performance led to the Clippers’ bench outscoring the Lakers’ bench 60-19. Outside of Kawhi Leonard‘s strong performance and LeBron James and Anthony Davis‘ disappearing act towards the end of the game, this was the biggest reason for the Clippers’ win over the Lakers.

Jamal Crawford Vouching To Be Signed By Lakers?

Speaking of Crawford, the 39-year-old shooting guard took to Twitter to express his feelings on the Lakers’ opening game.

Needless to say, he noticed the same things that many others noticed — the Lakers lack guys who can create their own shot outside of LeBron and AD.

Of course, Crawford has made a career out of creating his own shot. In fact, the veteran guard scored 51 points in the season finale last season, becoming the oldest player in NBA history to score 50 points in a game — breaking the record previously set by the game’s greatest, Michael Jordan.

As I mentioned earlier, the Lakers could sign one of these players to the veteran’s minimum. The Lakers have a disabled player exception due to DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending injury, which means the Lakers really have 14 active players on their roster.

While an imminent signing likely won’t happen all because of a few losses in the opening weeks of the season, it’s an exception that the Lakers will obviously use since they applied for it.

The question is, who are they going to use the exception on?

Crawford holds career averages of 14.8 points per game in 1,326 appearances and 433 starts. He’s also won the Sixth Man of the Year award on three different occasions — the most in NBA history.

Lakers Downplay Loss to Clippers

In one of the most highly-hyped games in regular season history, the Lakers fell to the Clippers — and the Purple and Gold are refusing to get too down over it.

“I feel like we beat ourselves tonight. We didn’t execute our game plan on a consistent basis, and we weren’t able to get the ball in LeBron’s hands, get out in transition and let him make plays, do what he does best,” said Lakers guard Avery Bradley.

The Lakers at one point appeared to be in control, leading 13-2 at the beginning of the game and holding the lead for most of the first half before the Clippers absolutely erupted.

Luckily for the Lakers, it was one game out of 82. They’ll have the opportunity to get back on the right track when they host the Utah Jazz in their home opener on Friday night.