There’s little to say about this one other than it’s very apparent that the Clippers’ starters hit a wall early in the first quarter. Coming into tonight, the Clipper starters have averaged almost 43 minutes per game each over their past six games. Add that eye-popping number to the final game of a four-in-five-nights stretch; throw in the fact that Milwaukee has played quite well since Michael Redd’s return, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Missing easy and open shots — particularly from the perimeter — is often a sign of tired legs as much as it is carelessness. The Clippers fall behind 8-0 coming out of the gate, as they miss their first six from the floor. What’s strange is that none of the first five shots are all that horrible: Randolph, Gordon, and Davis all get fairly open looks from beyond 20. Al Thronton misses an easy layup after beating Richard Jefferson off the dribble from the top of the key for a clean dribble-drive to the hole. Camby airballs an easy 10-foot jumper off an offensive board. Zach Randolph doesn’t score until [3rd, 9:22] when he muscles his way inside against Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for a 5-foot hook shot. Zach finishes with 4 points on 2-11 shooting in 24 minutes.
Early in the 4th quarter, Mike Dunleavy retires his starters and inserts DeAndre Jordan and Steve Novak, along with the other reserves. Jordan suffers a great indignity on an attempted dunk at [4th, 5:05], when Joe Alexander administers a spectacular stuff job that sends DeAndre crumpling to the floor.
The rebounding problems continue for the Clippers perimeter players. Davis, Gordon, and Thornton combine for five rebounds in 82 collective minutes. Baron Davis ranks 43rd out of 66 eligible PGs in rebounding rate; Eric Gordon ranks 69th out of 74 SGs; Al Thornton ranks 49th out of 58 at the small forward. Overall, the Clippers rank 21st, which gives you an impression of the load Camby and Randolph are carrying on the glass.
UPDATE: From The Canadian Press:
Los Angeles Clippers rookie guard Mike Taylor was expected to miss six weeks after fracturing his right thumb Friday night against the Chicago Bulls, coach Mike Dunleavy said Saturday night.