This sort of thing would happen to the Clippers, wouldn’t it? With nine minutes left to play, the television feed for the game drops out completely. I’m left only with Mike and Ralph giving me a play by play account of what is happening on the court. No big deal – the duo is so good that I’m willing to accept the loss of vision as only a slight hindrance to my overall experience. Of course, as soon as the whole radio bit starts to grow on me, the sound feed dies. Great. Now my only option is the intertubes, but unfortunately I can only find a simple play by play to follow along with. Do not worry though. After following the play by play, I have a pretty good idea of how it (probably) all went down.
[4th Q, 9:27] – The scoreboard, video, and sound feed are all down, but the lighting in the arena miraculously still works. With nothing better to aimlessly stare at, the Clippers all fix their eyes on Dunleavy in the huddle. Confused by all the new found attention, Dunleavy freezes up. Baron urges Dunleavy on, but just as Dunleavy regains his composure the t-shirt cannon guy appears. A renegade t-shirt comes to Kaman, but he bobbles it and drops it.
[4th Q, 9:12] – Out of the timeout Marcus Camby gets his 6th block of the night, and Craig Smith draws an offensive foul. Back on the other end, Smith assists on a Marcus Camby dunk. The two pause momentarily to admire their own awesomeness, then engage in an epic flying high five.
[4th Q, 8:26] – From boxscore: “Rodney Stuckey assists.” I refreshed three times to make sure it was accurate, and yes, this actually did happen. Congratulations are in order.
[4th Q. 7:28] – Jonas Jerebko gets fouled and scores on an acrobatic finish to narrow the deficit to two. Sensing he was close to a double-double “animal style” (double digit total rebounds with double digit offensive rebounds), Ben Wallace checks himself into the game. Lo and behold, Jerebko misses the free throw, Wallace gets the offensive rebound and gives it right back to Jerebko, and he promptly knocks down a three. The 5 point play gives the Pistons the lead, 87-86. Since he didn’t box out, Rhino asks Camby for take backsies on the high five, but Camby declines.
[4th Q, 6:05] – Al Thornton hits his second jumper IN A ROW from beyond 15 feet. Thornton gives the Pistons bench the “Michael Jordan against the Blazers shrug” as he backpedals down the court.
[4th Q, 5:47] – Official timeout. The scoreboard regains power, and the fans collectively exhale. A whole fourth quarter of not knowing when to MAKE SOME NOISE would have been an absolute disaster.
[4th Q, 4:18] – Eric Gordon makes a driving layup that is downright Michael J. Fox-ish. Always aware of the situation, Chris Kaman gives Gordon a triumphant piggy back ride all the way back down court.
[4th Q, 3:32] – When the TV feed resurfaces, Jerebko nails another three to bring the Pistons within four, much to the delight of his fan section composed entirely of vikings. No — seriously. Jerebko has fans and they dress up like vikings.
So that basically sums up what we missed while we were subjected to poker.
- The Clippers had their worst rebounding effort of the season tonight. Detroit grabbed an incredible 19 offensive rebounds, 10 of them coming from Ben Wallace. It’s no secret around the league that the Clippers don’t box out – expect teams to continue to hit the offensive boards with reckless abandon like Detroit did tonight.
- The familiar trend of the Clippers shooting extremely well in the first half continued tonight, as they made 54% of their field goals and finished the game at a 56% clip. Again, another narrow escape that didn’t have to be – the Clippers nearly shot 20 percentage points higher than the Pistons. If you’re that much better offensively, you should win by a much larger margin.
- This makes back to back nights where Marcus Camby has played over 40 minutes – for those of you worried about Blake Griffin’s spot in the rotation, don’t be. Camby and Kaman should not and will not keep up this heavy of a workload.
- When Kaman, Baron, and Thornton are on their games, the Clippers are a very efficient offensive unit. The three combined to go 25 for 34 from the field tonight for a 74% combined shooting percentage. When the Clippers struggle on offense, it’s rarely the result of bad play calls or a lack of execution. It’s usually just the Clippers missing open looks. Even Eric Gordon, who struggled a bit by his standards (4-11 FG) had three wide open looks from deep simply not fall. The sets are working well, but the Clippers are playing uphill basketball by allowing their opponents an unnecessary amount of extra possessions every game. The team simply needs to work harder on the glass if they plan on playing at a higher level.
Clippers next tilt will be Sunday at home against the Grizzlies at 12:30p PT.