A few notes from the Clippers 99-89 victory:
- Kim Hughes gets on the board tonight with the first victory of his NBA head coaching career. There are still issues at play with the Clippers increase in pace (24 turnovers tonight), but Hughes runs some really fantastic halfcourt sets down the stretch. The quarter starts off rough with Mardy Collins going one on one in isolation against Andres Nocioni [10:11, 4Q], but once Eric Gordon checks back in Hughes’ playcalling shines. The flair screens, the double-down screens, the dribble weaves — all specifically designed to get the ball in Eric Gordon’s hands. Kim Hughes has previously mentioned that Kaman wears down once the 4th quarter rolls around, so credit Hughes for making Kaman a secondary option down the stretch instead of constantly feeding him on the block.
- Rasual Butler’s first half performance is the best all-around play we’ve seen from him this year. It’s often been said that Butler’s value is directly linked to whether or not he’s making shots, and while that may be true Butler still deserves credit for showing that he’s not incapable of helping out on the defensive glass. Butler collects five first half defensive rebounds, and is often seen in the fray much more than what we’ve grown accustom to. With Craig Smith starting at power forward the Clippers should have given away quite a bit on the defensive glass, but the combination of Rasual Butler pinching down and the strong work by the Clippers’ bigs hold Sacramento to only five total offensive rebounds.