Miss the game last night? Maybe you want some thoughts to clear up the madness? Charlie Widdoes breaks down the Clippers most recent humbling loss to the Nets.
On January 27, 2010, the 3-40 Nets beat the Clippers to improve to 4-40. It was
one of 12 wins for a team that spent most of the year being compared to some of
the worst teams in the history of the league. Fast forward to this season and its the
Clippers with the obscenely low win total, struggling to translate significant promise
and hard work into one victory at a time to avoid a place in the history books for the
Last night, New Jersey made it two consecutive years getting win number four against
the Clips, but didn’t wait nearly as long to do so this time. For the first time in 24
games, the Nets beat a Western Conference team on the road, leaving Clippers fans to
wonder just how bad things can get. If they can’t beat Detroit or New Jersey at home, who will they be able to beat?
From the beginning of the second quarter to the 6:42 mark when Devin Harris was
ejected for tackling Blake Griffin, the Nets pushed their lead from one to 11 and
never allowed the Clippers to climb back. Travis Outlaw seemed to answer every
Clipper run with a jumpshot, but they prevailed by a comfortable margin thanks
in large part to their domination of the on the front line. Blake Griffin was unable
to keep Kris Humphries off the glass, and DeAndre Jordan was unable to stay out
of foul trouble long enough to stop Brook Lopez, who really went to work against
– Clipper Bigs. Blake Griffin has the worst game of his young career against a
player that is actually very similar to him in Humphries. Humphries pulls down 12
rebounds to go with his 13 points and really changes the game with his activity on
the glass. Blake’s energy is also apparent, as usual, but he doesn’t secure many of
the balls he gets his hands on and winds up with only three rebounds and five fouls
in 30 minutes. He scores only 11 points, but he does it efficiently on 5-8 shooting.
It should be noted that New Jersey was very aggressive in double-teaming him, and
he generally showed good patience to pass out of them. In a few cases, Griffin found
Jordan flashing to the hoop or Bledsoe and Gordon on the perimeter for drives when
he saw the extra defender coming and hit the open man.
– DeAndre gave the Clippers 26 quality minutes. Unfortunately, they needed more
like 36 against the former Brookie of the Year candidate. He was extremely active on defense, getting deflections and even attempting to take two charges, although both were calling blocking fouls. He also had a strong night on the glass (eight rebounds), but his absence forced Vinny Del Negro to give almost 22 minutes to Collins, and that mismatch allowed Lopez to put the game out of reach.
-Free Throws. The Clippers’ were able to hang around thanks to a 38-19 advantage
in free throw attempts. They were far more aggressive than the Nets in going to
the hoop, who showed no problem settling for jumpshots. Eric Gordon, continued
to assert himself, getting to the line 20 times. He has become nearly impossible
to guard going to the basket, off of pick and rolls at the elbow or simple isolation
sets from the top of the key. He works hard all night to come off screens, get to the
hole and create for his teammates. His 30 points are a game high, and just another
exceptional individual performance that gets obscured by the team coming up short.
-Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. These two play another very promising game.
Aminu gets his second career start and continues to provide sticky defense as he
uses his length to be disruptive for 28 minutes. On the offensive end, he drains two
more threes and shows impressive body control on multiple occasions going to
the hoop. During one stretch a couple minutes into the second half, Aminu takes
a Bledsoe kick out and drives hard for a dunk, gets a steal that he takes all the way
for a acrobatic gliding layup, followed by a pull up three in transition off another
Bledsoe drive and dish, and finally a pull up jumper to give him 9 out of 11 points for
Bledsoe did his part to keep the Clippers in the game, continually putting the
pressure on New Jersey’s defense by taking the rebound or the outlet and pushing
the pace. He did a pretty good job probing and deciding when to pull the ball out,
on occasion going too fast for his own good. He wound up with four turnovers, but
pulled down eight boards, and time after time beat the defense down the floor. Yet
again he played the most minutes of anyone on either team (40), and shows no
signs of backing down on, scoring 15 points in a variety of ways and dishing out six
-Homecoming Clippers. I can’t imagine Travis Outlaw had much extra incentive
to “show up against his former team.” He was only a Clipper for about two months,
and no one seemed to have a problem with him leaving for New Jersey this
offseason. That said, he did have a good game, with 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting.
He hit a bunch of jumpshots, many contested, including four threes, showing that
at 6’9” he can be very dangerous. Old Friend Quinton Ross knocked down one shot
in nine minutes of play, presumably with the purpose of playing defense. Jordan
Farmar also had a homecoming of sorts, having grown up in L.A. and played for the
Lakers. Farmar played a terrific game, scoring 15 points with 12 assists.