With only the fourth quarter left to play, the Clippers were in the game, down 71-65. Not too bad against a decent Milwaukee team, right? Wrong. Because the last few games have had the same feel, with the same result. The Clippers may have only been down 6 going into the fourth quarter, they may have even immediately scored off a Bledsoe steal to a DeAndre Jordan slam dunk, but the game never had the feel for of a Clippers win. In fact, the Bucks immediately answered the DJ dunk with a three pointer in the corner from their hot hand of the night Carlos Delfino. And then to add to the madness, Baron passes into a squid’s worth of limbs and the Bucks passed the ball right back to Delfino, who also happened to score 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Upset with the Clips ball movement, I took a look at their fourth quarter offensive schemes:
• Eric Bledsoe steal, pass to Baron Davis who dishes off to DJ for the slam. Offense fed from good defense! Hooray!
• Ineffective passes around the perimeter until the Clippers dump it to Davis who takes the Bucks 1 on 3. Unsuccessful.
• Baron herky-jerks his dribble to about the free throw line, dishes to Aminu who’s covered, Aminu passes it back to Baron who takes a high (and lazy) screen from Cook to shoot a terrible three.
• Baron takes a double screen from Cookie and DJ, the bigs follow low which leaves Cookie for a wide open three. He misses but it’s one of the better attempts.
• Baron swings the ball to Bledsoe who takes a decent screen from DJ who brings his big over. Bledsoe gets to the rim, and passes to Cook who gets the foul. Not bad.
• Blake is iso-ed on the left wing inside the three. He jab-steps, steps back and takes the shot. Not even close to a good look.
• From the right wing, Blake passes Baron the ball, Baron takes the Blake screen and draws a man, passes it back to Blake who has another cover, but shifts it over to Cook for a long, semi-contested two. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve seen better.
• Baron takes a high screen from DJ, then passes it back to Blake on the perimeter who swings it to Randy Foye. DJ has recovered and sets another screen for Randy, who takes the jumper over Bogut but is fouled. Lucky bailout but whatever.
• Foye passes it to Griffin for an iso, but Griffin tosses it back, Foye dribbles around somewhat aimlessly, goes to the rim and gets the foul. Um, not great, but it got points which is huge for the Clippers.
• Randy Foye gets a screen from DeAndre on the right wing, just inside the three. He shakes his defender but pulls back around the Blake screen at the free throw line and cuts to the left side of the court for a contested two. I swear I described that right.
• Passes back and forth between Gomes and Blake, trying to get Blake a decent iso position. Gomes takes the semi-contested three from just left of center. Less than ideal.
• Baron to Blake, who skips it to Foye, who passes it to Baron. Baron passes it in to Blake on the block, Blake passes back to Baron who takes a quick, tippy-toed three. I don’t like Baron tippy-toe threes. DeAndre did get the offensive rebound though.
• Reset, Baron back to Blake on the block who skips it out to Foye, who rifles it to Baron and then back to Blake. Blake dribbles it out of bounds.
• Fast break outlet to Gomes who finds an open Randy Foye at the three, Randy dribbles in and has it deflected out of bounds. Should Randy have taken that open three?
• Gomes inbounds to Baron off a Blake screen. Baron gets another screen as he swings around the top from DeAndre and knocks down the 15 foot elbow shot. First field goal in seven minutes.
• Randy Foye hands it off to Baron Davis, BD takes a high Blake screen and gets his pull up jumper to fall of a bounce. Successful.
• Blake iso on the left block, skip passes to Foye who pump fakes, steps in and buries the long two. Even if it’s a long two, I like it.
• Bledsoe gives it to Blake at the elbow, Blake backs it down to the low block, draws the double team, Bledsoe races down the middle catches the Blake pass and… is called for the charge. Nice idea, poor execution on Bledsoe’s part.
• Bledsoe takes a high screen from Diogu, penetrates into the paint and slings it to Aminu. Aminu pump fakes drives to 15 feet and… airballs. I actually didn’t mind the look, but Aminu doesn’t have any confidence right now.
• Bledsoe takes another high screen from Diogu, drives to the rim and then passes out to Cook who goes to the rim and misses the floater/bank.
• Bledsoe takes another high screen from Diogu (three times in a row?! This play hasn’t been successful!), penetrates and is called for a charge.
• Last possession: Cook passes to Aminu, who dribbles then passes to Bledsoe who touch passes it to Butler who misses.
Notice in all those how rare it is for there to be more than two players and forget about 4 or 5 players. With the shot clock being only 24 seconds, there are only so many touches to go around, and the likelihood that a good shot comes at the end isn’t very good, but notice that there isn’t much ball movement. Really, the only time the opposite side of the offense is being utilized is when Blake skips a pass to Foye. I get that there is minutiae that a coach or player will understand that I don’t, but I have to think that even including more players with screens and off ball screens will help get more open shots.
Not that offense was everything, but the Clippers need to have more to rely on especially when they are playing on the road, or are playing a good team, or playing a good team on the road.
– PopcornMachine.net’s game flow chart for the Clipper game.
– Not sure what Ike Diogu has done, but he didn’t get much burn off the pine again (5 minutes).
– Foye was booed at 1:15 in the second quarter because he didn’t give it up to Blake for the dunk. I thought that was funny, even opposing fans want to see Blake dunk.
– Ilyasova barely plays due to a cut over his eye and Blake has a tougher game against Mbah a Moute. Coincidence? I think not.
– May be a game late, but here’s what I said the last time the Clippers played the Bucks:
Sneaky key: Carlos Delfino. The Clippers opponent three point defense has been improving as the season goes on, they’ve only given up 36 percent shooting from deep against their last 8 opponents. However, the Timberwolves 1 for 16 performance brings that number down 4 percentage points. The Bucks aren’t known for their three points shooting, but that’s in large part due to the absence of their signed shooters. Both Carlos Delfino and Michael Redd have missed a mass of games. Well, Delfino is back and he has been lighting teams up similar to his pre-injury self. He’s 10 for 22 since his return and he’s the type of player that the Clippers sometimes forget about.
Delfino lit up the Clippers for 26 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists on 7 for 10 from beyond the parabola. Those are impressive numbers and the Clippers can’t let guys like Delfino torch the Clips.
– Blocks. The Clippers had one tonight and over the last 4 games they’ve had 7. Yes, 7 rebounds in 4 games as a team. That’s absolutely pathetic. DeAndre is normally in charge of this, and he did play another poor game, but the whole team needs to contribute to team defense.