ClipperBlog’s Jovan Buha was able to catch up with a few of the Clippers after tonight’s scrimmage, while Mason Wehrli broke down all the action.
Just remember – it was only a scrimmage. With the NBA finally back, the hype in Los Angeles is no longer exclusively Laker nation. There’s a new team in town (well not new, but now worthy of excitement).
A crowd of 6,607 people showed up to see the star-studded Los Angeles Clippers at the Galen Center this Sunday. On such a gloomy day where the easiest option would have been to kick back and watch the NFL, USC’s basketball arena was full of eager Clippers fans trying to catch a sneak preview of how the new additions would fit together with the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
- First of all, aside from the UCLA rivalry game, the Galen Center rarely sees so many people. The energy was surprising. Well, not that surprising given the fact that in addition to a guaranteed top-10 play from Blake every night, fans now get to see Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Caron Butler add to the highlight reels. In the scrimmage however, there wasn’t much of this anticipated excitement.
- Blake Griffin had a couple nice jumpers and a monster reverse-dunk. While he showed some improvement, his performance was not incredible.
- The starters trailed for most of the game and it was obvious they were trying to find a chemistry that wasn’t quite there yet. The second unit looked much more comfortable together, which is promising for when Blake and company find their groove.
- Randy Foye knocked down a few shots and looked hungry, appearing to be in excellent shape for the season.
- As for the defense? Well, they played defense like All-Stars – but not in the way you want. The defense was like an All-Star game, where nobody really cares about stopping the ball. The only problem with this is the offense wasn’t good enough to counter it out. But, again, it was just a scrimmage so hopefully the real season will be much different.
- CP3 also played okay. He had glimpses and flashes of greatness with some nifty moves and slick passes, but too many times they weren’t finished. Overall, Paul looked to be in shape though, and when he realizes this is as much his team as New Orleans was, Clippers fans will be in for a wild ride.
- Do you see a pattern yet? Chauncey Billups played mediocre as well, but at least he appeared to be happy and to be finding his way with the new teammates. After the game Blake, Chris, and Chauncey all shared laughs and poked fun at one another. They seem to be getting along nicely.
- DeAndre Jordan’s performance was perhaps the most disappointing, as he appeared flat-footed and lethargic. It seemed as though he was just going through the motions, which is exactly the opposite of what the teams needs out of him. If he improves from last year and proves his performance in the scrimmage was a fluke, the frontcourt will be rock solid.
The expectations were extremely high, so some fans may have left a bit disappointed, but as I stated – it’s just a scrimmage. With this new roster, the Clippers pose quite a threat this season.