The Clippers demolished the Wizards 107-81 to kick off their six-game road trip. Our two ClipperBlog writers — and guest contributor John Krolik — discuss what happened at the Verizon Center in Washington.
Most encouraging takeaway from the blowout win?
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: The most encouraging takeaway from a blowout win? That it was indeed an emphatic, never-in-doubt, Wizard-destroying blowout win. The Clippers never took their collective foot off the gas, beating the Wiz by at least ten points in each of the first three quarters, and resisting the temptation up twenty to stop running the offense and start freelancing. Three quarters of dominating play earned the starters a fourth quarter on the bench cheering on the scrubs.
John Krolik, Cavs: The Blog:The Clippers’ offensive efficiency was off the charts. Ninety-five of the Clippers’ 107 points came from the paint, the free-throw line, or the 3-point line – the most efficient areas on the court. That’s not just a product of talent, it’s a product of discipline. Even with a comfortable lead, the Clips continually looked for high-percentage shots instead of relaxing and chucking up the first shot available.
Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Just that there was a blowout on the road. The ClipperBlog crew hung out tonight and the big question was: How many games has Ralph ever called like this in his 30+ years? 4? 5? Love seeing the starters getting rest at the start of a road-trip heavy month.
More impressive on Saturday night — Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan?
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: DeAndre Jordan. Blake was good – DeAndre was perfect. 18 points on 9-11, 7 offensive rebounds, 3 blocks, and the dunk of the game. But honestly, picking one over the other misses the point. It was the tandem of Jordan and Griffin that was collectively unstoppable – the Wizards won’t be the last team on this road trip that simply lack the size, speed, and strength to match up with the Clips’ front court.
John Krolik, Cavs: The Blog: Call me spoiled by expectations, but I’m going to go with DeAndre. In a vacuum, Blake would probably get my pick, but DeAndre was the best possible version of himself, which you can’t say about Blake. 9-11 shooting from the field, one vicious dunk after another, and 7 offensive rebounds, all while shutting down the Wizards’ attempts to attack the rim.
Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Blake’s always more impressive. But if you’re going more relative on this, I would say DeAndre Jordan. DeAndre’s amazing dunk-rescue of Mo’s faith-based pass was the cherry on top of an incredibly efficient night.
3. Any advice to cure the Clippers’ free throw shooting woes?
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: Um… shoot underhand? Hypnosis? A freak, but fortuitous ulna-break a la Rookie of the Year that results in perfect shooting form? Trolls on Clipper comment boards refer to Blake’s woes from the charity stripe as “free throw despair.” To his credit, Griffin continues to attack the rim regardless of the frustrations that await him at the line – but their ineptitude will inevitably cost them a game sooner rather than later.
John Krolik, Cavs: The Blog: I’m going to get cute and suggest that Blake and DeAndre work with Rick Barry this off-season and bring back the underhanded free throw, especially for DeAndre, whose arms and giant hands are going to make it tough for him to become a good “conventional” free throw shooter. Some of Blake’s free throw issues are mental, and I think he’ll get back to 60-65 percent when his confidence comes back, but I’d love to see him make the underhanded free throw cool again — I’d like to meet the fan or player who thinks that shooting free throws underhanded is more emasculating that being on the wrong end of one of Blake’s throwdowns.
Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Can we get Blake to take some rhythm dribbles? At least one? I like that he’s trying to “react” as much as possible in his free throws, but it’s not like he’s a good jump shooter to start with. DeAndre, however, will probably always be a bad free throw shooter. Maybe the rest of the Clippers just have to ignore Blake and DJ’s free throw mojo for now.