The Clippers had a good shot to win a game that was closely contested throughout, but a late Caron Butler 3 went off-target. The ClipperBlog crew is here to pass judgment, second-guess (or not), and also hint at their personal music tastes in this 3-on-3.
1. Who (or what) takes the majority of the blame for the loss tonight?
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: An NBA player, well versed in Nuke Laloosh’s rules of generic answers, will tell you that the entire team is to blame for a 21 turnover effort. That’s true. Also true? If Blake Griffin goes 5 from 9 from the line we’re buckling our safety belts for overtime basketball.
Nick Flynt, ClipperBlog: I blame the Clippers’ 4th quarter offense/turnovers. The Mavericks
didn’t have a fantastic night in the halfcourt down the stretch, but
they did benefit greatly from open looks in transition over the course of the night.
Michael Shagrin, ClipperBlog: A tug of war between Chris Paul and Vinny del Negro. VDN chose to play Paul only 14 minutes in the first half, then after the Clippers finally captured a one-point lead in the third quarter, VDN yanked CP3 again. The fault doesn’t lay squarely on the coach though. As the leader of the team, CP3 shouldn’t have allowed those down minutes to act as a stopper for his reserve bottle of aggression. For the first 40 minutes of the game, Paul managed a measly five attempts from the field.
2. If you could control the final (meaningful) Clippers possession, do you let Caron Butler shoot again or not/what do you change if not?
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: I’ve already changed my mind on this twice. I was screaming for a time out while watching the game live. Watching the replay I could really see a. How wide open Caron was and b. that the clips has excellent offensive rebounding position. But in the end, I still wish CP3 has taken the ball to the hole. It’s the scenario most likely to end with a positive result.
Nick Flynt, ClipperBlog: I wouldn’t change a thing. The late steal and subsequent semi-transition play led to Chris Paul finding Caron open for 3 (in a 2-point game) with time to set his feet. There isn’t a much better
look to be gotten than that one.
Michael Shagrin, ClipperBlog: Yes. That was exactly what the Clippers were looking for in that situation. A steal, then a quick basket in transition. The fact that it was the hot-hand Caron Butler shooting a game winner from beyond the arc as opposed to a two-point basket for the tie isn’t bothersome. In crunch time, an open shot is a luxury.
3. Pick a song to describe the Clippers’ play tonight and explain
Jordan Heimer, ClipperBlog: In honor of the late great Whitney Houston, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.” A 5-1 road trip, a season series win against the defending champs, another huge road win without Chauncey Billups… Not quite.
Nick Flynt, ClipperBlog: I’ll go with Queen’s “Body Language.” Blake Griffin fell hard from his excellent foul shooting the past few games to a 2/9 effort tonight, and it really showed on his face as he continued to miss down
the stretch. The Clippers needed every point tonight and he knew it.
Michael Shagrin, ClipperBlog: The Clippers have been living and dying with performance of Chris Paul in the clutch. Since he couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat on this one, the reliance on CP3 has proved to be “Flirtin’ with Disaster” (the Molly Hatchet hit song from 1979).