The Clippers’ nasty habits were on full display tonight. Here’s the Lob City Ledger from the 81-78 loss to the Suns:
Tough shooting nights happen, but there’s no excuse for blatant laziness. Blake Griffin refused to contest shots defensively or really do anything except go through the motions. When he didn’t have the ball on offense, Griffin wasn’t interested in setting a tough screen to free up someone else or cutting to the open area. This may have been the worst game of his career.
The Clippers kept banging their heads against the wall offensively by going to Griffin in the post, waiting for the double-team, and then swinging it to Caron Butler or Randy Foye to miss a shot. At some point, you would have liked to see Chris Paul do something other than make the “right” pass, because the right pass kept leading to the wrong result.
Want an indication of how bad both teams shot the ball Friday night? Well, Kenyon Martin was the game’s most efficient perimeter shooter. Martin had his mid-range game humming, but he more importantly provided the Clippers with a great defensive effort both on and off the ball. Martin really seemed to be the only Clipper on Friday night to play with his head and his heart.
The Clippers put forth a terrible effort, but their lack of awareness on both ends of the court was even more alarming. There were offensive rebounds allowed off missed free throws, uncontested shots for Phoenix’s shooters late in the shot clock, and other little mistakes that further revealed the Clippers as a very vulnerable team when they aren’t fully engaged.
Like the Clippers, the Suns couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. But unlike the Clippers, they pushed a little harder and crashed the offensive boards a little more, amping up their effort while the Clippers coasted and waited to flip the switch. The Suns won’t win many games when they shoot 35 percent from the field, but that was enough for Friday night.