The Clippers fell to the Celtics 94-85 last night in a tough loss. We’ve got more coming on the way (including a new episode of ClipperBlogLive) but for now, here’s the Lob City Ledger done by yours truly over at ESPNLA.com.
Griffin is like a great NFL receiver — leave him in single coverage at your own risk. Griffin’s face-up isolation game of spins and pump fakes around the rim was highly effective, even with Kevin Garnett patrolling the paint. Perhaps most important was Griffin’s rekindled offensive chemistry with DeAndre Jordan. That’s been missing entirely lately. Griffin’s reverse alley-oop jam wasn’t half bad, either.
Call the Celtics old and slow all you want — they still defend the pick-and-roll with the best of them. Boston begged anyone but Paul to beat them on the weakside, and the strategy worked brilliantly. The Clippers displayed no offensive creativity to get their best player open shots. Paul was bad, but Vinny Del Negro certainly didn’t help him out.
As of late, it seems like the Clippers go as Mo goes. With Randy Foye and Caron Butler struggling yet again to produce any perimeter scoring, Williams stepped up and carried the Clippers with his aggressive offensive play. Williams was exploited defensively time and time again with Paul Pierce pindown screens for Ray Allen, but the Clippers desperately needed his offense.
It was almost like the Clippers of 2010 hopped in the Delorean and traveled back to the future in the third quarter. After firmly controlling the first half, the Clippers couldn’t buy a bucket in the third. Mo Williams came in to save the day by leading a 7-0 run, but all the good work of the first half was erased like a Polaroid.
Who says coaches don’t matter? Doc Rivers thoroughly outcoached Vinny Del Negro in this one by going to a stable of simple yet effective plays to create the mismatches the Clippers’ defense readily offers. The Celtics may not have the horses for a championship run, but no one in the East wants to see this smart, tough team come playoff time.