(Not really little. China is massive, both physically and in terms of population.)
I’m not sure how many of you bothered to stay up last night to watch the game live, but I did. So now I get the joy of living in Pacific Time and adjusting myself off of China Time without the rigors of travel!
Except I feel beat up, like I did just fly 16 hours from Beijing, because that game was brutal to watch.
Having said that, it was a pretty awful performance by the Clippers. As excited as the fan base got when the Chris Paul-less Clippers narrowly lost to what was essentially a full strength Nuggets team (the du jour dark horse contender of the West), this loss was just as disheartening. During viewing, it almost felt like the Clippers had never played with each other before. Either that, or they decided to be overly ambitious and only speak in Mandarin, at which I imagine they’d be terrible.
On the plus side, the Clippers out rebounded their opponent for the second straight game, this time a whopping +18. If they can just get their perimeter defense square, things will look up.
Griffin showed a bit more moxie in this contest than in Las Vegas. But he was still 2-6 on shots outside of 10 feet. He was 3-5 from the free throw line, and appeared a little more comfortable later in the game. But as just mentioned, baby steps.
One of the things I pointed out pre-game was that Miami did not employ a traditional big man. And it was apparent that Jordan had his way when looking at the foul situation for Miami’s bigs: Bosh 5, Harrellson 3, Lewis 4, Gladness 4. Granted, Griffin and the other Clippers aided in piling on the Heat’s foul woes, but Jordan was able to draw 6 fouls on his own. Even if Jordan struggles from the free throw line this year, his ability to draw fouls will pressure the bigs for the opposing team and put the Clippers into the bonus that much sooner. It’s a small silver lining, but we’re still just in the preseason.