Why not have a throwback performance when you’re going up against Mo Williams, Randy Foye, and a Jazz team that was undefeated in Utah? Blake Griffin got it going again in a big way, Chris Paul saved the day, and hey, Lamar Odom even came to play. Less rhyming and more recapping from the ClipperBlog team below:
Recap | Box score
MVP: Blake Griffin had his best offensive performance of the season, registering his first 30-point game of 2012-13. He dominated Utah inside, with 12 of his 14 field goals basically coming right at the rim. He single-handedly kept L.A. in the game all night.
That was … a layup drill: Neither ball club cared much about playing any defense. The Jazz cooled off late, but ended up shooting 56.8 percent(!). Both teams scored over 50 points in the paint and the shot charts were just a bunch of dots near the rim.
X factor: Halftime. At the end of the first half, the Jazz decisively led in points in the paint and had over twice as many rebounds as the Clippers. That all changed after intermission, with L.A. evening it out and coming up victorious.
Tweet of the Game
Al Jefferson moves like he’s on a track that only allows him to go forward, backward, and spin in place.
— Beckley Mason (@BeckleyMason) December 4, 2012
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ the Night
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
At one point in the show, Jordan Heimer does the Bernie. It’s the non-sexy version of Kate Upton doing the Dougie. Sorry, Jordan.
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Your Strength is Your Strength
It seems like the Clippers are really struggling to get into offensive sets for stretches. Pretty ironic considering the rep on the Clippers’ offense is unimaginative, mostly resorting to high screen and rolls. Los Angeles spent an inordinate amount of time trying to post up various mismatches, wasting valuable time and then having to manufacture something with under 8 seconds on the shot clock. If they just initiate every half court set with the “uncreative” pick-and-roll, it might mitigate some of these offensive lapses.
An example of this is at about the 8 minute mark of the 3rd quarter. The Clippers just wasted a bunch of time trying to post up Billups on a previous possession. They called a timeout and ran a pretty mundane play: off-ball screen by Griffin for Billups, high screen and roll by Griffin for Paul. Billups already ran through to clear out the help defenders and Griffin gets an easy slam. Let’s just have more yawn-dunks than looking for weaknesses to exploit.
- Andrew Han
Jamal Crawford: The Honeymoon Was Lovely
Remember when sour-puss logic-maven Charlie Widdoes kept insisting Jamal Crawford wouldn’t shoot 55% from the field all season? In turns out he was right. For long stretches of the second-half Crawford was shot-drunk, taking – and mostly missing – a dizzying variety of off-balance shots. And it’s not like he was making up for it on defense. On one play he made Randy Foye look like Tim Hardaway, biting so hard on a head-fake that he ended up in the first row of floor seats.
And, of course, all of this begs the question – whose fault is that? Blaming Jamal Crawford for continuing to take high-difficulty shots is silly. That’s what Jamal does. It’s like hosting a raucous party up on Mullholland and permitting a black-out drunk pal to take his keys back. Or something. On nights when it’s not falling, and the defense is allowing the opposition to shoot 60 percent from the field, what exactly is the argument for riding Crawford?
- Jordan Heimer
This was Blake Griffin’s best game of the season, but that’s not just because of his 30-and-11 line. He scored in such a diverse set of ways: in the post, on dunks and layups, on his mid-range shot and even on that step-back release in which he seems so confident. Griffin has been steadily progressing since he entered the league, but the improvement to his offensive arsenal is starting to become very apparent.
- Fred Katz
This was far and away Blake Griffin’s best offensive performance of the season, against a big, beefy frontline no less. Coming into tonight’s game, he had only scored over 22 points once (26 points against the Chicago Bulls). While the point total was impressive in and of itself, it was how Griffin scored that’s noteworthy. He dominated Utah down low, with 12 of his 14 field goals basically coming at the lip of the rim; he only attempted four jumpers, making two of them. Was engaged the entire night and single-handedly kept L.A. in the game at times. Impressive night for Blake.
- Jovan Buha
Odom Rounding Into Form?
Lamar’s best game yet. First noticeable, sustained shift in gear this season. Moved in 18 minutes like he was playing the same game as everyone else. He was a help on the boards and had actual lift on his shot — very encouraging developments for the Clippers bench.
Only 11 minutes for Bledsoe. 30 for Crawford. 22 for Billups. In related news, Mo Williams and Randy Foye combined for 39 points.
- Charlie Widdoes
Finally a glimpse of the pre-meltdown Lamar Odom! He displayed the versatility that had come to define Odom’s award-winning career in Hollywood. He grabbed offensive rebounds, completed inbounds passes during crunch time, and even gave us a little taste of the patented Odom pump fake and go. Now at least we know the Odom we hoped for isn’t completely dead (or, slightly alive).
- Michael Shagrin
Chris Paul is Phil Jackson, Magneto and The Hulk
These are all things that I said at one point tonight, which I think makes Chris Paul the coolest superhero ever. Poor Utah did just enough to make him mad (that alley-oop to Mo over his head, specifically) and turn Paul into the high screen destroyer who guts your defense and gets layup. Poor Al Jefferson never stood a chance trying to bottle up Paul at the top of the key, and CP3 rattled off eight points, two assists, and the go-ahead bucket in short order. And how about some props for DeAndre Jordan? Slow night overall, but he set some great screens to free Paul, and his block of Jefferson’s floater (no pump fake!) was a huge moment.
- D.J. Foster