A lot of talk will go to the decision not to foul at the end of the game, but if the Clippers even had a below average second quarter, they probably would have won comfortably. Instead, they post a season low 10 points in a quarter and lose by 2. Good thing Last Call can be hidden by the Super Bowl.
Recap | Box score
Defining Moment: Celtics ball, Clippers down two with 26.6 seconds left. Conventional wisdom says you have to foul, but the Clippers played it out. Bad idea. Paul Pierce stepped up and stepped back with a dagger 3-pointer to seal the deal.
Well that was… balance: The Celtics had five guys in double-figures and 52 bench points, helping them build a 19 point lead at one point. Yes, Pierce was the hero, but don’t overlook Jason Terry’s jumper or Avery Bradley’s drawn charge, either.
X-Factor: The Clippers scored just 10 points and turned it over 8 times in the second quarter, and that hole was just too big to crawl out of in the end.
– D.J. Foster
Tweet of the Game
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 3, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ The Night
On hiatus until Chris Paul returns.
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Chris Paul is depth
One of the things everyone pointed to this season was just how deep the Clippers were, especially at the point guard position. But with Billups sidelined and Paul nursing a bruised kneecap, it turns out the Clippers vaunted depth doesn’t cover up quite as easily as previously thought.
Looking over the past few games, the full bench unit of Crawford-Barnes-Hill-Odom-Turiaf has been average to ineffective and the starters no longer have the calming influence of Chris Paul to stem the tide of the second unit’s mistakes. This compounding situation was in full effect in the second quarter today.
Last possession curiosities aside, credit Vinny Del Negro for shortening the rotation to eight in the second half. It seems like until CP3 returns, the opportunity for greatest success lie in a tighter roster and major minutes for Eric Bledsoe.
- Andrew Han
At the end of the day, basketball is, above complex schemes and advanced statistics, a game about effort. The Clippers’ first three quarters were filled with lackadaisical passing, missed defensive rotations, and, the cardinal sin, a lack of effort. The Clippers seemed like they didn’t even want to be in snowy Boston on Puppy Bowl Sunday, which, while somewhat understandable, is nonetheless unacceptable from what has otherwise been one of the hardest working teams in the NBA this year.
This lack of effort was seen most clearly in the startling amount of turnovers in today’s game. The Clippers had 20 turnovers, well above the season average of 14. Jamal Crawford (6 TO) was tasked with playing the point in the second quarter and he threw the ball away a couple of times trying to hit Barnes on the wing. There simply was a lack of communication and care taken in directing passes to open players. Some may credit this to the Celtics who did a good job in that second quarter of disrupting passing lanes and trapping Jamal when he attempted to move in to the key, but from my vantage point in the Garden, it seemed as if the Clippers second unit sorely missed their usual fire starter and effort machine Eric Bledsoe.
- Michael Shagrin