Blake Griffin triple double, And-1 mixtape alley-oop from Crawford to Griffin, this game pretty much had all the excitement. And none of the defense. But in the dog days of the season, it’s all about taking care of business and getting that sweet, sweet W. On to the next one!
Los Angeles Clippers
Recap | Box score
MVP: Blake Griffin’s 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists gave him his first triple-double since his rookie year. This wasn’t just raw displays of athleticism — it was calm, controlled footwork that did most of the damage. He’s evolved.
X-Factor: The Clippers stayed out of arm’s reach all night, scoring 50 points in the paint and only getting two shots sent away by the league’s best shot blocking team in Milwaukee.
Well that was…a flood: When Matt Barnes rains in six 3-pointers and Jamal Crawford goes 11-for-16, your perimeter D might have more than a few leaks. The Bucks played well offensively, but they looked terribly flawed.
– D.J. Foster
Dunk Contest, Anyone?
And does that replace this as all time best lob?
Tweet of the Game
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 7, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per 36 Stat O’ The Night
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
We marveled at Griffin’s triple double, wondered if it was time to open the laboratory for the playoffs and predicted the Clippers quick turnaround in Denver (spoiler alert: gloom in the forecast).
Check Your Messages
There are few things in life greater than a really high quality all-you-can-eat buffet, said the blogger who is rapidly gaining weight and pretends not to know why. You get to choose exactly what you’re in the mood for, you can load up on your favorites, and nobody says, “Hey, man, maybe you shouldn’t eat that whole plate of mashed potatoes so quickly,” mainly because that’s the whole point of a buffet.
Tonight’s drubbing of the Bucks was basically an all-you-can-eat night for the Clippers offense. Milwaukee’s perimeter defense was so hapless and so slow to close out that everyone got exactly what they wanted. Matt Barnes felt like partaking in the action behind the arc, so he loaded up with six 3-pointers. Blake Griffin wanted his in the paint, and so he got all nine of his field goals from there, despite facing down the league’s best shot blocker.
Basically, this was the optimal version of the Clippers offense. Nothing was taken off the menu, and each player got exactly they wanted.
And it’s interesting, because you get the feeling that this is what Chris Paul wants, too. In a sense, he’s working backwards. Guys like Durant, Westbrook, LeBron, Duncan, Parker, Wade — they all look to score first, generally, then dish if that’s interrupted. Paul is decidedly not that way. He’s like dessert before dinner — and that’s cool at the buffet — but when the Clippers have to sit down for a big date in May, is that going to fly?
- D.J. Foster
There are no small parts, just small lineups
Well, in the small sample size theatre, at least. At the 5:39 mark of the second quarter, Vinny Del Negro put together a lineup that has seldom been on the floor together. When Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill and Blake Griffin took the court together, the group had just five minutes under their belts before tonight. This time around, they added a colossal two minutes to that total.
The lineup opened up in stunning fashion, as Matt Barnes freed himself from two wide open three’s, connecting on both. Griffin drew a clear path foul, nailed his free throws, and on the subsequent possession, Barnes nailed yet another open triple. Of course, Barnes isn’t going to drain every open jumper he gets — a fact that Clippers fans are well aware of — but in a small sample like this one, it’s far more important to see good execution than shots falling.
Defensively, the group forced the Bucks into two contested mid-range jumpers, but also allowed Monta Ellis to slice into the lane for a layup. Chances are that on the defensive end, a lot of what this rotation gains in quickness will be equalized a lack of rim protection.
Overall, the Clippers went 11-2 in that two minute stretch, extending a one-point lead to ten. My only qualm with this lineup is that fact that it wasn’t used more.
The reason fans haven’t seen this line up out more often has a great deal to due with the fact that CP3 and Hill just haven’t been healthy at the same time. Now that everyone is ready to go, it’s important that Vinny Del Negro takes a look at all of the Clippers available options before the postseason comes around, especially with teams like the Thunder constantly resorting to small-ball.
- Seerat Sohi
All you do is dunk in that game?
Tonight Blake Griffin issued three of the most spectacular dunks in recent memory.
We start late in the first quarter, as Griffin has the ball between the low block and the baseline with his back to Ekpe Udoh. He turns, faces up, and, with the shot clock winding down, he shakes, bakes, and books it to the hoop, jumping on one side of the paint, flying under the rim with is arm cocked, and throwing down a merciless reverse.
Next, Matt Barnes (who was otherwise excellent from downtown) clangs an off-balance three-ball off the back iron. Seemingly out of thin air, Griffin comes flying into the frame, his right arm stretched high overhead, and issues a put-back dunk with such authority that you’d think he’d just declared martial law.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, a Bledsoe steal results in a two-on-none fast break, with Jamal Crawford leading the way and dishing out an airborne, through-the-legs pass to Griffin (who later explained that he thought Crawford would send it off the backboard, so when he didn’t, Griffin had to adjust mid-flight). Upon catching the ball, Blake coils and uncoils a masterful windmill, punctuating a near perfect night—23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, a block, and a steal—with a thunderous exclamation point. All he did was dunk, and everything else.
- Patrick James