Oh, Brandon. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. You must have missed the team meeting where everyone decided that the best course of action defensively was to get the hell out of the way. When DeAndre Jordan dunked on you, through you, over you, your career changed — your life changed. You can never safely traverse the waters of twitter or youtube again. All for what? Because you tried to protect the rim? It’s not fair. It’s not right. We’ll pour out a little liquor for ya, friend, because it’s Last Call.
Los Angeles Clippers
Recap | Box score
MVP: Blake Griffin. The undercard to Jordan’s dunk show wasn’t bad, either. Griffin looked fresh, and he’ll probably stay that way after scoring 22 points in just 21 minutes.
Well that was…nasty: DeAndre Jordan’s massive detonation over Brandon Knight may be the meanest, most physical dunk you’ll see all year. Jordan’s face after the jam said it all.
LVP: Brandon Knight. Hate to rub it in, but Knight won’t live this down anytime soon. I’m not sure dropping 30 points would have changed that, but going 3-for-9 with the game’s worst plus/minus mark certainly won’t help.
— D.J. Foster
We know what you’re here for
Tweets of the Game
They used to have a stat for Tony Mandarich called the “pancake,” when he bowled over def. lineman. @deandrejordan resuscitating the pancake
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) March 11, 2013
“So we’ll dunk on him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Brandon Knight.” — Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) March 11, 2013
It wasn’t in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs lol
— Brandon E Knight (@BrandonKnight07) March 11, 2013
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Jordan reads Vinny Del Negro quotes with shockingly accurate cadence, Andrew and Fred both have practice news somehow, and I summon the spirit of DeAndre Jordan to destroy everyone’s hopes and dreams in the post-show game.
Check Your Messages
Degrees of hopelessness
The Clippers are not the Spurs, but they were still a death machine against the Pistons. The starters built a 9-point lead after the first quarter — a good lead, but not one that would completely snuff out Detroit’s hope that they could pull off the upset.
The real hopelessness would settle in just a few minutes later when a Clipper bench that was without Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe extended the lead to 19 by the 5 minute mark. The defense was suffocating, and the offense was paced by a familiar foe in Chauncey Billups.
Depth can do a few things for you. It can demoralize those yet to be demoralized, and it can keep momentum moving in the right way.
The Pistons accepted their fate after the first 17 minutes. DeAndre Jordan’s dunk on Brandon Knight was simply the execution.
Welcome to the club
Following Sunday night’s game at the Staples Center, Brandon Knight left the arena and made his way over to a small dive bar across town. Waiting for him inside was Timofey Mozgov, Frédéric Weis, Shawn Bradley, Chris Dudley, Alton Lister, and Bill Robinzine. They raised their glasses to Knight as he entered. Knight solemnly nodded, sat down at the end of the bar, and ordered himself a scotch. Eventually, Bradley made his way over to Knight. He put his hand on Knight’s shoulder.
“You too, huh?”
Barnes goes to camp
Matt Barnes was camping and it worked. In his 5-for-5 three-point shooting night, three of those shots came from the right corner. The other two came right around the witch’s nipple on the right side. Barnes, who is so used to cutting inside the three-point line, went to spots where he was comfortable and his teammates found him. The only thing more impressive than that might be casually dropping the term “witch’s nipple” in a Last Call piece.
Nerds, Nerds, NERDS!!!
A little more than five minutes into the first quarter, Blake Griffin picked up his second foul and was immediately pulled from the game. In the second quarter, less than two minutes after he was reinserted, Blake picked up his third foul; despite pleading with the coaching staff, he was pulled again. Was Vinny Del Negro correct to yank his star?
I don’t think so, but it’s a more complex call than you might think. I have seen many writers assert that the conventional wisdom, which says that a player should be benched once his foul total exceeds the quarter of play, is “almost always” wrong. But that’s not true, at least according to a paper written by NYU-Polytechnic Institute finance professor Philip Maymin, and published in the International Journal of Sports Finance in 2012.
Now I’m not saying I understood all the math (the phrases “regression coefficient” and “null hypothesis” are prominently featured in the article), but after studying 5 years of game data, Maymin concluded that “yanking on a Q+1 basis is generally a good strategy, particularly early in the game.” In other words, a guy with 3 fouls in the second Q should usually take a seat.
However, the article takes care to note that there are nuances to consider.
1) How deep is your bench?
“A superstar in foul trouble is often better than a fresh bench player.” Not only were the Clippers playing with a thin bench but Blake was absolutely dominant early, scoring 14 points on 7 shot attempts against an overmatched Detroit front line.
2) Is a close game likely?
No, no, a thousand times no. Detroit came in missing rookie star Andre Drummond, and looked confused on both ends of the floor. Keeping Blake on the floor would have increased the likelihood of an early blowout, allowing the Clippers to rest their starters. In a Beysian world, the opportunity to blow the Pistons out early seemingly outweighs the risk of Blake Griffin fouling out and being unavailable late in a close game.
And, of course, what actually transpired was this: After Blake was benched a second time, the Clippers immediately went on an 18-3 run that concluded the competitive portion of the game. Which may be why I write on the Internet and Vinny Del Negro coaches professional basketball.
Anatomy of a Lob
Showstoppers are fun, but sometimes it’s more than just serendipity. Take for example DeAndre Jordan’s destructive dunk last night:
DeAndre dunk is a set play called “L” (which stands for, you guessed it). Double high pick on R side. 4-man pops, 5 dives behind defender.
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) March 11, 2013
So Lamar Odom and DeAndre Jordan stack on the right side.
They don’t even really set a pick for Chris Paul’s man so much as bunch the Pistons’ defenders on the right elbow.
Odom’s man situates behind him to hedge against a pick back to middle. DeAndre’s man plays flat and backs up Paul’s man in containing. And DeAndre dives to the rim.
And you already know how it ends.