It’s the preseason and we’re not going whole-hog Last Call because, let’s be honest, the Jazz are not going to be world-beaters this season. Also, did I mention it’s still the preseason? Still, we have some takeaways from the game, packed in a nice little doggy bag for you to nosh on the way home.
Los Angeles Clippers
Recap | Box score
Oh, hey. It’s basketball again:
Tweet of the Game
@andrewthehan Doc said he was the guy who is losing out most by being hurt.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 13, 2013
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A Change on the Perimeter
Maybe the jumper has arrived.
We’ve been waiting three years for Blake Griffin to become more comfortable with his jumper – not necessarily more accurate, just more comfortable. Griffin has always been so hesitant on catch-and-shoots. Actually, he’s been so wary of closing defenders that those situations could be better referred to as “catch-and-wait-and-shoots”. Saturday was different.
Griffin made at least three shots from 20-plus feet and on each of them, he was quick to put up his shot. His catch-and-shoot jumper looked more instinctual. It looked like it was less of a product of thought and more of a product of muscle memory. That’s where a good jump shooter needs to get.
Griffin hung around the perimeter often Saturday. Maybe that was because he was playing on a knee and an ankle that weren’t 100 percent. Maybe it was because he wants to practice his perimeter game in the preseason. Maybe it was part of the game plan against the Jazz, specifically. Maybe it was just an aberration. But maybe, just maybe, that’s something we’re going to see from Griffin this season.
Doc Rivers keeps saying he wants to improve the Clippers’ floor spacing. You don’t want to see Blake come away from the rim too often just because he so strong finishing around the hoop, but still, we saw some of that spacing Saturday and it worked nicely.
- Fred Katz
It isn’t just early, we are still in the gestation stages of development for this new-look Clippers team, but the excitement around this team is palpable. DeAndre was a monster once again on both ends. Blake’s shot is looking far more fluid. The spacing, movement off the ball, and pace are all signs of terrific steps forward for The New Look Clips. Heightened expectations should probably be kept in-check, and variations of “it’s only preseason” are quickly becoming go-to mantras for fans of this team. But still… this is looking to be quite the promising year.
- Dylan Rice-Leary
Hashtag preseason so I’m not going to get into too much, but did anyone else notice how many of the Clippers’ plays started with either a staggered pick-and-roll (where Chris Paul runs through one screen and then continues through a second), a double pick-and-roll (where Chris Paul uses a double wide pick set by the two big men) or a double high pick-and-roll (where a both bigs set a pick on opposite sides of Chris Paul’s defender)?
It’s relatively standard fare for the NBA, but you can already infer that if these are the opening actions for most Clippers plays, Doc and Co. are doing everything possible to keep the lanes and low block open and keeping Los Angeles’ uber-athletic bigs in motion.
- Andrew Han