Editor’s note: It’s the preseason and we’re not going whole-hog Last Call because, let’s be honest, the Kings 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
Tweet of the Game
Clippers @JCrossover points at floor and tells Kings Chuck Hayes where he's going to dribble & shoot a trey. Does just that and nails it.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) October 15, 2013
Check Your Messages
Why do we need back-to-backs?
If the point of the preseason is for players to get ready for the regular season, then what is the NBA doing with scheduling?
The NBA’s schedule has become a hotter topic over the past few seasons. Should there be an 82-game schedule? Should that schedule be shorter? A similar, simpler question can be asked about the preseason: Why do back-to-backs exist in preseason basketball?
The Clippers played Monday night with no Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, or J.J. Redick. The first three of those players sat not because they were hurt, but because they needed to “rest”. That’s the keyword when back-to-backs are involved: rest.
Resting your best players for a preseason game isn’t wrong. It isn’t unethical. It isn’t a bad decision. Actually, it’s the right thing to do. It’s just unfortunate that scheduling circumstances force teams to rest their starts for a preseason game. If the only reason preseason exists is to give players a warmup to before real basketball starts, then let’s eliminate preseason back-to-backs and call it a day.
– Fred Katz
Darren Collison Is Everything You Need
Here’s a career per-36 minutes player comparison for you:
Player A: 4 seasons, 14.8 points, 6.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 46.3 FG%, 86.2 FT%
Player B: 3 seasons, 12.3 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 43.1 FG%, 74.9 FT%
Player B is our old buddy Eric Bledsoe, star of our hearts, ex-backup to Chris Paul. Player A is Darren Collison, one-time and once-again backup to Chris Paul, a guy who happens to be having a nice little preseason. With Paul sitting Monday night, Collison rung up 20 points, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals and 1 block. Huh. Not bad.
Given all the angst over Bledsoe’s departure – did the Clippers sell high? low? – it’s nice to see one of the players the team didn’t receive in the deal, the guy who’s actually replacing Bledsoe on the roster, demonstrate his value. Collison appears to be a real-deal backup point guard, reliable, if not exhilarating.
– Luke Laubhan
These Views Do Not Represent The Views Of Our Editors
Luke Laubhan just compared Eric Bledsoe to another human being that resides on this planet.
Luke Laubhan is fired.
– D.J. Foster
I can’t recall many nights when a starting center finished with more missed threes (8) than rebounds (7) — Manute Bol came off the bench for his infamous long-ball game — but fortunately for the Clippers, Byron Mullens isn’t really a starting center. Channeling the swag of erstwhile-Clipper Nick Young, Mullens dropped 16 points on 18 shots (yikes), going 4–12 on threes and daring Doc Rivers to turn off his green light.
The team as a whole going 13–35 was kind of a low level spectacle in and of itself, but worse than the inefficiency was the predictability of the offense, which never forced the Kings’ hands. I know they won’t be on the floor much when it matters, but for these next few preseason games, it’ll be interesting to see whether the back-up bigs can show us something we haven’t seen from them yet.
– Patrick James
Zombie Clippers Apocalypse
1. The Zombie Clippers are a fright, but they’re not the fastest group so it’s easy to escape them.
2. Is Brandon Davies getting the best exposure to peddle his wares? On the one hand, a game that rests DeAndre, Blake, Chris Paul, Redick and Barnes means many more minutes for Davies. But that also means a substantial amount of usage at the wing position; a role he’s not accustomed to after spending his collegiate career as a power forward/center. It’s food for thought. Brain food. Because of zombies.
– Andrew Han
This is DeMarcus Cousins’ shot chart tonight. He was 11 of 18 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line, good for 31 points and 11 rebounds. Outside of three semi-contested jumpers (two of which he made), all 15 of his shot attempts came inside the paint.
Whenever DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin are off the floor, the Clippers lack competent interior defenders. They play “donut defense,” if you’ll entertain my metaphor. This isn’t news, but it’s still worth mentioning.
The closest thing the Clippers have to a decent backup defender is Ryan Hollins, and while he does some nice things defensively – defending the pick-and-roll and bumping cutters/screeners, to name a couple – he fouls too much to be a reliable option (not to mention him being allergic to rebounding).
Byron Mullens is clueless defending the pick and roll – he either hedges too hard and off balance, or gives the ball-handler too much space to get by and into the paint – and is generally a beat too late in his help-side defense. Cousins pinned him a few times, but instead of fighting back for interior position, he merely conceded a layup or chippie. Antawn Jamison, of course, is Antawn Jamison. We know he’s a liability on the defensive end – he admitted as much at the Clippers’ introductory press conference.
Tonight showed what the future would be like if Jordan and/or Griffin were ever in foul trouble or out with injury. It would be terrible. If the Clippers were playing a good or even average team tonight, they would have lost by 25 to 30 points or more. Their defense, especially in the interior, was that bad.
I’m not exactly sure what the answer is – a mid-season pickup, or playing small-ball lineups whenever Jordan and Griffin aren’t on the floor together are the two clearest (and flawed) solutions – but I know the Clippers need to find it.
– Jovan Buha