Los Angeles Clippers
Recap | Box score
MVP: Dwyane Wade. Despite seven turnovers and some defensive lapses, Wade proved instrumental in Miami’s victory. He finished with 29 points and seven assists, dicing up the Clippers defense.
LVP: DeAndre Jordan. Sure, other players played worse, but Jordan did the most damage to his own cause. He played a game-high 42 minutes struggling to protect the paint and complaining too often to referees.
Defining moment: The third quarter. This is when Wade went off, Chris Paul went cold and the Heat defense unleashed swarming traps. Miami outscored Los Angeles 24-17 in the frame and never looked back.
– Curtis Harris
“There’s Not A Lot Of Defense That High”
Tweet(s) of the Game
Chris Paul has deflected probably five of LeBron's passes so far — and swiped him clean there. No one does that but CP.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) November 8, 2013
Really nice ball movement by Clips so far, including Griffin's over-criticized passing from the post. Kind of passing you need to beat MIA.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 8, 2013
Offense aside, it just doesn’t seem like the Clippers run their offense when Paul isn’t in.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) November 8, 2013
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||8||3-5||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||-3||6|
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
An all-audio version of CBL with Andrew and D.J. in which they calm the nerves of tepid Clipper fans. Basically, “starters good; bench bad.”
Check Your Messages
As my mortal enemy, Andrew Han, mentioned in ClipperBlog Live last night, Blake Griffin was notably left-side dominant in his jumpers Wednesday night against Orlando. That worked out fine when he finished 7-for-11 from 18-plus feet. Thursday night wasn’t much different.
Griffin is usually a left-side dominant player. Often, right handed players like working on the left block, mainly because it allows them to go toward the paint with their strong hand on the outside of the defender. But as Andrew pointed out, Griffin doesn’t necessarily need to shade left when he drifts out toward the perimeter. Even knowing that, he’s still doing it, but he’s doing it effectively.
Griffin was 3-for-5 from 16-plus feet Wednesday. He’s making tough, quick shots. It’s the best his jumper has looked over a two-game stretch since – I honestly can’t remember. Maybe ever. He’s picked a spot on the floor he likes and he’s excelling. Soon, it’s going to be hard to proclaim that Blake Griffin can’t shoot.
The Heat shot better than the Clippers during the first half, yet the Clippers went to the locker room with a four-point lead. The Heat shot 60 percent from the field. The Clippers shot 53 percent. The Heat shot 38 percent from 3. The Clippers shot 31 percent. How could that be?
Those finicky Clippers managed to win the first half by creating more opportunities to score than the defending champs did. In the first two quarters, the Clippers took 38 shots — 13 from beyond the arc — while the Heat took 35 with eight from long range. The Clippers attempted 15 free throws, while Miami took 11. The Clippers had five offensive rebounds and the Heat had only one. To top it all off, the Clippers had nine turnovers to the Heat’s 11.
On the second night of a back-to-back on the road, it’s less than surprising that the tables turned before Doc Rivers could energize his troops.
The Heat had just one more field goal attempt, and three less 3-point attempts than the Clippers in the second half, but Lebron singlehandedly had more trips to the free throw line (Clippers: 6 FTAs, Heat: 22 FTAs). Just to whack you over the head with it, Clippers had twice as many turnovers (10) as Miami (5) did during the final two frames.
Possessions win games. You need them to score. Or something.
- Michael Shagrin
There were several reasons that the Clippers lost tonight — they turned the ball over 19 times and allowed Miami to shoot 53.5 percent, for starters — but their inability to stop penetration was the tipping point. With Matt Barnes sitting out, the Clippers’ bench especially struggled to defend Miami’s wings, which has been a major problem in the nascent* season.
Ray Allen beat Jamal Crawford to the rim at least a half-dozen times, and the Clippers were forced to either collapse (leaving diving big men or spot-up shooters open) or allow Allen to finish an uncontested lay-up. Willie Green was demolished by LeBron James inside — which is understandable given the immense size difference — but, more importantly, didn’t defend Allen or Dwyane Wade much better.
On the flip side, J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley are by no means defensive stoppers, but both showed flashes of good one-on-one defense against Miami’s uber athletes. Dudley forced LeBron into a tough shots out of the post, and stuck with him as well as a slower wing can. Redick did a solid job on Wade — who also did most of his damage against the Clippers’ second unit — but understandably struggled containing his turnaround jumper (which is almost impossible to defend when Wade has it going like tonight).
Neither Dudley nor Redick are 35-plus minute players, though, and whenever they’re off the court the bench’s tragically awful perimeter D is exposed. That, even more than the Clippers’ lack of a true third big man, should be their biggest concern.
*I stole this word from Andrew Han.
- Jovan Buha
Looking At The Bones of The Structure
Through six games, the Clippers’ starting lineup is posting a 118.1 offensive rating and 97.0 defensive rating. That would be good enough for first on offense (by a full 7 points) and ninth on defense.
It may not seem like it, but the renovations are coming along.
- Andrew Han