Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Paul Millsap was dominating Blake Griffin in the post for much of the game, and finished with an overall stat line of 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
X factor: Kyle Korver. Not only did he extend his 3-point streak to 89 games, tying an NBA record, but he hit six 3-pointers on the night and had 23 points and five assists in his first game back from a rib injury.
That was … complete: Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer had been searching for a “complete” game from his team and he got it. The Hawks picked up their 10th win on the season and did so by holding a double-digit lead over L.A. for much of the game.
– Bo Churney
Tweet(s) of the Night
Can't be a Jamison shirsey. Trey Thompkins? pic.twitter.com/3dpBcOwIB8
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) December 5, 2013
I would say the fans are headed to the exits but they never really headed to the entrances.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 5, 2013
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||2||1-2||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||+3||2|
|Ryan Hollins, C||14||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||2||+3||2|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||10||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||1||+4||0|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Andrew and Jovan discuss the sample size of the Clippers’ season up until this point, as well as the standings implications of J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes missing extended time. Also, Andrew has an interesting take on the watchability (or lack thereof) of the Clippers.
Check Your Messages
Clippers Slowed Without Redick
2.8. That’s how many more possessions the Clippers average per 48 minutes with J.J. Redick on the court. And that’s before even factoring in tonight’s game where the Clippers hovered around league average in pace for most of the night, a stark contrast from their usually sixth-fastest attack.
The slowdown may continue without Redick on the floor. He’s been a huge part of the free flowing Clippers fast break, providing a lethal threat from three and opening up the middle of the floor for rim runs.
Fast break points have made up around 14 percent of Los Angeles’ points on the season and that fell of a cliff to 6 percent against the Hawks. An offense featuring Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will always score at a good rate, but Redick added another dimension that would have been especially helpful tonight with the struggles of the halfcourt offense.
– Jacob Frankel
After logging just two DNP-CDs in the first 15 games, Byron Mullens hasn’t played in three of the last four games, and he registered only two garbage-time minutes tonight. The erosion of Mullens’ playing time correlates with Antawn Jamison’s transition into being more than merely a decorative fixture for the Clippers’ bench; Jamison didn’t play a single minute until the 15th game of the season, but he’s averaged 16 minutes per game since, including 10 tonight.
Besides instilling the team’s frontcourt rotation with more veteran savvy – that nebulous quality that often subtly alters spacing, communication, and the like – this reallocation of backup big-man minutes and the corresponding ripples across LA’s nightly lineups have no doubt played a role in the Clippers’ gradual ascent out of the defensive efficiency basement. There are other factors, chiefly: it’s a quarter of the way through the season, and the players are all more accustomed to Doc’s system.
Still, one wonders if we’ve seen the end of Byron Mullens’ tenure as lead floor-spacing substitute. Maybe that was the plan all along – rest Jamison for 20% of the season, see what Mullens offers as a taller, liter version of Jamal Crawford (i.e.: score-first super sub), and go from there. Or maybe Doc’s just decided to dust off Jamison and see what effect it has on the team’s performance, and Mullens will eventually reemerge. Time will tell.
– Luke Laubhan
Defensive Rating Update
After the loss, the Clippers dropped from 15th to 21st in defensive rating at 103.3. If they improve by 0.6, they would climb back to 15th.
– Jovan Buha
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
1. One thing I’ve been keeping an eye on has been the defensive chemistry of Blake Griffin and Jared Dudley. There have been hiccups here and there. And while the Clippers’ core starting lineup sports a healthy defensive rating, swapping Jamal Crawford in for Redick puts that rating on life support while Crawford for Dudley shows no clear signs of regress. Case in point:
In the first quarter, DeMarre Carroll executed a simple baseline cut to the weakside to clearout for Millsap on Griffin. Typically, Dudley’s role is to cheat into the middle and meet Carroll at the box, lock and trail Carroll through the cut or have Griffin extend some space for Dudley to split through. None of this is communicated and Carroll ends up with a wide open layup. In the opening minutes of the game.
2. The Clippers have run an effective little slice play almost every game: Redick runs off a high screen set by Griffin, takes a dribble handoff from DeAndre Jordan and another rub screen to the strongside. Meanwhile, Dudley and Paul set backscreens for Griffin as he dives to the right low block. As Redick comes off his handoff with Jordan, Griffin is wide open or has very deep position by the rim. You see it every game. It always garners something good.
Tonight, the Hawks were completely prepared. Green filled in for Redick, but when Griffin cut to that right block, Teague sat back to disrupt the pass and wait for Millsap to catchup. Then Teague, Millsap and Korver all converged on the spot. Griffin pulled it out and still managed to score, but Atlanta was wise to Los Angeles’ tricks.
Energy issues aside, the Hawks looked completely prepared for what the Clippers had to offer — even putting Griffin on the move defensively and attacking him mercilessly. You could almost say it looked Spursian.
– Andrew Han