Los Angeles Clippers at Brooklyn Nets
5:00 p.m. PST
December 12, 2013
1. Was it good for the Clippers that DeAndre Jordan couldn’t be traded for Kevin Garnett?
Davis Vo, (@davisvo): I’m not a big regular season guy, but you do need to win enough at least to make the playoffs. The Nets are whiffing, and Garnett has been one of the many (MANY) reasons why. He’s logged a career low in minutes per game (22.8), and his 11.79 PER supports the fact that he hasn’t looked good even when he has played. While DeAndre’s improvement has been as sharp as initially hyped (DPOY), he’s having his most productive year yet.
Dylan Rice-Leary, (@dylearium): As fantastically enticing the notion of Garnett and Pierce joining the Clippers had briefly been, I hated the idea of giving up on a 25-year-old DeAndre Jordan for a 37-year-old Garnett, and was relieved when the trade was kiboshed. The season is still young, but DeAndre is having a marvelous start to the year; the nixed trade just might have really worked out in the Clippers’ favor.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): I was happy in February. I was happy in July. And I’m happy now. It never made sense to send away someone who could be both a contributor and an asset. It’s hard to find someone in the NBA who possesses both those qualities. DeAndre Jordan is one of them. And with the defensive and rebounding improvement we’ve seen in Jordan’s game this season (along with the regression we’ve seen in Garnett’s), it’s safe to say the Clippers are much better off with Jordan than they would’ve been with KG.
2. Why have the Nets been so disappointing?
Vo: Take your pick. Age, injuries, and lack of leadership have all hindered the Nets’ ability to put out a decent basketball product. I touched upon Garnett’s decline above, and Paul Pierce (12.11 PER) has looked no better. Throw in the fact that Deron Williams (11 DNPs) and Andrei Kirilenko (17 DNPs) have missed significant time, the Jason Kidd fiasco — here’s a 13 letter word: inexperienced — and you have your 2013 Brooklyn Nets.
Rice-Leary: Does disappointment work in direct proportion to deviance from expectations? This is an organization going all-out to make an impact in its massive new market with big-name players and a vertigo-inducingly exorbitant payroll. Expectations were legion. Yet, how could any of us expected something plumb-and-level built upon an unsteady foundation? For the players’ sake, I hope they figure it out soon.
Katz: How much time do you have? There’s a word limit for this? Are you kidding me? OK, deep breath: isolation-heavy offense, terrible pick-and-roll defense, injuries to Pierce, D-Will, Kirilenko, Lopez, and Terry, too many spilled drinks, Tyshawn Taylor running the point, subpar rebounding, a $6 million, six-year contract either for a glorified video coordinator or an embarrassed assistant coach, and slow, boring basketball. OK, I’m done. We can move on.
3. Are you worried about the Clippers’ current shooting slump?
Vo: The Clippers had a ridiculous offensive efficiency to begin the year, and until they get healthy again, they won’t come close to getting back to that production. However, I believe in Griffin and Paul’s ability to generate open looks for their shooters. Paul has improved the percentages of role players before, so I expect the Clippers get back into their groove soon.
Rice-Leary: Right now, I am chalking it up to the team still learning to play together, and now they’re doing so while trying to compensate for this rash of injuries at shooting guard and small forward. But if it means some cold shooting nights in order to significantly improve on defense? I’ll take it.
Katz: For now, there isn’t much about which to be worried. Sure, the Clippers aren’t making their shots, but they’re down three men on the wing (Redick, Bullock, Barnes) and happen to be collectively slumping on the perimeter. It’s unfortunate for now, but a slump is just that – a slump. By definition, it ends. Eventually, this one will, too.