Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Goran Dragic. On Eric Bledsoe homecoming night, it was Bledsoe’s backcourt mate who had the biggest impact. Dragic scored efficiently (26 points on 15 shots) and was a catalyst for Phoenix, causing a ton of live ball turnovers.
X factor: Gerald Green. Phoenix made this game less than competitive thanks in large part to its 3-point shooting, and no one hit more triples than Green. He was 5-for-10 from deep off the bench on his way to 21 points.
That was … larcenous. The Clippers turned the ball over 20 times as a team, and 17 of those giveaways were Phoenix steals. The Suns thrived on the live ball turnovers, getting out in transition and attacking before the Los Angeles defense was set.
— Andrew Lynch
Tweet(s) of the Night
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) December 31, 2013
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||5||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||+6||0|
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Andrew Lynch joins Fred and Andrew to discuss Eric Bledsoe’s emotional return. That’s all. Nothing else from this stinker matters.
Check Your Messages
A Day at the Bakery
Popping turnovers out of the oven shouldn’t be so routine, but it was nothing other than that for the Clippers on Monday night. 20 turnovers isn’t what you like to see and the contest against the Suns was only the 13th time in the Chris Paul era that the Clippers have turned the ball over 20-or-more times in a game. It was the only 20-turnover game in which the Clips shot worse than 45 percent from the field. And they shot way worse, sinking only 36.5 percent of their field goals. Maybe this wasn’t the worst offensive game of the Paul era, but it may have been the sloppiest.
– Fred Katz
The Worst Loss In The CP3 Era?
“This is a tough one for us,” Paul said after the game. “It might have been one of the worst ones since I’ve been here.”
The Clippers fell behind 11-1 to start the game, and trailed by 21 points in the second quarter and 29 points in the third quarter. It was such a thorough defeat that the Clippers were booed at halftime and at the end of the game for the first time this season.
“They beat us in everything,” Paul said. “We can’t say that we beat them in anything, and that doesn’t happen too many nights in the NBA. This was just an old-fashioned butt whuppin’ and they did it from beginning to end and we got to move on.”
– Arash Markazi at ESPN LA
1. Griffin sealed Channing Frye several times early in the game with mixed results. Frye is an immensely tall player with a standing reach of 9-ft, 2.5-in. For reference, Andre Drummond’s standing reach is 9-ft, 1.5-in. Just because Frye is not a noted defender, doesn’t mean it’s any easier to shoot over him.
Griffin seemed like he may have figured out to face up Frye, but Phoenix began loading towards Blake, shading towards in transition defense. Typically, big men load towards the point guard or offense initiator until the man they’re defending enters the offense. In this case, it seemed like the Suns were keenly aware of Griffin’s recently productivity and wanted to take no chances for him to build momentum.
2. Phoenix seems to be a “sag and contain” type of team in terms of pick-and-roll defense, going under on screens and having their bigs play the ball handler flat. The only player the Suns bothered to go over on was Chris Paul, who ended up with oodles of space at the elbow but went 1-5 from the elbow and nail. Does it change the game? No, but it’s just another example of the Clippers having reasonable looks in spots they like.
3. How calming is Doc Rivers? For a coach of a team that was ostensibly blown out by halftime, not one iota of panic materialized in the post-game presser. And because Rivers is the first to speak, it shades the perception of everyone that speaks after. Here’s what Doc said in response to a leading question meant to incite apology or shame:
“Never embarrassed. You do your job, you come out and you play. You hope your guys play well. It’s like when we win, I don’t throw a parade either. You know what I mean? It’s just another game and we played awful. Embarrassed wouldn’t be the word, but I’m disappointed in the way we played tonight. But our guys are disappointed in the way they played.”
Not a hint of anxiety. Accountability without culpability. The Clippers could deflect an entire season’s worth of scrutiny thanks to Doc’s composure.
– Andrew Han