Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: DeAndre Jordan. Jordan came just two blocks away from a triple-double, finishing the 20-point blowout with 14 points, 17 rebounds, and eight blocked shots. Throw in a couple of guaranteed SportsCenter dunks and it wasnt too bad of a night for D.J.
X factor: Darren Collison. With the injured Chris Paul dressed in suit and tie, Collison took over from the very beginning. He made all eight of his shot attempts in the first half on the way to a 21-point, seven-assist, four-steal performance.
That was … high flying: The Clippers turned the blowout into a typical dunkfest. Jordan dunked on Big Baby and seemingly everyone else in a Magic uniform. Blake Griffin had a windmill alley-oop. Monday night was all flash in Lob City.
— Fred Katz
Tweet(s) of the Night
The thing where the Clips are better on D when DAJ's off the court every season (except for the lockout year) is interesting
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) January 7, 2014
DeAndre Jordan made a FT. #NBABallot
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) January 7, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||3||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ryan Hollins, C||13||0-0||0-0||2-2||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||2||-8||2|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||20||3-6||1-4||3-3||1||4||5||2||1||0||0||1||+5||10|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fast-forward to the last five minutes — Fred and Seerat discuss Gossip Girl (be careful, there are spoilers).
Check Your Messages
A Different Kind Of Fast Break
Griffin is often at the forefront of a fast break, more so for his dunking than anything else. Tonight, though, we saw extended opportunities for Griffin to be the ball-handler in transition.
Without Chris Paul, the Clippers will need another offensive dimension to win games. It’s difficult to find a silver lining from Paul’s injury, but if there is one, it’s that Griffin can put on a new hat.
Early in the season, Rivers had always been flexible with the idea of Griffin bringing the ball up on occasion. Tonight, he dished out 6 assists (his third-highest total of the season), and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect higher assist numbers as Griffin masters his skills with more repetitions.
– Davis Vo
Be it a masterfully executed pick-and-roll attack on the heels of a brazen Chris Paul or a continuous streak of off-ball screens and cutting, ball movement comes in a plethora of forms. Sans Paul, the Clippers relegated toward the latter, indicative of the fact that neither Jamal Crawford or Darren Collison were getting it done in the pick and roll against San Antonio on Saturday.
Tonight’s flare screens, transition passes and ball swings were at times awkward and misplaced; high basketball art is not a feat this team aspires to without its maestro. The Clippers’ on court consistency is undoubtedly dependent on their assertion and focus but with Paul sidelined, the philosophy remains the same: In one way or another, the group trumps the individual.
– Seerat Sohi
The Clipper Exception
NBA team-building strategies are changing. Back in the day, we always used to say that a dollar bill was better than four quarters. Whenever teams swapped star players for role players and picks, the team getting the star almost always won. But now, we’re seeing the opposite.
Blame it on the new CBA, which is more restrictive for owners and front offices. Blame it on the more modernized and analytical way that organizations are looking at the game nowadays. Blame it on coaches and general managers garnering a greater understanding of basketball in a statistical age. Blame it on whatever you want. But for some reason, the teams getting superstars are losing trades.
The Magic clearly won the Dwight Howard deal. They might be bad now, but that’s not what that trade was about in the end. Andre Iguodala left Denver. Dwight Howard left L.A. Andrew Bynum left planet Earth. The Magic ended up with good role players (Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless), two potential future All-Stars (Victor Oladipo, Arron Afflalo), and still have draft picks coming. The fight’s over. They won.
The Nets lost the Deron Williams trade. The Knicks lost the Carmelo Anthony trade. The exception in recent years? That’s the Clippers, who gave up a heavy haul for Chris Paul and have been celebrating for every game since. Who in their right mind would’ve thought in 2011 that the Clippers winning the Chris Paul trade would be the exception and not the rule?
– Fred Katz