Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
No Dime tonight. Instead, enjoy…
The Lob. The Jam.
Tweet(s) of the Night
Celebration selfie! pic.twitter.com/gpcA4wkQSG
— Michael Smith (@clippstvsmith) January 11, 2014
RT @DanWoikeSports: N.Young”They always play good, Let’s see how it comes down in the postseason”(hell have time to come check out a game)
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) January 11, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||6||0-3||0-1||1-2||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||1||-6||1|
|Ryan Hollins, C||17||1-1||0-0||3-6||2||3||5||0||1||2||0||5||-5||5|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||7||0-5||0-3||2-2||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||1||+2||2|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred and Andrew are joined by Sean Highkin of USAToday to chat about this blowout for as long as it held interest. Then Blake Griffin’s spot on the power forward list, and reranking #NBARank to see if Griffin’s performance tonight has moved him up any.
Check Your Messages
Early in the third quarter, Darren Collison took the ball up for the Clippers after a Lakers’ miss. The Clippers had numbers with Jared Dudley and Blake Griffin running up the left side of the floor. As Griffin hopped toward the left block, he started to point to Dudley. Naturally, Collison looked at Griffin first, but took the direction. He looked at his second option, the suggested one, and hit Dudley for an open three on the wing. Swish.
Collison gets the assist, but Griffin was the one who facilitated the play. Sometimes, you don’t need to have the ball to make the right pass.
- Fred Katz
Breaking the Ceiling
Prior to tonight, Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol had gone head-to-head 11 times. Although they don’t always guard each other – Griffin often matches up against the Lakers’ smaller big, while Gasol usually guards Griffin – on the whole, Blake generally wins the matchup.
Blake: 20.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks
Pau: 14.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks
That said, length has frequently vexed Griffin, forcing him into the kind of off-kilter, double-clutch, contorted shots that make critics cluck their tongues. (Note that Blake’s career field goal percentage is .527; versus Pau and company, it’s .466) It was interesting, then, to hear via the telecast Pau acknowledge that Griffin’s evolving game meant Gasol would now have to guard Blake differently.
Blake scored 33 points in 30 minutes tonight, on 9 of 12 shooting from the field and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line. In all, Pau was on the wrong end of four of those field goals (two 18-foot jumpshots, one smooth post-up, one breakaway dunk) and responsible for one of Blake’s trips to the line. Gasol basically had a front-row seat for “The Complete Offensive Show.”
Things that were once not possible, now are possible. And trying matchups are suddenly less so.
- Luke Laubhan
The Live Ball Turnover
The Clippers’ first-half defense wasn’t necessarily good in the traditional terms of “points allowed” (they conceded 52), but many of the turnovers forced resulted in quick, easy buckets on the other end. Griffin, for example, picked up three first-half steals, and every time he was off to the races. Similarly, Jordan angled his rejections to teammates, which routinely fueled lightning quick breaks. At the half, the Clippers led by 18. Points off turnovers? A plus-16.
Recording 16 steals in a game without pickpocket extraordinaire Chris Paul (third in the league in steals per game) is impressive. But more importantly, the Clips converted 21 turnovers into 37 points, essentially the margin of victory.
- Aaron Fischman
Return of Redick
J.J. Redick didn’t miss a beat, opening the game with a scintillating start of 5 for 6, many coming from the free-throw area. The Clippers even ran their fun to say and watch “Merry-Go-Round” floppy set. Everything just looked smoother on offense.
One of my big worries when Redick initially went out was that he would be missed more on defense than offense. Redick’s team defense IQ bought Griffin and Jordan valuable fractions of seconds to make adjustments during a game. It took a few weeks, but the Clippers eventually sorted out the defense, up to seventh in defensive rating after tonight. But then their offense fell into all sorts of slumps, seemingly erupting ever fourth game before sputtering again.
It’s no coincidence the Clippers posted their highest point total since November 4, and third highest of the season. With Griffin taking on the mantle of facilitating, the added playmaking ability of Redick along with his shooting should stabilize the team until Chris Paul’s eventual return.
- Andrew Han
Ground Control to Major Blake
Griffin certainly was on Friday night. He worked the full canvas — insta-highlight, high-post facilitator, midrange jump shooter (4-for-7 from beyond 15 feet), foul-line ninja (9-for-11 from the stripe) and, more generally, the guy on the floor who ran the show. Griffin’s 33-point, 12-rebound, four-assist, four-steal performance even had Redick apologizing for his diction.
“I’m going to use a cliché,” Redick said. “He’s a man on a mission.”
We’ll invariably hear the usual voices tarring Griffin as … what is it? One-dimensional? Soft? An unskilled sideshow? But no reasonable observer who takes even a slapdash look at his performance over the past two games can deny the breadth and depth of Griffin’s game. The vision Griffin and Rivers had at the outset of the season has come to fruition: a player too dynamic for a hulking big man to cover, and too brutish for a stretchy, lanky defender to stop.
- Kevin Arnovitz, for TrueHoop