Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Blake Griffin (25 points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal). Why do people still believe Griffin doesn’t play defense and hasn’t expanded his offensive game? He scored inside and out, passed well and shut down Greg Monroe.
X factor: DeAndre Jordan. (16 points on 11 shots, 21 rebounds, four blocks … and 0-for-6 free-throw shooting). Jordan set the tone early, getting four dunks in the game’s opening minutes. In matchup with similarly intriguing Andre Drummond, Jordan showed how much more advanced he is — thanks, certainly, to being five years older than the Detroit center.
That was … a dunk-a-thon: Jordan (seven) and Griffin (five) abused the Pistons inside for dunk after dunk. Even Ryan Hollins had two. The Clippers did what they do best all over Detroit’s pathetic interior defense.
— Dan Feldman
Detroit Lob City
Tweet(s) of the Night
Pistons and Clippers should agree to settle this game by dunk contest.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) January 20, 2014
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 21, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Ryan Hollins, C||8||2-2||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||2||+1||4|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
No CBL tonight — morning games are odd.
Check Your Messages
Up and Not Out
One problem Blake Griffin used to have on his jump shot (and his free throws) was that he wouldn’t keep his elbow tucked into his hip. Because of that, we saw him finish “out” instead of finishing “up” with his release all too often.
Shooters want to push the ball up with their shots. Remember the goose neck we always heard about from our fifth-grade basketball coach? He was right. That was his way of telling us to push the ball up and not out or to the side. Griffin used to finish with his elbow off to the right on occasion. Now, he is keeping his elbow tucked in and he’s, instead, finishing up. That’s one of the main reasons he’s making three-quarters of his free-throw attempts since the end of November.
– Fred Katz
The Outlet Pass
The outlet pass is one of the most underrated aspects of a game. Unless you’re Kevin Love, the best outlet passes are the ones that ignite exciting highlight dunks. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin are both apt at planning one step ahead upon securing a rebound; the passes they sometimes make, however, are less so.
A few times against the Pistons today, Jordan grabbed a rebound and immediately passed up the ball. They were great ideas in theory, but the execution was often sloppy. Sometimes the pass was too low, too hard, or at a bad angle. The Clippers were fortunate that these passes ever so barely slipped through the cracks of the Pistons’ defenders, but they may not be so lucky against more defensively aware teams. It is these types of turnovers that could lead to easy baskets for opposing teams, and be incredibly demoralizing and frustrating for Clipper players.
The art of a fast-break isn’t just about making quick decisions, but precise ones (see Tim Duncan). This overlooked aspect of the game should be a point of emphasis until it is perfected, and then it can be forgotten again in the shadows of a great transition dunk.
– Davis Vo