Los Angeles Clippers
No Dime tonight.
Tweet(s) Of The Game
A reporter near me just said "I think Blake's a great player, but I don't think he brings a whole lot toughness to a team." #Really?
— Eric Patten (@EricPatten) March 15, 2014
Beating bad teams on the road requires professionalism. So it’s no surprise that Willie Green is performing so well.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) March 15, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||7||1-2||1-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||-2||3|
|Big Baby, PF||16||2-2||0-0||1-2||2||0||2||0||0||1||0||1||+13||5|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Andrew and Patrick discuss Willie Green’s professionalism, 2013 Matt Barnes (he’s back!) and the Clippers’ unknown identity.
Check Your Messages
Bad News Barnes
Since the trade deadline passed on February 20th, Matt Barnes is averaging 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists on 54.5 percent shooting from the field and 43.9 percent shooting from three-point range. Tonight, Barnes kept up his terrific play, dropping 15 points on 6-9 shooting from the field.
Seriously, why? He was stuck on a tarmac in a plane owned by a team that considered shipping him elsewhere, awaiting his fate, not knowing if he’d be dressing in the Clippers’ red white and blue again.
Basketball-wise the team is basically the same. If anything, injuries have put more pressure on the wings. Is it as simple as Barnes finally being healthy? Does the subconscious stress of trade rumors really weigh on a player that much?
- David Vertsberger
The Danger Of Success
Blake’s jump shot has been falling, and he’s been getting even better at passing the ball out of double teams. So it makes sense to get Griffin the ball a few steps out of the paint, where he can face up, take a bank shot or make a hockey assist if the double comes. But it’s not a good play when the jump shot isn’t falling. When that happens, and he keeps taking it, or just hands the ball off, there’s no need to send a second defender, so those good passes don’t come—and the offense stagnates, as it did in the first half tonight.
There’s a solution: get the ball a few feet deeper, or dribble into slightly better position, where a double team has to come. The Clippers made this adjustment in the second half: first play, Blake got it in the paint and drew a foul on Kanter. Next, Blake dribbled into the paint and made a nice right hook over Favors. Then two pick-and-rolls lead to an open Collison jumper. Thanks to some lackadaisical defense, it didn’t make any immediate difference on the scoreboard, but that kind of balance will do much better than the jump-shot overdose of the first half.
- J.D. Evans
With 3:44 left in the 3rd quarter, Willie Green and Glen Davis entered the game for Darren Collison and Blake Griffin. The Clippers were down 70-62 in Utah, and had never led up to that point.
The game would never be the same, and the effect the subs had on Chris Paul was the main catalyst.
Collison had been guarding Trey Burke, forcing Paul to cover the much bigger Gordon Hayward. And Paul had been in a state of deference to Griffin offensively, who came out with the second-half scope. The subs allowed Paul to switch onto Burke … and completely take over.
Paul started with a trailing assist to Green, who hit a three. Davis split a pair at the line. Then Paul used a DeAndre Jordan screen to draw a Burke foul, making an elbow jumper in the process. Then Green picked a Hayward pass, which led to a spectacular finish by Paul. Paul then ran a pick-and-pop with Davis, resulting in a made jumper for Davis. Then Paul abused Burke’s sub, Diante Garrett, by squeezing a Jordan screen into him, collapsing Utah’s defense. Derrick Favors didn’t recover in time, leading to a Paul-to-Jordan alley-oop. Finally, Paul used yet another Jordan screen to get to his right elbow sweet spot for another jumper.
The Clippers ended the 3rd on a 15-2 run, fueled by Paul’s burst and five Jazz turnovers. Utah never led again, finishing with 18 assists and 20 turnovers. Paul started the 4th in the locker room, but the damage was done.
- Lawrence Murray