Los Angeles Clippers
Point God To The Rescue
Tweet(s) Of The Game
I give DJ a lot of grief only bc his coach overrates his D in the media to increase his confidence – but he’s really improved his Offense
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) March 30, 2014
“Who’s the best player on the team again?” – Chris Paul, this game.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) March 30, 2014
Chris Paul is Point Godding all over the place.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 30, 2014
I’m not usually one for sports cliches, but this was a pretty gutty Clippers win.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) March 30, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||8||2-2||0-0||0-0||2||1||3||1||0||0||0||4||+8||4|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||5||1-2||0-0||1-1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||-3||3|
|Big Baby, PF||4||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||-5||0|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Andrew, Jordan and Patrick discuss Blake Griffin’s potential injury, the return of the Point God, DeAndre Jordan’s improvement and the magnitude of sweeping Houston.
Check Your Messages
Reversion To The Mean?
The Clippers were down 15 in the second quarter, despite forcing nine Rockets turnovers. They had shot just 1-of-9 on 3-pointers. Chris Paul had been shooting badly ever since his shoulder injury. Then all those stats reverted at once: the Clips started scoring off turnovers; the team started making 3s; and Paul, in particular, made three in the first half — and had 17 points in the second quarter alone. After that second-quarter run, the lead fluctuated slightly, but it never felt like Houston was much of a threat.
Yet reversion makes it sound like this was always going to happen. Instead, the comeback had some obvious causes: the Rockets were without their two best defenders, and the Clippers finally started playing like they understood that. Crawford left the game with foul trouble, and Paul started defending Harden, who then got nothing for the last five minutes of the quarter. CP3 looked for his shot, and made most of them, because without Patrick Beverly, the Rockets have no-one who can guard him — and without Howard, nobody quick enough to get out and guard his little boundary-of-the-key jumpers and floaters.
Thanks to their absence, the win wasn’t as impressive as it would have been against a full Rockets line-up (although, in fairness to L.A., Blake Griffin missed basically the entire game). But the nice thing about wins, especially in the context of playoff positioning, is that — unlike reversion to the means — the causes don’t matter. Just the number.
- J.D. Evans
Force Of Personality
I used to play in a regular pickup game with a guy everyone called “Preacher.” I don’t know if that was his name, his job or just a reference to the cadence with which he spoke, a melodic singsong I can still hear exhorting me to “stop the dribble-DRIVE.”
Preacher was about 5’9″, stocky without being fat, strong without being ripped and got wherever he wanted on the court without seeming to move very fast. He had an awkward looking herky-jerky jumper that never seemed to get blocked.
Preacher imposed his will on the entire gym. In the wrong spot? He’d move you, either by vocal command or a well-timed shove. Arguing too long? He would get the game going. And no one ever forgot the score because he called it out every play.
You always wanted to be on Preacher’s team, because more likely than not, you were staying on the court for a while. Just like you always want to roll with Chris Paul.
On a night like tonight, where the effort flagged, Blake was forced out and Baby threw a fit, Paul willed the Clippers back into and then Houston out of a game the Clips could just as soon have let go and moved on to the next.
Games like this are why the competitor in you acknowledges that yes he yells at you some, at the refs a whole lot more, and is generally a pain in the hind parts. But, if you want to keep playing into June, you’ll live with all of that.
- Seth Partnow
When Blake Griffin went down with back spasms in the first quarter, the Clippers were struggling. Shortly after, Glen Davis went “Big Baby” and got himself kicked off the bench. And then the Clips were down 40-25 early in the second.
Injuries should not be an excuse for a loss. There is still a game to be played and won. In the face of injury, there are four factors to consider:
a) The remaining “stars.”
b) The depth filling in.
c) The coaching.
d) The attitude and focus.
The Clippers showed all four factors in sweeping Houston. Chris Paul ate the Rockets’ perimeter defense and put out another Better Basketball video in the process. Jamal Crawford added another notch to his belt in his quest to be Sixth Man of the Year, while the Clippers got competent minutes from seldom-used reserves like Jared Dudley, Ryan Hollins and Willie Green. Doc Rivers kept pushing buttons, one of which was to drop Davis from the rotation. And they got an incredibly focused game from DeAndre Jordan, who had his second 20-10 game this year featuring more than a handful of dunks, blocks, and (shocker) made free throws in the face of Deck-a-DeAndre.
With the win, the Clippers clinched their third straight playoff spot for the first time since moving to Los Angeles. Obviously, the team would prefer to get everyone healthy — especially Griffin. But it’s a statement win when you can beat your competition in the standings in their building with less than your best.
- Law Murray