Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
12:30 p.m. PST
April 7, 2014
1. Everyone has one, so what is your favorite Nick Young moment?
Phillip Barnett, Forum Blue and Gold, (@imsohideouss): I thought Nick Young celebrating with Pau Gasol after Pau hit a three would hold this spot all season. But Young celebrating his missed three pointer might have taken the cake this year. He’s been a fun experience in an otherwise forgettable season.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): That one time Swaggy P stole my Instagram photo and caption of him.
Andrew Han, (@andrewthehan): As a Clipper: 1. Three consecutive three pointers in the closing minutes of Game 1 in the 2012 playoffs in Memphis to drive the miraculous comeback. Come on. What else could top that? 2. Chris Paul teasing Young’s D&G attire post-game.
2. Blake Griffin is shooting just over 31 percent from mid-range over his past eight games. Reason to be concerned?
Barnett: There’s always reason to be concerned for regression, but Blake’s shooting should be the toward the bottom of the Clippers’ concerns. Griffin’s back issues are a concern considering how much he was missed in the post season last year. If he’s on the court, the Clippers are going to have an opportunity to win any given game despite his shooting from the mid-range. If not, things get a little dicey.
Buha: No. I think it’s slight regression to the mean, which is fine. He’s more confident in his jumper, which makes him more likely to take more difficult shots (thus missing more). Plus, Blake’s been dealing with back and hip injuries recently, which can throw off you shot – especially his, because he relies on his leg strength so much. I doubt this is an issue in the playoffs.
Han: No. Eight games is a rather small sample size that includes a five game road trip, back spasms and fatigue after another long season. The only thing that should concern anyone regarding Griffin is his health.
3. True or false: The fact that the Clippers haven’t been able to play their preferred rotations all year will hurt them in the postseason.
Barnett: False. Doc has done a phenomenal job of getting his guys to fill myriad roles throughout the season as injuries have come and gone. If the Doc is finally able to play the rotations he envisioned following the trades for Danny Granger, Glen Davis, and Hedo Turkoglu, that only means the team is fully healthy and should prime them for a nice post-season run.
Buha: True. How much will it hurt them? I’m not sure. It probably won’t be much, but that still matters. Nothing can replace continuity in the NBA – not even transcendent talent (see: 2011 Miami Heat). Most of this group has been together long enough that I have confidence in them, but it definitely hurts that the first time they’ll have their eight- or nine-min rotation will (likely) be Game 1 of the playoffs.
Han: I’m going to hedge towards true in this instance. Offensively, no one on the roster runs the sets that Redick does. Literally no one. Watch the first 25 games of the season with Redick and then all the games without him. The floppy sets, the curl routes. Those decrease by at least 50 percent and the Clippers become much more pick-and-roll heavy. But Redick and CP are smart and will sort that out quickly. My question is more on the defensive end, where chemistry, timing and trust play huge factors in rotations and knowing where to be. It’s plausible that the Clippers just won’t be able to sneak in enough reps for their entire rotation to be on the same page.