Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
MVP: Chris Paul. While the Clippers are definitely multiple tiers above the Lakers, the All-Star guard did a fantastic job on both ends. CP3 lead the offensive attack with 23 points and 6 assists, while limiting the offensive execution of the Lakers’ backcourt.
X factor: One of the biggest candidates for Most Improved Player of the Year, DeAndre Jordan fully utilized his super-human athleticism in the Clippers’ victory. While his double-double performance (11 points, 12 boards) may be at center stage, Jordan continued to showcase his fantastic defensive abilities with four blocks.
That was … domination: LA Clippers sealed their victory when they killed off the Lakers’ biggest asset: Their perimeter offense. The Lakers currently stand as a top-5 perimeter team but the Clippers kept the Lake Show to an extremely pedestrian 22 percent from beyond the arc.
– Dakota Schmidt
Look Ma, No Pass
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Love everything the Clips do on offense except all those plays they run for Griffin midrange J’s – It helps keep the D honest, still net -
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 6, 2014
Let's play "Where's Pauldo?" pic.twitter.com/KEg3uqmscS
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 6, 2014
Just gonna put this out there: if the Clippers' top 6 are healthy, I’m picking them to win it all.
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) April 6, 2014
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 6, 2014
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 6, 2014
Blake on Turkoglu's dunk: "That might be the top team moment of this year. I've never seen him move that fast or jump that high."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) April 6, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||10||4-8||2-4||0-0||1||1||2||0||1||1||0||1||+2||10|
|Big Baby, PF||18||3-5||0-0||1-2||2||6||8||1||1||0||0||3||0||7|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Andrew and Fred evaluate J.J. Redick’s return to the starting lineup and debate who is the third-best player in the NBA.
Check Your Messages
In games like this, even a dedicated mind wonders. I kept coming back to the thought that almost everyone playing for the Lakers will be available this offseason, and they probably don’t want to leave L.A. Thanks to the Clippers, they won’t have to! Now, you’ll point to the salary cap and chemistry as good reasons that these guys should not or will not switch L.A. teams. But daydreams care for logic as little as Hubie Brown cares that the first vowel in J.J. Redick’s last name is an ‘e,’ not an ‘i,’ perhaps because J.J. looks so much like Vin Diesel.
I keep pondering: Pau Gasol could chase a ring for, say, half the mid-level exception. Jordan Hill looked great — until D.J. stepped it up in the third quarter — and the front office should be forced to create DeAndre-Jordan-Hill. That’s a nice rotation of bigs. At the other end of the bench, Darren Collison deserves to start somewhere, and he can be replaced by Kendall Marshall, who looks great in powder blue and can learn a bit from CP3. Kent Bazemore was electric while celebrating Andrew Bogut’s dirty defense and David Lee’s jump hooks on the bench; imagine his craziness for Blake Griffin and Jordan. Hell, even throw in Ryan Kelly. The Clippers haven’t had a token, mediocre, tall white guy for a while. Voila. Some veteran presence, some young legs; that’s a team that’s an automatic title favorite.
I snapped out of this reverie just in time to see Robert Sacre knocked over by a Glen Davis spin move. No doubt I missed a ton of gripping basketball.
- J.D. Evans
Defending The Arc
The Lakers have defeated several elite teams this season by getting hot from the 3-point line. As such, the Clippers made it a point of emphasis to limit the Lakers’ open looks, running them off the line altogether or forcing them into contested, low-percentage looks. Overall, the Lakers shot 7-of-31 shooting (22.6 percent) from deep and never established the type of rhythm required to hang with the Clippers.
- Jovan Buha at FOX Sports West
The Clippers debuted their 12th starting lineup of the season against the Lakers, going with Chris Paul and J.J. Redick in the backcourt, Matt Barnes and Blake Griffin at the forward spots, and DeAndre Jordan in the middle. No Clipper saw more than 32 minutes.
Except for a surplus of first-half turnovers, the Clippers’ likely starting lineup for the postseason looked very good. While Paul was effective playing off the ball next to Darren Collison, watching Redick put off-ball defenders through the hamster wheel opens the offense up so much. The five starters made 31 of 47 field goals, and while the “Laker bump” applies here, it is impressive to see that group making nearly 66 percent of their shots.
The problem now for the Clippers is allocating minutes. To me, that’s a good problem to have. Collison is an excellent handcuff to Jamal Crawford right now, and though Redick looks great, there is solid insurance in case he, Crawford or Danny Granger break down again. Jared Dudley is shooting well enough for a 10-minute role. And Glen Davis is in good enough shape (barely) to spell Griffin/Jordan for about 10-15 minutes apiece.
Having 10 players who can play 10 minutes a game isn’t a bad thing if managed properly. The 2007 San Antonio Spurs won a championship with a 10-man rotation led by All-Stars at power forward and point guard. There shouldn’t be any questions about who should start — that question was answered today. In a couple of weeks, the team should be fully healthy, and the lineup options for Doc Rivers will be an advantage going forward.
- Law Murray