Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
MVP: DeAndre Jordan bounced back from his worst game of the series with arguably his best. He controlled the glass (18 rebounds), patrolled the paint (four blocks) and even made over half of his free throws (nine of 17). It’s rare that he cracks the 20-point threshold, so he gets Tuesday’s honors.
That was… special. After a tumultuous 72 hours and rampant speculation as to how their fans would respond, the Clippers played in front of their most energized crowd of the season. The highlight was a “We are one” chant, which was one of those bone-chilling moments that transcends sports.
LVP: Steph Curry. Though he led the league in turnovers, it was odd to see Curry so flustered and careless against the Clippers’ aggressive pick-and-roll defense (he finished with eight turnovers). Furthermore, he only attempted 10 field goals and three free throws, a steep drop-off from Game 4.
– Jovan Buha
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Doc said he thinks decision had to be made. And players were happy there was a resolution.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 30, 2014
Doc: I felt the pressure on my players. Everyone was waiting for them to make a response. They didn't do anything.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) April 30, 2014
Big ovation as Doc Rivers comes out of the tunnel. He was the face & voice of the team in a turbulent time & handled it well
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 30, 2014
Baby almost just ate Steph. Would've taken him one, maybe two bites.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) April 30, 2014
Guys, don't chant his name when he's trying to focus
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 30, 2014
WE. ARE. ONE. (for two from the free throw line)
— Kevin Draper (@kevinmdraper) April 30, 2014
The Clipper victory makes it official: no more racism forever!
— Jordan Heimer (@jordanheimer) April 30, 2014
Proud of my Team tonight!!! We Came out and handled business!! Now off to the Bay for game 6.. We gotta stick together! #Weareone
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) April 30, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Ryan Hollins, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Hedo Turkoglu, PF||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||-6||0|
|Big Baby, PF||8||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||2|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred, Seth, Patrick and Jack Winter discuss the Donald, DeAndre Jordan’s return game and Jason Bateman rom coms.
Check Your Messages
DeAndre Jordan’s Series
Chris Paul has put the locks on Stephen Curry for about four out of five games. Blake Griffin’s step-back show allowed the Clippers to weather a mid-fourth quarter Warriors storm. But it’s DeAndre Jordan’s awareness on both sides of the ball that’s torturing the livelihood of the Warriors.
Once benched in late-game situations and confidence crushed, Jordan has risen with Doc Rivers’ guidance, even hitting 3-of-4 free throws in the Deck-A-DJ stretch. Jordan finished with 25 points on 10 shots, with a back-breaking halftime buzzer over-the-head no-look flip shot to put the icing on an excellent Clipper day.
Most importantly, Jordan has scared David Lee and numerous other Warriors into flipping hurried basketballs at the rim like a drunk dude playing Pop-a-Shot. His presence as the anchor on the back line has allowed the Clippers to switch everything on the perimeter, wreaking havoc on the Warriors’ stagnant offense. Paul can get into Curry’s hip, J.J. Redick can cheat off of Andre Iguodala, and Blake Griffin can roam the passing lanes; all because Jordan is waiting, ready to snuff the lights out at the end of the tunnel.
He’s the Clippers’ third best player in a vacuum. But in this series, with the Clippers on a potential path to the NBA Finals, he’s been just as important as the two Los Angeles superstars.
- Andy Liu
Into the Light
For DeAndre Jordan, much of this season has been about new opportunities: the chance to regularly play big minutes in the fourth quarter, tutelage in a more defined, consistent defensive scheme, the presence of a coach who inspires confidence and whispers “DPOY” and “Bill Russell” in his ear. Tonight, in the most important game of the season, and probably the most significant game in franchise history, the distant-third member of the team’s “Big Three” capitalized on his improved circumstances and carried the Clippers to victory.
DeAndre is not Bill Russell. Only Bill Russell is Bill Russell.
But in a particular game, Jordan is capable of reaching the Bill Russell zone. He got there tonight: 25 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks and enough made free-throws to scare off Mark Jackson. More than that, from the opening moments, you could tell Jordan was involved. He said as much after the game, acknowledging that though the Sterling distractions hurt the team on Sunday, that couldn’t happen again. It didn’t. This morning, Adam Silver shattered the polluted ceiling that’s hung over the Clipper franchise for decades. Life can be better now. Tonight, the proud player most accustomed to new opportunities led L.A. into the light.
- Luke Laubhan
On the Line
We’ve dissected the importance of the three-point line so many times in this series. We had the Clippers and what it means when they hit their magic number. We have the Warriors and how potent their shooters are. Switch back to the Clippers, and we discuss their three-point defense being the best in the league. Back to Golden State, and how they are a top-five three-point defense.
Forget the threes for a moment. The playoffs aren’t about threes. They’re about free throws. Both volume and efficiency. Although, when it comes to scoring, volume IS efficiency.
No team in NBA history has ever won a title while shooting more threes than free throws in the regular season. The Clippers shot the second-most free throws in the league this past season. The Warriors shot over 300 more threes than free throws during the season.
In Game 5, the Clippers didn’t exactly struggle shooting, making 8-of-20 threes. But the Warriors made 10-of-26 threes. The Clippers countered that by shooting a whopping 31-of-41 from the free throw line, led by a better than average 9-of-17 rate from DeAndre Jordan. As a team, the Warriors shot only 13-of-19 from the line. The Clippers were a +18 from the line in a game they won by ten.
This game will mean a lot of things for fans of the Clippers and the NBA in general. Just remember going forward, you want to get to the line. You want to hit them, but you need to get there. The Clippers had a lot on the line tonight, and they came through.
- Law Murray