Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Once again, you have to give this one to Chris Paul. The first time Chris Paul arrived at Wells Fargo Center in Clippers colors, he hit a game-winner with 3.2 seconds left to beat the 76ers by one. That’s the last time the Sixers kept it close against the Clippers, and Paul made sure this wasn’t close either, leading Los Angeles with 25 points on 15 shots in three quarters.
That was … the clincher:The Clippers came into this game winning six straight games against the 76ers, the last five by an average of 27.6 points. This game went about how you would expect – the Clippers opening up a big lead, the Sixers fighting back once to make a game of it, and then the Clippers blowing the doors off the building once and for all in the third quarter. The starters got to watch another sloppy fourth quarter from the safe confines of the bench. The result: The 16th win of the season by at least 20 points for the Clippers (ties NBA season-high with Golden State), and an invitation to the 2015 NBA postseason (franchise-record fourth straight season).
X factor: Obligatory Spencer Hawes “Revenge Game” update: Hawes only scored seven points in his return to Philadelphia, extending his season-long drought of scoring only single digits to 13 games. But Hawes did have 8 rebounds, his most since March 1, while the Clippers had 56 rebounds – their most in regulation this season. Small victories.
— Law Murray
Tweets Of The Game
— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) March 27, 2015
Austin Rivers had a chance to shoot a floater in the lane and he passed it to Big Baby. BLAKE IS IN HIS HEAD
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 28, 2015
DeAndre Jordan put on a Wilt Chamberlain-esque performance on Friday. Here’s what he did: pic.twitter.com/rFC0V0EV3K
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 28, 2015
How fitting is it that Nerlens Noel’s first 30-point game comes with two clutch FTs to clinch it?
— Max Rappaport (@MaxRappaport) March 28, 2015
Check Your Messages
Everybody Hates Free Throws
The saying goes that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, regardless of whether Albert Einstein actually said it or not. And yet defenses continue to hack away at DeAndre Jordan, despite teams now 0-11 when DJ attempts 14 or more from the charity stripe. It’s especially comical when a team attempts it down 25 points, and the end result is an extended game with fans and audiences alike forced to watch free throws they didn’t care to watch in the first place. Insanity.
But shooting free throws in the same general stance and repetitive motion over and over expecting that it will steadily improve despite seasons of non-improvement — isn’t that just as insane? Sure, the metrics say a point per possession is enough, but when the shooting percentages begin to look more like batting averages, the amount of possible variance gives reason for even the most analytically-forward coaches to keep hacking away. After all, they’re not here for aesthetics. They’re here to win.
So for a player that misses so many free throws wide left or wide right, it might be time to start a campaign for DeAndre Jordan to start shooting his free throws granny style. A straighter shot, lower point of trajectory, and backspin to give more velocity towards the net — all benefits that could greatly aid Jordan’s shots now, much like they helped Al Attles when he began shooting free throws underhanded himself.
The aesthetics of a granny shot won’t matter to Jordan if audiences are more focused on the posters he makes. And besides, how he shoots them won’t matter anyways if audiences are no longer forced to watch brick after brick after brick.
– Brandon Tomyoy