Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: J.J. Redick left Los Angeles with a career-best four-game streak of scoring at least 20 points. Redick didn’t hit 20+ in New York or Philadelphia – can’t get all the counting stats when you don’t play in the fourth quarter. Redick decided to adjust to the minute reduction and drop all the early bombs on the Celtics, netting 19 first-half points and finishing with a game-high 27 points. Redick even added 5 rebounds and 4 assists, only the second time this season he’s had that many rebounds and assists in the same game.
That was … overpowering:I can just feel some of you pointing to the loss of most of the 35-point loss the Clippers built up as your latest example to trash “Doc the GM” or praise Celtics head coach Brad Stevens … or both. Don’t miss the point of this game – the Clippers took their third straight opponent to the woodshed, asserting dominance in a business-like manner on the road. Sure, Isaiah Thomas outscored the entire Clippers bench by himself 19-17, but the Celtics allowed more threes to the Clippers (13) than they have to anybody in over two months.
X factor: Matt Barnes attempted a team-high 13 threes in this game – the only time he ever shot more in a game was his career night in 2007 when he scored 36 points and shot 16 threes. He did not shoot a good percentage, making only four, but Barnes was able to break even with 18 points on 18 shots from the field. Boston’s perimeter starters Evan Turner, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart combined for only 14 points on 22 shots from the field.
— Law Murray
Tweets Of The Game
Brad Stevens must be pulling his hair out, his team plays so dumb at times. They intentionally fouled Blake there instead of DJ.
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) March 30, 2015
#celtics once again playing hard in fourth quarter, but this isn't the CBA, you don't get points for winning quarters.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March 30, 2015
Amazingly, the #Celtics have cut a 35-point deficit to 11 with 4 minutes to play. Man, Brad Stevens teams almost NEVER give up.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) March 30, 2015
#Celtics coach Brad Stevens: tonight we just got manhandled.
— Scott Souza (@scott_souza) March 30, 2015
Check Your Messages
Seven straight wins for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Not that it matters, right?
The Clippers have gone on winning streaks of at least seven games three times now since Doc Rivers left Boston. Only Indiana’s Frank Vogel, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks can claim as many over the same time period.
But there’s no crediting Rivers with anything this season without criticizing his roster, his award promotion for his players, the technical fouls, or his exit from Boston.
Not that Rivers will sweat it.
Rivers is working on the Clippers. He acknowledges that the team’s judgment day will come in the postseason. Expectations were set high for this team, and despite Los Angeles’ place in the Western Conference, the Clippers are tagged with an “underachieving” label. Never mind that the Clippers have clinched the postseason already, while teams like Dallas and San Antonio wait.
A win in Boston doesn’t mean much on its own. While the Celtics have played better as the season has gone on, they only have the 12th-best win percentage in the NBA since February 1. While Brad Stevens gets credited like a phenom, his team has beaten only eight teams that currently have winning records this season. But it means something that Rivers’ team came out and didn’t slip up at any point on this road trip.
I’m not sure what more people expect to see from this Clippers team for the rest of the regular season. But I do know that the Clippers are in good hands right now – possibly the best hands possible. The Clippers don’t need Fred Hoiberg as head coach or somebody who gave a presentation at Sloan as general manager to be better than what they are.
And what they are is a team playing some of the best basketball in the league right now. Not that it matters. They could beat the Warriors on Tuesday, and it would be meaningless to most. Or they could lose, and it would be Doc Rivers’ latest shortcoming.
– Law Murray