Los Angeles Clippers (3) vs. Houston Rockets (2)
7:30 p.m. PST
May 14, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ ESPN
Video of the Day
Time to stop the breakfast defectors, for good.
1. What was the best adjustment Kevin McHale made in Game 5?
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): From a fan perspective? Putting the hack-a-thon away for a little while. From a coaching perspective? I liked McHale shifting old man Jason Terry off of Redick and giving Ariza the job of chasing J.J. in and around screens on the perimeter. The Rockets seem content to let the Clippers duo of Griffin and Paul get theirs — so long as they can prevent a third guy (like Redick) from hurting them.
Law Murray, (@LawMurrayTheNU): Putting Josh Smith in the starting lineup at power forward, which allowed Terrence Jones to come off the bench. As Kevin McHale put it yesterday, it allowed the Rockets to get some playmaking in the first unit while trying to get Jones to be aggressive in the second unit. Smith had more assists in Game 5 than Jones has had all series (4-3). And Jones had a big impact off the bench, taking full advantage of the absence of interior resistance from the Clippers. Maybe McHale would have went to this earlier in the series had the regular season gone differently.
Fred Katz, (@fredkatz): The Rockets defense has been generally awful this series, but one thing it’s done more intelligently throughout is take away Blake Griffin’s facilitating game. Houston has learned how to double effectively, force turnovers and make him panicky within those traps, especially when a second defender comes from the baseline to surprise a backing-down Griffin. Also, if we’re talking adjustments, not going to deck-a-DJ less than four minutes into the game was nice…
2. How imperative is that for the Clippers that DeAndre Jordan stays on the court?
Whalan: In the two games the Clippers have lost in this series DJ has played less than 30 minutes (Okay, fine, he played 29:57 in that 33-point blowout at home) but the point still stands. When Jordan has to sit because of foul trouble the Clippers get destroyed defensively. He protects the rim like no other Clipper and he is also a large part of the team’s (relative) success against James Harden. I expect the Rockets to go at him in Game 6 and try to see if he’ll pick up a couple of quick, dumb fouls.
Murray: When DeAndre Jordan stays on the court, the Clippers win. It’s that simple. You saw his impact in Game 4’s win where he controlled both ends of the floor, your eyes be damned. Jordan played under 13 minutes in the second half of Game 2, when the Clippers were outscored 59-44. Jordan was in foul trouble in the first half of Game 5, and Houston took full control of the game by halftime. The Clippers never got the lead into single digits in the second half of Game 5. Jordan has to get close to 30 minutes against the Rockets.
Katz: Well, the Clippers lost by 21 in Game 5. DeAndre Jordan played 24 minutes, exactly half the game. The part when he was on the floor, it was a tie game. The part when he was off it, the Clips got outscored by the final margin. I’d say it’s pretty darn imperative.
3. True or False: The Clippers close the series out in Game 6.
Whalan: Tralse. Heart says true. Head says false. The Rockets have the momentum and the pressure will be on the Clippers to close out on their home court.
Murray: False. I said this would go seven games! See you all Sunday!
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