Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: J.J. Redick was a steady offensive force in a game that wasn’t ever that close until the game’s final minutes, sharing the team high in points today with 21 on 6-11 shooting and 4 of those 6 makes from behind the arc. The Clippers are now 4-0 on the season and 26-5 over the last three seasons when Redick scores more than 20 points in a game.
That was … another shaky fourth quarter: A lead that ballooned to 18 points in the early moments of the 4th quarter would shrink to only 2. When it was over, despite leaving with the victory, the Clippers had surrendered 37 points in the final frame, continuing their recent struggles to close out games.
X factor: Paul Pierce had his revenge game of sorts in what became one of his best performances off the Clippers bench this season. He made two of his three 3-point attempts in the 2nd quarter, and lead all Clippers players with a +8 for the game. His 10 points scored now puts him only 4 points away from 26,000 for his career.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
when you hit send on a text and desperately try to stop it from sending https://t.co/GtfYY18Eee
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) December 12, 2015
Paul Pierce just rolled back the clock with a drive and slam (that didn't count) https://t.co/0HI9myAEJJ
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 13, 2015
DeAndre Jordan on Paul Pierce dunk: "I was just excited that he gave us that little boost. I don’t know if we’ll get that again until 2016."
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) December 13, 2015
Check Your Messages
This morning, I sat at a cafe and watched an excitable little kid, who was maybe four, try to pour some water before knocking over his glass, inadvertently hitting his little sister as he tried to help clean up and then jamming his finger between the table and the wall as he tried to get up and fetch some napkins. He was a nightmare — a ball of energy that couldn’t be contained with each action causing a reaction even worse than the one before. And then, at the end of it all, he said, “Mommy, I’m sorry for everything”. His transgressions weren’t forgotten but, you know, at least he didn’t mean it.
Fast forward 10 hours and 12-minutes-of-Lance-Stephenson-basketball later and I couldn’t help but recall that little boy. Armed with a 14-point lead to start the fourth, Lance launched an ill-advised triple from the top just nine seconds into the final frame. He missed. Minutes later, with the ball zipping around the perimeter — Lance found himself in an almost identical situation — only this time Stephenson decided to pass up the same shot. He hesitated — put the ball on the floor, dribbled twice before settling for a 17-footer with a hand in his face. Again, he missed. Minutes later, he took the inbound after a Nets score and thundered down the court — one-on-five — ready to make amends. Instead, he barreled into Bojan Bogdanovic for an offensive foul. A minute or so later, he was out of the game for good.
Poor, Lance — I really mean it. He’s bursting with energy and full of desire but today’s fourth quarter was a microcosm of everything Lance: spotty minutes, an ill-advised shot, a couple of nice assists, an overthought play and then trying to make up for his mistakes. Too often, he’s trying so hard to do the right thing that he ends up doing the wrong one. He means well and I know he’s sorry but I wish he’d just be more careful in the first place.
– Roscoe Whalan
I was going to talk about Blake Griffin hitting back-to-back jumpers inside of a minute to hold off Brooklyn’s furious comeback. But I watched this game with Tomyoy and other Clippers observers and came to a far more critical conclusion.
The Los Angeles Clippers are the Monstars of the NBA.
This squad has taken souls and probably stole talent. I’m not making an “I statement” here, but I hear folks discuss their disdain for the Clippers all the time. Alll the time. And that’s just the fans! Are the Clippers that hard to watch?
They wore the black jerseys in Brooklyn again. That’s a factor in the Monstar dupe. Blake, for as talented as he is, doesn’t play like the fan fav of 2011. He’s better, but he’s voicing a Monstar in Space Jam 2. His point guard, Chris Paul, is the most villainous guard in the league – and he’s totally cool with it. You’ve seen how DeAndre Jordan is portrayed now. He’s def the center of the Monstars. J.J
Redick? The most consistent shooting cartoon villain. The rest of the team serves as a rotating roster of Nerdlucks.
The key here is that the team is good. The Clippers are relevant and highly talented. And they know that fans and media alike find all kinds of reasons to dismiss the squad and antagonize them. But these 4th quarters … Yeesh. They won today, but there are a lot of games this season where the Clippers have come out smashing fools like they’re Monstars … Only to blow the lead (and some games) like they’re the Monstars.
– Law Murray