Los Angeles Clippers (16-13) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (5-24)
7:30 p.m. PST
December 25, 2015
1. Complete the sentence: “Dear Santa… For Christmas I want the Clippers to…”
Brandon Tomyoy (@dingyu): Not make any drastic changes. There’s a feeling held by some that a roster shakeup needs to happen for this team to begin performing better, when the path to improvement really is to figure out better roster composition and lineups through the pieces that are already there. Having the time to practice will certainly aid this, and the three-day break since the Thunder game certainly helped to facilitate that.
Kaveh Jam (@KavehsRoom): Regain some internal toughness. I see most of their issues this season as a by-product of effort and mental toughness rather than roster inadequacies. For instance, they have routinely been mopped clean in the rebounding department — often an effort statistic. They currently rank 23rd in total rebounding while also 28th in total rebounding allowed. I find it highly difficult to win games, let alone at a clip suited for a top four contender in the Western Conference on such putrid effort.
Roscoe Whalan (@RoscoeWhalan7): …try harder, rebound, close out games. How many wishes do I get? Wait, it’s just a list? Okay, I’ll keep going… shoot better, be tou–
2. What childhood Christmas gift does this Clippers’ squad remind you of?
Tomyoy: My first bike. It made me feel like I was finally ready to go places. However, growing up on a hilly street and that bike being only single-speed also meant that reaching any destination was much more difficult than it needed it to be.
Jam: A pair of Reebok Pumps. From it’s appearance, a highly attractive pair of basketball shoes from back in the day that in execution did more to cut off the circulation in your foot, rather than make you jump higher.
Whalan: That present that merged with my birthday present, and, at the end of unwrapping my Christmas presents, was reminded that I had received a few months ago — and that I should be grateful for it. It’s true, but doesn’t really give me any satisfaction at that moment.
3. Of the Clippers, who’s been naughty and who’s been nice?
Tomyoy: Either Paul Pierce has been a Grinch to the rim or vice versa, because he’s at career lows in almost every statistical category. That’s especially unfortunate because when he’s been nice, it’s been a huge gift to all his former teams. Blake Griffin, on the other hand, has been especially nice. No player has made more 2-point field goals this season, and only Stephen Curry is ahead of him in made field goals among all players in the league.
Jam: Lance Stephenson has been naughty. He’s shown flashes and to be fair the minutes have been very erratic. But he’s been largely inconsistent and teetering down in the time he’s been given. After a disaster season in Charlotte, he’s still only shooting 44 percent as a Clipper and at times fading into lethargy on defense. J.J. Redick has been nice. He’s the plug to the offense. The link and the glue that without really makes the offense just a sputtering shell of it’s potential.
Whalan: Josh Smith. He’s getting nothing but lumps of coal for Christmas. Redick has been pretty nice this last month — but I bet young Austin still gets the most presents…