Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The Clippers were simply unable to keep up with the Cavaliers in the paint or beyond the arc, and the man in the middle of all of that was LeBron James. He’d drive for a highlight dunk in one play, then smoothly make a three pointer in the face of a defender on the next. On the day, he’d finish with 27 points on 9 of 15 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 assists — all within just 31 minutes of game time.
That was … an inability to keep up: Early on, the Clippers rushed ahead to a 14 – 5 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to the Cavaliers missing open shots. That didn’t last long, and the Cavs thoroughly dominated the home team on the glass and behind the three-point line from that point forward, doing most of the damage in the second and third quarters. The loss now makes the Clippers only 3-16 against the Cleveland in their last 19 games.
X factor: It didn’t seem to matter how open or how closely guarded a Cavaliers player was in the third quarter when they found themselves shooting a three-pointer. The Cavs would make 8 of their 10 attempts in the quarter, riding their hot shooting to put the game out of reach.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Steve Ballmer can I please redesign the Clippers mascot
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 13, 2016
Thunder keep trying to give Clippers a shot at the 3rd seed and Clippers appear uninterested in it.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) March 13, 2016
How rough was this Clippers loss to the Cavs? @clipperdarrell is leading a LeBron James cheer
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) March 13, 2016
Check Your Messages
Andrew Han and I did a CBL around the trade deadline, and Channing Frye’s name came up. Rumors were flying that Frye would be included in a deal with Orlando.
I wasn’t really feeling that b … Nothing personal, I just saw Frye as a shooter who wasn’t able to do much else at this stage of his career. Poor rebounding for power forward, poor shotblocking for center.
The Clippers wound up moving on Jeff Green, while Frye wound up in Cleveland. The Cavaliers and LeBron James did work on the Clippers yet again.
And of course, this dude Channing drops in as many threes (5) as the entire Clippers bench.
Damn. Maybe the Clippers could’ve used Frye after all. They certainly did not need to see him on the court today. I won’t speak for Andrew, so I’ll take full responsibility. Channing Frye, man. #Respect #DoItAgain #5ReboundsIn20MinutesIsGoodToo #NoBlocksThough
The Elusive Fifth Member
Acclimating to a new team mid-season is no easy feat. The lack of practice time, trying to figure out a role, and sheer lack of reps between the existing players and the new ones are all major obstacles to conquer.
When looking at those obstacles, and knowing how precise the Clippers style of play can be in terms of what each player is relied on to do, I don’t envy the task and the expectations set upon Jeff Green. But looking at the number of players the Clippers have brought in over the past few seasons, the revolving door of Small Forwards that have been given the opportunity does lead one to wonder why there hasn’t been at least one of the myriad wings that have spent time on the team to click.
This is not to disparage what any of the previous players have done; Matt Barnes exceeded expectations even when many were clamoring for him to return to a bench role, and Luc M’bah A Moute has done an incredible job as a defensive anchor for a team that provides more than enough offense on most nights to compensate for the scoring he doesn’t provide.
But once again, it appears as though the Clippers are struggling to find that fifth member of the team that provides enough defense to be play against the better forwards of the league while providing enough offense that opposing defenses can’t leave him alone.
Maybe they won’t find that player, and need to resign themselves to focusing on doubling-down on other strengths. It’s certainly not a strategy that is unheard of in this league. Perhaps the question then is how many times they’ll continue trying before they finally give up on the search, especially when it continues to cost them in future assets.
Latest posts by Brandon Tomyoy (see all)
- On Building (And Losing) Trust with Clippers Fans – March 26, 2017
- March 23, 2017: Los Angeles Clippers 95, Dallas Mavericks 97 – March 24, 2017
- March 21, 2017: Los Angeles Lakers 109, Los Angeles Clippers 133 – March 22, 2017