As basketball goes, today’s game was considerably less brutal to watch.  

The Clippers didn’t execute down the stretch, but their failures this afternoon pretty much reflected the shortcomings on the roster.  A 6’ 3” Jamaal Tinsley fired jumpers over a 5’ 10” Brevin Knight all day.   The Clippers surrendered 14 offensive rebounds – five of them in the final two minutes of the first period when the Clippers fielded four perimeter players and Kaman.   Indiana took 20 3PAs against a scattered Clippers’ defensive rotation that needlessly collapsed on Pacer penetrators at the expense of perimeter coverage.  

But the game was ultimately lost in the final four minutes after Tinsley put the Pacers ahead 91-90.  In the subsequent Clipper possessions…

•    Mike Dunleavy Jr. blocks Tim Thomas’ 3PA.

•    Thomas misses another 3PA.

•    Kaman gets stripped.

•    Off transition, Maggette takes it himself and throws his body into Dunleavy.  Charge.

•    Mobley gets his pocket picked by Shawne Williams.

•    Mobley’s 3PA gets blocked.

•    Maggette can’t finish the driving layup.

After that, it’s a seven-point game with under :30 remaining.   

Prior to that, the Clippers played relatively turnover-free ball over the game’s first 44 minutes.  They mounted a rousing second quarter comeback with some crisp transition baskets and a few sound sets during which Dan Dickau moved the ball quickly into the post.  Remember the desperate perimeter attack the Clips’ displayed in Denver?   Today in the second quarter, the Clippers attempted only 3 shots from beyond 20 feet – and hit two of them.  Yet the managed to rack up 32 points.   

But until the Clippers reestablish themselves as one of the league’s better rebounding teams – a mantle they can legitimately claim over the past few seasons – they’re going to have trouble beating bigger basketball teams.  The Pacers shot only 41.6% -- measurably poorer than the Clips’ 44.4%; they converted six fewer FTMs than the Clips; they didn’t turn the ball over any more…but they bested the Clip by 6 in ORs. 

The Clips used to be the kind of team that could shoot poorly from the floor and not distinguish themselves all that much in the box score and still win a game.  It wasn't until you realized that the Clips gave up absolutely nothing on the defensive glass that it added up.  But until EB returns, those days are over.