(No Raps highlights, so here’s a video of what the Clips are missing)
It’s too easy to let the loss against the Cavaliers drain the team of energy. That was as dispiriting of a loss as there is. The Cavs hadn’t won in 26 games, and even with the road difficulties the Clippers have suffered, they were clearly the more talented team. But instead of wallowing in the loss, the Clippers need to learn from their mistakes and focus on the game against the Toronto Raptors.
The reality of the NBA is that every team will suffer bad losses over the course of the season, but what separates the good teams from the bad ones is the ability to rebound from those tough losses. The Celtics lost to the Cavs, the Pistons, the Wizards and the Bobcats this season. The Lakers lost to the Pacers, the Kings (do I also include Clippers or not?), were blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs gave up 128 points to the Knicks, lost to the Sixers by only scoring 71 points and lost to the Clippers for the first time in 25 tries. I could go on about the Heat and the Magic, but you get the idea. Resiliency is the key.
• Another fun site for NBA stats.
• HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy has another take on Blake while also looking at DeAndre Jordan and his impending free agency.
“(Griffin) just cherry picks (to get) dunks, runs in transition (to) get dunks. It’s all about trying to stop those things (when defending him), whereas LaMarcus Aldridge (who lit up the Raptors for 37 points on Friday night) can do a lot more things,” Evans said.
Evans explained that he would have picked the Portland big man, not Griffin, as an all-star at this point due to his far more varied arsenal.
Keys to the Game
– Defensive focus. The Clippers expelled a lot of effort on Friday, but running around a lot doesn’t make a good defense.
– Attack the rim. With Amir Johnson out, the Toronto Raptors don’t have much in the way of shot blockers. Ed Davis would be the closest thing (1.1 blocks per game) , maybe Andrea Bargniani (0.8 blocks per game), but Davis is a rookie and Bargs is on the soft side.
Chris Kaman: left ankle, out
Craig Smith: herniated disc, out
Eric Gordon: wrist/back, out (Note the 3-4 week rest prognosis comes into the return window on Monday)
Linas Kleiza: right knee, out
Reggie Evans: right foot, out
Amir Johnson: sprained right ankle, day to day
Alexis Ajinca: sore right foot, day to day
Leandro Barbosa: sore right hamstring, doubtful