Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: DeAndre Jordan. When asked about his performance post-game, DJ missed the question: “I was listening to Tupac and I forgot the question”. However, on the court the big man was locked in from the get-go, setting the tone in a scrappy first quarter. Jordan had six blocks for the game and altered at least three other shots but it was his work on the offensive end that was a welcome surprise. DJ poured in 10 points in the opening quarter and went on to finish with an equal season-high 19 points on 8/9 shooting.
That was … a Monday Matinee: What more could be expected? A sluggish affair on a Monday afternoon for the most part where both teams taking turns in making an effort. Tyler Zeller opened Boston’s scoring account with a hook shot in the first minute but it wasn’t until he assisted on a Brandon Bass dunk nearly seven minutes later that the C’s scored another field goal. Fortunately, the Clippers got the early jump and the visiting Celtics could never quite catch up.
X factor: The Bench. Unfortunately, not in a good way. The Clippers led by 23 with just 3:50 remaining in the third quarter. In the blink of an eye, Brandon Bass scored seven straight and the deficit had been reduced to 12 at the final break. Once the Celtics had a whiff they kept coming, led by reserves Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk. Instead of resting the starters in a blow out like it was looking, Doc had to bring them back in to finish the job.
— Roscoe Whalan
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Spencer Hawes somehow, inexplicably, drew hairstyle inspiration from Evan Fournier.
— Noam Schiller (@noamschiller) January 19, 2015
Check Your Messages
How Important are Made Shots?
Blake Griffin didn’t play a particularly effective first half, even if his rebounding and passing were on point. He hung around mid-range, was passive on the defensive end and was missing the general Blake aggression we’ve seen in spurts this season. Then, the third quarter came.
It makes you wonder. Are we at the point with Griffin when we take the mid-range jumper if it’s going in the hoop, giving up on him ever returning to the style he played a season ago? Or are we still striving to for him to change back into who he was last year?
– Fred Katz
To New Beginnings…
Well, once again, it was the Clippers’ well-documented sub-par bench that allowed the Celtics back into this one. However, there were glimmers of life from some of the Clippers reserves (and more than just Jamal Crawford, for a change). Austin Rivers made his first field goal as a Clipper (on a wild, runner, over-the-head flip shot, no less) and Dahntay Jones made a shot too.
Spencer Hawes even showed up dropping in all nine of his points in the fourth quarter, including a put-back cram ON DeAndre Jordan. Hawes’ arrival in LA as the big off-season acquisition has been nothing short of abysmal so far. And, although today was by no means a premiere showcase, it was an improvement on the Spencer Hawes on display in the first 41 contests.
And so, as the Clippers enter the second-half of the season, maybe there is hope. Sure, Austin Rivers is by no means the second-unit saviour and clearly the bench wobbles have by no means vanished. However, perhaps the bench shake-up of last week was enough to get the likes of Spencer Hawes moving. After all, it’s a long season. Let’s hope for the likes of Hawes and Rivers, that the second half doesn’t feel as long as the first.
– Roscoe Whalan