Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Blake Griffin and Chris Paul may be the Clippers’ All-Stars this season, but DeAndre Jordan has been indispensable. Paul even called Jordan the team’s MVP during All-Star Weekend, and it’s not the first time he’s held Jordan in such high esteem. Games like today are just the latest example, as he had a game-high 26 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals.
That was … a grinder: The Clippers took an eight-point lead after the first quarter, with Jordan outrebounding the Bulls by himself, 9-8. Chicago overcame the deficit in short order though, and it looked like Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic’s buffet platter of an afternoon was going to lead to a Bulls win. Mirotic had 29 points – more than L.A.’s entire bench (27 points). But the Clippers held the Bulls to 31 percent shooting from the field (25 percent outside of Mirotic), and still outrebounded them 55-51.
X factor: Matt Barnes had a career-high four of the Clippers’ 12 blocked shots in this game. Barnes, who turns 35 years old next Monday, tweaked a hamstring early in the second quarter and needed maintenance to get through the afternoon. But he gave them another 33+ minutes of hard-nosed play on the perimeter at less than 100 percent.
— Law Murray
Tweets Of The Game
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 1, 2015
Nikola Mirotic has taken over the game! Outscored Clips 6-0 to start 2nd qtr; Bulls changing celebration to Montenegro Day
— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) March 1, 2015
Aaron Brooks, you had a nice run. Chris Paul gets your uniform now as a trophy.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 1, 2015
Check Your Messages
Send Him To The Paint
On more than one occasion, mentions of conversations between Doc
Rivers and Doug Collins have been made with the takeaway being
Collins’ praise for Spencer Hawes ability to score out of the low
post. Syngery Sports data appears to support this, with Hawes ranking
fourth in post up scoring efficiency this season. With this is mind,
it was refreshing to see his first two baskets of the game come out of
the post, and seeing how that was followed by his 10 points in a third
quarter where few other role players were contributing, one wonders if
this is a plan that the Clippers will revisit.
– Brandon Tomyoy
One Game Away
While I get questions every week about “how much Doc the GM is screwing Doc the coach,” I always like taking the opportunity to point out that it is more important to just win games. High expectations are nice and all, but the Clippers have lost only 21 games this season. With the feedback you get on this team, it seems like folks remember each and every one of them.
The reality is, expectations have to change with the timestamps in the season. It’s unnecessary to over-analyze what the Clippers could have looked like or should look like. There were a lot of pieces thrown around to convey that the Clippers were going to struggle to win games without Blake Griffin.
Well, the Clippers are 6-3 so far without one of their All-Stars. The other, Chris Paul, had another dominating performance (28 points, 12 of the Clippers’ 15 assists). Even last year, the Clippers went 13-7 without Chris Paul. It’s been the thing to criticize Rivers, but he has his team at 39 wins through 60 games. This time last year, the Clippers had a 40-20 record. That’s more important than any personnel failure at this point of the season.
– Law Murray