MVP: Brandon Knight’s fit in Phoenix was a pregame subject for debate. After tying a career-high with 37 points, there is no debate about what Knight can do in Phoenix.
That was … defenseless: The Clippers gave up 118 points in regulation for the second night in a row, with 63 of them coming from the backcourt of Knight and Eric Bledsoe. That’s a big difference from the matchup just ten days earlier, when Bledsoe and Knight combined to score only 28 points. This is the first time the Clippers had a stretch of 4 losses in 5 games within their first 10 games of the season since 2010-2011.
X factor: This game might as well have been over when Blake Griffin hit those showers early. Griffin had 11 points in 16 minutes, but that was all she wrote after Griffin was ejected in the 2nd quarter, with the Clippers trailing 49-48. The Suns would open up a lead that stretched to as many as 25 points in the 3rd quarter, with Griffin ejected, DeAndre Jordan (shoulder) playing hurt, J.J. Redick (back) out indefinitely, and Chris Paul (groin) sitting out on the 2nd night of a back-to-back.
— Law Murray
Tweet(s) Of The Game
I'm not positive if these 5 guys on the court for the Clippers have even met each other
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 13, 2015
Check Your Messages
Tomorrow may be Friday the 13th, but it seems like all the bad luck decided to meet the Clippers a day early. The Nightmare on Clips Street began with injuries to the entire starting backcourt on the second game of a back-to-back, coming off a bad loss to the Dallas Mavericks. JJ had back spasms that took him out of last night’s contest just before halftime; Chris Paul sat tonight to rest a nagging groin injury that has pretty clearly hampered him throughout the young season.
Blake Griffin might still have been enough to come away from this disgusting situation with at least a moral victory (which are still, by the way, only for minor league coaches), but then he was ejected from the game just over halfway through the second quarter. He picked up the second of a pair of technicals on a quick whistle that had me questioning my sanity (what, exactly, is a technical?) while complaining about a no-call after being hacked by Tyson Chandler under the basket.
Which left the responsibility of scoring on…
I’ve got nothing. Jamal Crawford remained putrid, Austin Rivers was Austin Rivers, and, well… I mean…
Okay, can we talk? With three of five starters out – in particular, the three who do the bulk of the scoring for this team – who steps up to make up the deficit? Josh Smith can’t even hold onto the ball! Stephenson of three years ago might have been able to steer the ship, but I’m beginning to believe he went overboard and turned back into a catfish. Who’s going to play the defensive stopper? Rivers, DeAndre Jordan, and Wes Johnson have been relatively solid, but never for a long enough stretch to make a difference.
The Clippers may need to embrace a little superstition at this point; toss some salt over their shoulders, amputate a few rabbits, and tape up whatever mirror Doc tripped into and broke in the off season. Whatever it takes to offset this current disastrous run where they’ve been more likely to see Murphy’s Law than Lawler’s. Let’s all pray no black cats cross in front of the team bus on the way home, so tonight is only as ugly as it gets.
– Aaron Williams
Don’t let the early stages of the season fool you. Every game is an opportunity to grow closer to an identity – inch-by-inch, rebound-by-rebound, pass-by-pass. This team has shown little reason to believe they can flip a switch – nor should they be afforded that luxury considering they have much to prove on the heels of several disappointing seasons. Instead, it seems the Clippers are weaving dangerously close to a cliff with a slippery slope that could end with cataclysmic results.
Why are the Clippers suddenly a disbanded group of lost souls at the moment? Why is it that, what appear to be all the requisite parts of an eventual title contender seem so desolate and misconfigured? I’m really not sure. There is no figuring out games of this nature. There are no lessons to be learned, only the harsh realism that you got duped thinking that off of sheer talent and effort the Clippers would be able to handle a Phoenix Suns team that will likely not qualify for the playoffs. There is nothing here to talk about. Just an empty space for your thoughts.
– Kaveh Jam