Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: I’m going with Blake Griffin here after he nearly messed around and had a triple-double (34 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists) in a team-high 41:56 minutes. Griffin also had only 2 turnovers and made the Clippers’ last 2 field goals of the game.
That was … a defensive 180: The Clippers were getting the brakes beaten off of them from the jump, with the Pistons making a season-high 5 threes in the 1st quarter and a season-high 54.3 percent mark from from the field in the 1st half. The Pistons led by as much as 17, and had a 72-59 lead with 6:25 left in the 3rd quarter. But then, the script was flipped. The Clippers turned it on defensively, holding the Pistons without a FG for almost 12.5 minutes of game time; Detroit made only 3 of their last 19 FGs (0/9 from 3), a span that covered the last 18:20. In that time, the Clippers outscored the Pistons 42-24, with Griffin (17 points) and Jamal Crawford (18 points) putting the offense on their backs.
X factor: I might be wrong for saying Crawford wasn’t the MVP, so let me give J-Crossover some props here. In his first start of the season, Crawford dropped 37 points (12/27 FGs, 3/7 3s, 10/10 FTs). His previous season-high was the 18 points he scored Thursday night in Phoenix. He didn’t score 30 all of last season. Crawford turned 35 in March; he’s the first Clippers player aged 35 or older to score 37 points in a game. Tonight was also the first time in Crawford’s career that he had 37 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists on the same night.
— Law Murray
Tweet(s) Of The Game
After hitting dagger jumper, Blake goes right to Jamal Crawford: "We need a stop." https://t.co/wtw5m4T4hZ
— charlie widdoes (@charliewiddoes) November 14, 2015
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) November 14, 2015
Blake Griffin….got em! https://t.co/Y2Vq9YiErr
— LegionNBA (@MySportsLegion) November 14, 2015
Trying to figure out how big of a deal it is that Mbah a Moute has passed Lance in the rotation tonight…
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) November 14, 2015
Check Your Messages
Jamal Crawford has been bad.
And it’s been no small thing – through the playoffs Crawford shot under 25%
from three point land, and 36% total, despite playing over 27 minutes per game.
He probably hasn’t been this bad since his rookie season.
Yet, the Clippers obstinate coach, Doc Rivers, steadfastly continued to
give Crawford minutes in the face of his impending “washed-ness”, for lack
of a better term.
It paid off today, as Crawford had his best game in a long time, and led the
Clippers to a hard-fought crunchtime victory against the ornery, active Detroit Pistons. The pesky
3-ball which had refused to fall for him finally found the bottom of the net.
He was the high scorer of the game, with 37 points. This has to boost his
confidence and create momentum going forward, with sharpshooter JJ Redick
and lead guard Chris Paul “in limbo”, according to Rivers. Doc’s faith
in Jamal has finally returned dividends in a big way today, but it remains
to be seen if this is truly a return to form, or simply an outlier in a losing battle
against Father Time.
– Aaron Williams
An embarrassment of riches is only a good problem to have when there is an understanding of how the assets are best managed. Much of the early season has seemed to lack that understanding; when the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the team thus far comes while memories of last season’s bitter end are still relatively fresh, expectation and result emerge ever greater as the enemies of patience and perspective. It can be easy to forget this was just the 10th game of the season for these Clippers, and with the team bringing in 8 new players onto its roster, this season could be frustrating for the results-oriented as it may take months for the team to fully coalesce.
Perhaps it is promising then that today’s game showed one of the first signs of adjustment within the early season. There is familiarity between a unit consisting of Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin, which proved highly beneficial in terms of maximizing Crawford’s usefulness on the team. Luc Richard Mbah A Moute may not be as talented a player as Lance Stephenson, but the understanding of the role he plays means there is less ebb and flow within what he can provide in the minutes he is given. In both cases, the adjustments made are about limiting variance within the team’s performance. In observing the steadiness of the team’s second half, let’s hope this is less a small sample size than a promise of consistency moving forward.
– Brandon Tomyoy