Los Angeles Clippers (9-8) vs Portland Trail Blazers (7-10)
7:30 p.m. PST
November 30, 2015
Fox Prime Ticket
Last time they met?
November 20, 2015 — A couple of weeks ago, the Clippers were attempting to bounce back after another heartbreaker at the hands of Golden State but the Trail Blazers — losers of seven straight — had other plans. Lillard took over in the 4th quarter and took down the Clippers 102-91.
What’s changed since then?
The last time the Blazers beat a team that wasn’t based out of Los Angeles it was November 5. Since their win over the Clippers on November 20, Portland has gone 2-1 — both wins against the Lakers. Meanwhile, the Clippers are using a softer part of the schedule to work themselves back into form after back-to-back wins over New Orleans and Minnesota.
1. Hey, how do you think DJ’s enjoying his “expanded role” on offense?
Michael Shagrin (@mshaggy): Perception is reality. DJ’s usage rate bumped up to 12.7 from 12.3 last season, putting him tied for 47th among qualified centers and dead even with professional basketball player Dewayne Dedmon. Does DJ spend his nights bathed in the blue light of his iPhone checking Hollinger’s advanced statistics? If so, he would see these encouraging changes to his offensive role.
Sareen Tavidian (@sarenetavidian): He’s not enjoying it enough. After a controversial summer, DeAndre Jordan has not done much in the past month to prove his worth to this Clippers team. Overall, his statistics have dipped from last season and he is no longer as consistent under the basket, averaging just 10.5 ppg. His inconsistency was made evident in the two games this past weekend. With expectations so high from fans and teammates maybe the pressure is getting to him? At this point in the season Jordan knows he needs to step it up on offense and once again become that “highly sought after” athlete that he was portrayed as this summer.
Law Murray (@LawMurrayTheNU): Ha. This isn’t a big deal. Let’s be real – no one was expecting DeAndre Jordan to get 15 shots a game or anything like that. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin even joked at Media Day that Jordan’s going to get to play point guard this season. He is averaging a career-high 1.1 assists per game though…
2. Anyone keeping up with C.J. Wilcox’s work in the D-League?
Shagrin: Not this Clipperblogger. With all due respect to Mr. Wilcox, one ought not worry about a single bale of hay when the whole barn’s on fire.
Tavidian: C.J. Wilcox seems to be putting in some work in the D-League with an impressive 19.6 ppg. His ability to score is showing in the D-League, but how that will translate on the court with the Clippers will be a question unanswered this season. As long as J.J. Redick and Crawford are healthy, Wilcox won’t be getting much playing time.
Murray: Doc Rivers mentioned in the preseason that he would prefer not to utilize the D-League since the Clippers don’t have a direct affiliate. But Wilcox, Rivers’ only original 1st-round pick on the roster, needs to play after spending his entire rookie season watching J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford up close on the bench. Wilcox has already played more minutes in the D-League this season (248) than he did in the D-League and NBA combined all of last season (122 D-League + 101 NBA minutes). Wilcox is making more than 3 threes a game at over 40 percent, which is going to be his focal point wherever he plays.
3. Is it ironic that Al-Farouq Aminu is kinda what the Clippers could use on this team?
Shagrin: Yes. Yes it is. But don’t stop there. How does a franchise discover and then acquire undervalued assets? Well, by employing a thoughtful, committed general manager of course! The GM responsible for bringing Al-Farouq to Portland is none other than former Clippers’ Vice-President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. It’s quite impressive what an organization can accomplish when governed by a deliberate division of labor.
Tavidian: It’s more unfortunate than ironic because Aminu is definitely a small forward the Clippers could utilize in a big way. However, I think Aminu would not get the recognition he deserves or the chance to prove his talents on the Clippers team like he’s able to with the Trail Blazers. Currently, he’s on a young team looking for a new identity and he’s an athlete that can help create just that. The Clippers could use any kind of help at this point but Aminu isn’t necessarily the answer.