Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: On a night where the Clippers shot 38.8% from the field, DeAndre Jordan’s rebounding was the difference, amounting for 9 of the 18 offensive rebounds from the team as well as 24 rebounds overall. It was a season high for DJ and just 3 rebounds shy of his career high. It was also the first time this season that the team has outrebounded an opponent.
That was … like watching paint dry: Terry Stotts decided to go to the Hack-a-DJ strategy as early as the 2nd quarter, giving the Clippers big man 34 attempts from the stripe. In a specific stretch late in the 4th quarter, Jordan had 18 attempts in a span of a minute and 32 seconds. In real time, that span lasted about 20 minutes, which would excuse the sight of many who couldn’t sit through that entire stretch and decided to head towards the exits.
X factor: Chris Paul left to the locker room in the third quarter for what was later discovered to be a rib muscle strain. Austin Rivers would play the remainder of the Point Guard minutes of the game, and made an immediate difference with his aggressive drives to the basket on offense and by continually denying his man the lane while on defense. If Paul’s injury turns out to be serious (he will be re-evaulated on Wednesday), the Clippers will certainly need more of his from the coach’s son.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Blazers went to hack-a-Jordan with 5:11 left. He missed 6 straight free throws, but Blazers make up zero points on 7-point deficit
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) December 1, 2015
Terry Stotts maybe gets paid by the hour?
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 1, 2015
Doc left DJ in until the two minute mark JUST to troll Stotts back.
— Lucas J Hann (@LucasJHann) December 1, 2015
Check Your Messages
Game Within the Game
There’s a fun little thing I like to do during Clippers games. It happens when the Clippers are either up big, or down by just a little, and the opposing coach is just too chicken to let his guys try to win a game on the virtue of, y’know, defense and making shots and so forth. There’s a moment where right before the ball clanks off the rim, or misses it completely; a moment of complete suspense. The possibilities seem endless: will it hit the heel of the rim, or its lip? Will it spin around the cylinder, meander on the cusp of falling, and jump out entirely? Will it even touch the rim? Hold your breath. Make a wish. Take a shot. Make a bet. There is a world of possibility when DeAndre Jordan takes the line for the 437th time in any given game in November. Soak it all in.
By the way, I lied. It’s not fun at all. That’s just something I tell myself to make the headache bearable.
– Aaron Williams
In Search of Endorphins
After the loss against the Jazz, Blake Griffin commented that the team needed to be mentally tougher. It seemed an obvious statement to make considering not only the results of that game itself, but also the struggles on the young season and how the Clippers have been prone to allow one or two missed shots to become long spells that feel like a lid has been placed over the rim.
This happened again tonight in the 2nd quarter, and the 6 minute and 31 second drought opened the door for yet another double-digit Clippers lead to be overtaken by the opposition. The attempts were sound, and the shots are ones that one normally fall for the Clipper offense, but just like many times before, that had felt the case.
It feels good to see a shot go through the basket. That much is obvious. It also feels good to win games. That rush that comes from watching made basket after made basket is engaging not only for the team, but also the crowd. But the sense of accomplishment doesn’t have to be reserved for made shots alone; the team couldn’t have looked more engaged after Austin Rivers made it his personal mission to turn a CJ McCollum ISO into a shot clock violation, and the bench was on their feet moments later when Blake Griffin’s block on Mason Plumlee lead to another.
Certainly, it’s a tougher sell to say that a routine defensive stop can be as exciting and gratifying to see as the evolution of Blake’s jumper or the sight of a wide open J.J. Redick coming off a side screen. Perhaps it wouldn’t be though if defense was seen less as a chore and more an activity that can be fun. As the saying goes, defense wins games, and few things in sports are more enjoyable than the win.
– Brandon Tomyoy