Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The Clippers started off as cold as the weather outside the Target Center, but one wouldn’t know it as DeAndre Jordan’s flurry of putbacks got the team out to a 1st quarter lead. DJ would have 12 points in 6 rebounds in the first 6 minutes of the game en route to a 20 point, 12 rebound, 4 block night. He even shot 4-6 from the charity stripe.
That was … a series of buzzer-beaters: An 8-point Clippers lead was trimmed to 5 with a 3-pointer by Zach LaVine to end the 1st quarter. Chris Paul would return the favor with a shot near half court to end the 2nd. A dunk by Shabazz Muhammad at the end of the 3rd and a 3-point heave once again by LaVine at the end of the 4th almost joined the list, but the shots were ruled to have happened after the clock expired.
X factor: With the Clippers facing a 4th quarter deficit and J.J. Redick having an off shooting night, Doc Rivers turned to Wesley Johnson in a late game stretch. Johnson would make a pair of 20-footers on successive Clipper possessions to give them the lead, as well as knock the ball off Andrew Wiggins on an inbound pass to force a crucial late-game turnover with just over 24 seconds left on the clock.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Chris Paul beats the haltime buzzer from 40 feet https://t.co/qrKMu50vTx
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 8, 2015
WHAT YEAR IS IT https://t.co/H502y4OJ9o
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) December 8, 2015
I'd love to see Chris Paul's reaction if they gave Rubio three FTs on the three quarter court heave.
— Seth Partnow (@SethPartnow) December 8, 2015
Check Your Messages
Learning from Kevin
A sloppy turnover from what has largely been an inconsistent Clippers team this season lead to one of the best Kevin Garnett highlights in recent memory. It was a beautiful play to view in a vaccuum, but for those wanting to see progress and improvement from this LAC squad have so far dealt with a very frustrating early part of the season — at least in terms of how their play and overall record has been far below the expectations of many and the talent level that the team is perceived to have.
It’s easy to forget the amount of new players on the roster and the time needed for them to gel, especially considering the fewer pre-season games played as a result of the trip to China; this is also why despite rumors of a few Clippers players being put on the trade block, it’s not so much a new face or two that is needed as much as the team needing more time together.
In short, chemistry is important. Take it from the wisdom of Kevin Garnett himself:
Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don’t just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y’all know what I’m talking about. If y’all can’t cook, this doesn’t concern you.
– Brandon Tomyoy