Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The Raptors’ Bench. They’re sharing the trophy in this one. 51 points from the Raptors’ second unit was more than enough to blow the Clippers out of the water on Sunday night (The Raptors bench outscored the Clippers 32-8 in the first half). However, it was the Barbershop Quartet of Patrick Patterson (+31), Terrence Ross (+25), Bismack Biyombo (+24) and Cory Joseph (+33) that made the Raptors sing. Not only did these four lead the comeback at the end of the first quarter but they completely smoked the Clippers’ reserves all night.
That was … familiar: Who knows what it is about these Raptors but they certainly have a history of making light work of the Clippers in Canada. Let me take you back to February 6, 2015 when the Clippers opened a 30-10 lead in the first quarter before that lead evaporated in the second half. The Clippers lost that one 123-107. Tonight’s game was eerily similar: the Clippers came out hot, hot, hot and look set to run away with this one up 30-19 early but the Raptors dug in and took back the lead in the second quarter and never looked back.
X factor: Bismack Biyombo. I know we already gave our daps to the Raptors’ bench but this guy quietly went about his business with a near double-double (10-9) off the bench in just over 20 minutes. Biyombo was a key part of the reason the Raptors won the battle of the boards tonight (+10) and brought plenty of energy off the bench.
— Roscoe Whalan
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Clippers have to do a better job DeGuardin DeRozan
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 24, 2016
Raptors on a cool 25-3 run over Clippers. Lowry with bench brigade is a monster lineup. Plus-24.8 coming in and padding those numbers today.
— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) January 24, 2016
Check Your Messages
Coming into the game, Demar Derozan had tallied three straight games of 30 points or more. Having a career best year, he’s established himself as one of the top Shooting Guards in the game. Regardless of ability, though, it’s difficult for any player to exert themselves fully on both ends of the floor over the course of an NBA game, yet that’s exactly what the Clippers did.
To be the best you gotta beat the best
It’s an obvious thing but a real one. It’s now nearly February and the Clippers are yet to claim a big name scalp. Sure, I know what you’re thinking: the Raptors aren’t exactly a big name scalp, which, at this point is slightly misguided (I think they’re good enough to at least win a series in April) but having said all that, at this point the Clippers are crying out for a win that “matters”.
Sure, they’re still 28-17 –good for 4th in the West — but at this point in the season — the Clippers have done nothing to say they’re going further than they’ve gone before. They desperately need to score some wins against opponents that will get teams talking. Tonight’s loss puts them at 0-8 against Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Toronto and Chicago. They’ll get a chance to fix that against Chicago next week.
They Need A Hero
The Clippers’ offensive rating when Blake Griffin is on: 118.5
The Clippers’ offensive rating when Blake Griffin is off: 104.5
They are better in nearly every statistical category when Griffin plays; effective field goal percentage, rebounding (both defensive and offensive), assist percentage, even block percentage. It’s no stunning revelation to say that Griffin is the Clippers’ most important player besides Chris Paul, but it’s a point being nailed home recently; they are not very competitive without him. Whatever problems they have with the bench, the rotations, the locker room chemistry, it all starts with the Flying Lion. He can’t come back soon enough.