Are the Los Angeles Clippers a Two Man Band? The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
If the Clippers are going to make a run in the playoffs, they are going to need more from their supporting cast. The Clippers received only 32 points combined from everyone not named Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in losing to the Atlanta Hawks 109-102. For the first time in almost a month the Clippers were out-hustled (lost the rebounding battle by -7) and looked tired, especially in the 2nd and 3rd quarters where they were outscored a combined 62-44. The Clippers’ inability to get consistent stops created a razor thin margin of error that was exposed late. As CP3 was leading another fierce comeback it was tragically thwarted by a back-breaking-3-point-bank-prayer by Hawks guard Joe Johnston from 50 feet out (ok, 30 feet) with 38 seconds left that was the dagger the Clips couldn’t overcome. What our beloved Clippers need to understand is that you just can’ “get down 10-15 points” vs. quality NBA teams and bank on the fact that you can always mount a comeback,
“I guess we just made it real interesting. We’ve got to use this game (Wednesday) as a huge barometer as far as what it’s going to be like in the playoffs. In the playoffs you’re not going to be able to get down 10, 15 and try to come back in the fourth quarter, because the game’s going to be way too intense for that.” said CP3 after the game.
I hope everyone in Clippers Nation takes this statement to heart.
CP3 and the Blake Show were unconscious vs. the Hawks with 70 points between the two Western Conference All-Stars. For the 3rd straight game, Blake came out strong in the 1st quarter as he showcased an amazing offensive repertoire. Blake would score 36 points on 17-23 shooting to go along with 8 boards. As always, CP3 was up to the challenge as he dropped 34 points on 10-20 shooting, and was 10-11 from the charity stripe while dropping 8 dimes.
As you know, I’m not a math major, but our two studs shot a combined 27-43 (63%) from the field and 12-15 (80%) from the free throw line and we lost. It just reinforces that even having 2 All-Stars at their best isn’t good enough in the NBA in a playoff type situation. This cannot be a sign of things to come or else the Clippers will not be advancing to the 2nd round.
A win in Atlanta would have “earned” the Clippers home court advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs, and kept alive their dream for a Pacific Division Title. However, while the dream died, the Clippers are still one win away from clinching home court advantage. If the Clippers win Wednesday at the Knicks, then things aren’t that bad. We will still get to host the Grizzlies at Staples and you know Staples will be rocking! Now if we lose Wednesday…
Our supporting cast!
MIA: Randy Foye – Randy has been on fire in April but tonight took home a 0-3 shooting night and finished with “no soup for you” – zero points. Normally, the Clippers have been picking each other up when someone struggles, but outside of the “1-2 Lobcity Punch” no one else moved the meter. Nick Young was -12 on the night, finishing with an uninteresting 5 points while K-Mart was a complete non-factor with 0 points and only 3 boards on a night where the Clippers needed a rebounding presence. Since the return of Mo Williams, Eric Bledsoe doesn’t look like the same explosive guard who was maturing in Williams’ absence. Williams himself is struggling shooting the basketball while only shooting 38% from the field over his last 5 games. Mo needs to be an offensive factor to relieve the enormous pressure on CP3 and Blake.
Random Notes from Clippers Nation:
The Clippers collected 32 total points from everyone outside Blake and CP3 Tuesday night….the Hawks themselves are still battling for home court advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs…The Lakers celebrated the Pacific Division Title by answering questions dealing with MWP’s (Metta World Peace)looming suspension (7 games)….the Knicks may rest some of their key players Wednesdays as they will travel in the 1st round regardless of the result of Wednesday’s game…a Key Matchup Wednesday night: Iman Shumpert vs. CP3. Shumpert is quickly earning a reputation as a “lockdown” defender and no one stays in front of CP3…a game after only missing 9 free throws in 43 attempts, the Clips missed 6 (14 of 20; 70%)…since returning from injury, Mo Williams is shooting only 42% from the floor and has 20 total points his last 3 games.
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