Los Angeles Clippers Show Depth In Preseason Win
The Staples Center was in regular season form last night when the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Utah Jazz 96-94 in a preseason game. It being just a preseason game gave the Clippers new look bench the chance to fight off the Jazz in this late game thriller.
Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro gave the starters more than enough time to play in this game, eventually sitting them on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. It was then up to the Clippers bench to hold down the fort and earn their minutes with the regular season just two weeks away. Despite a few turnovers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe was leading the way early in the fourth quarter. He was creating opportunities for teammates, crashing the boards, getting to the free throw line with an aggressive mindset on the offensive end of the floor, and finished the quarter with 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
However, it was the Clippers newly acquired players that took control late in the fourth quarter. Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins came out and made some crucial defensive plays down the stretch. Turiaf after getting blocked and then dunked on in the first half by Jeremy Evans came out in the second half with a different mentality. He ended up blocking two shots and grabbed two of his three rebounds in the quarter. On the other hand, Hollins was without question the defensive player of the game.
He came up with four blocks in the fourth quarter alone with one of them coming on the final possession for the Jazz. There was five seconds left in the game when former Clippers guard Randy Foye attacked the rim for a game tying lay-up, only to get swatted by one of the newly acquired Clippers players. Hollins was so fired up after the play you would have thought this was a playoff game.
If you watched the Clippers at all last season you know that Chris Paul always got the ball with the game on the line. Well since this was a preseason game Paul was watching from the bench and someone else had to step up. That someone else happen to be another newly acquired Clippers player, Jamal Crawford. The score was tied 92-92 with 41.4 seconds left in the game when Crawford crossed over his defender and got in the lane for an easy finger roll to take a 94-92 lead. After that the Clippers never lost the lead with Crawford making two out of three free throws in crunch time, finishing the game with 18 points and 3 assists.
This game showed how much depth the Clippers will have on their team for the regular season, which is a valuable asset in this league that not many other NBA teams can say they have.
Follow Michael on Twitter
5 Biggest Issues Still Facing the Sacramento Kings
Taking a look at the five biggest issues that still remain for the Sacramento Kings as the 2015 NBA offseason comes to a close. Read More