Well, it's been a long day.
I just finished watching the game on the TiVo at 1 AM. I probably wouldn't feel so tired if the game had come out a little differently. At any rate, I don't really have the energy to do a proper recap, so you're stuck with bullets.
Here's what I got:
- The Clippers took some body blows from the Sixers early - the Sixers like to jump on teams, get steals, get run outs and put you away. But the Clippers, to their credit, battled back, and controled the game for most of the final 3 quarters. So that's good.
- The defense was once again pretty good. It wasn't really the defense that let them down in the end.
- The offensive execution for the final 5 minutes was nightmarish. I knew it was bad, but I didn't realize until I looked at the play-by-play just how bad. The Clippers got one field goal and a total of three points over the course of the final 5 minutes. And the one field goal was an insanely difficult Baron Davis fadeaway. He had no business taking it, as evidenced by the result the next time down the floor, when he took it again and hit the side of the backboard. They also committed four turnovers in those final 5 minutes.
- So let's go back and say that the defense was better than pretty good. It was easily good enough to win. Especially when you consider that Philly's last 5 points were highly unlikely: an Andre Miller three (the guy makes about 5 a SEASON) and the game-winner from Brand on a horrible possession where Iguodala almost lost the ball about 5 times.
- Mobley's absence clearly hurt tonight. Eric Gordon and Ricky Davis were each 1 for 5 (though Gordon did do a good job of getting to the line where he was 5 for 6). Gordon, rightly, got the lion's share of the minutes even though Ricky got the start. But defensively, although EJ shows a lot of promise, he's still got a long way to go. He's way to anxious, which shows in the way he bites on pump fakes. And Andre Iguodala schooled him a couple of times in the game, including for a crucial and-one with 2:30 to go. He's going to get better - but the Clippers win this game if Mobley is there.
- Thaddeus Young is a monster. I find it fascinating when Mike Smith kept talking about how they don't run plays for him. Here's an idea - RUN A PLAY FOR HIM! He's really good. They're clearly underutilizing him.
- Marreese Speights looks pretty special too. So it's interesting - the Sixers spent, what? $200M or something on Brand and Iguodala and Lou Wiliams this off-season. And the guys who look like they might actually be pretty good are a couple of rooke contract guys.
- I'm not sure why MDsr has gone to Hart ahead of Taylor again at the point. Maybe, with Gordon getting so many minutes, he just can't bear to have an all-rookie backcourt. Maybe given Philly's desire to run, he didn't want Taylor - whose strength is pushing the tempo - playing into their hands. But Jason Hart is terrible. His jump shot is painful both in the mechanics and in the results. He missed a 12 footer by 3 feet in this game. Hart was minus 9 in 10 minutes of play. And the Clippers lost by 1. Ouch.
- By the way, that's two seasons in a row that MDsr has said that he wants to be a running team, and then come out and done nothing remotely resembling up tempo. I'm beginning to think he's misleading us on that one.
- Al Thornton was really good in the game. I didn't notice until I looked at the box score, but Al played all 48 minutes. I was wondering about the three spot in the wake of the trade. If Ricky's already getting more minutes than he deserves at the two, the who gets the backup minutes at the three? I guess the answer is, no one. At any rate, one wonders why the Clippers didn't get him the ball down the stretch.
- Baron Davis is still not right, for whateer reason. He had seven turnovers in the game, and was unable to provide what we said he was brought here to do: create scores down the stretch of close games. Like I said, he made one insanely difficult fadeaway, but the ball was in his hands five straight possessions, and the Clippers never once got a good look out of it.
That's three games now this season that have come down to a final possession in regulation, and the Clippers have lost all three. Lost opportunities.