Yes, the New Orleans Hornets were in the building at Staples tonight, but they weren't spectacular or dominating. In fact they looked quite mortal in the first half, and again the Clippers failed to take advantage.
The Clippers shot horribly making only 33 shots out of 86 attempts in the whole game. They made only 15 of 22 free throws, while the Hornets had less FG attempts (81) but made more shots (40) and less FT attempts (16) but made 14 of those.
The Hornets had 15 turnovers, while the Clippers only had 10. LA got 8 steals, where the Hornets only stole 3.
Yet, the Clippers blew fast breaks, layups, putbacks over and over again. They missed little 6 inch chip shots, got outrebounded by 11 and spent a lot of time glaring at the refs after missing in the lane, looking for a bailout call to no avail. Side out Hornets.
So in my book, the Clippers beat themselves tonight with really bad shooting and a lack of attention and energy on the boards. (Although it is hard rebounding airballs and shots that barely reach the rim.) Maybe the Hornets still would have won even if the Clippers played a perfect game, but there is no doubt the statistics show they should have had an advantage as far as scoring more points.
The Bright Side?
My wish has finally come true! Maybe Dunleavy has been reading my posts?
There was no Ricky Davis at all tonight and the ball movement seemed much crisper, and with Eric Gordon getting the start AND mucho time on the court (36:12) we finally got to see a glimpse of what he has to offer. (25 pts, 3 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk)
This whole time I thought Ricky and Thomas were hurting the team and I was wrong! The Clippers are actually more entertaining to watch without Thomas, Ricky AND MOBLEY! Who knew? (Where's Vic when we need him?)
I know the Clippers are still losing but at least the offense is easier on the eyes. The defense of Gordon and Taylor is much more exciting as you watch them closely, hoping to see their next pick or steal, leading to a fast break.
Yes, yes, yes - Cuttino had 7 steals before he got shipped out, but that was on the only team that may actually be worse off than the Clippers, the young and inexperienced OKC Thunder.
Gordon is guarding top tier veterans like Jason Kidd or All Star Chris Paul, picking their pockets!
I know Cuttino was a dependable 2 guard but face it - isn't watching Gordon develop much more exciting?
So the Clippers continue to lose. But I am still holding to my prediction that they will right the ship at around the 25 game mark. Will it be too late for the playoffs?
Maybe. Maybe not.