Clippers 101 - Golden State 108 - Preseason

Thanks to Citizen LJ Hann for putting a game thread in the FanPosts.  All I can say is it's the first pre-season game, and I'm a little rusty.

Apparently it's pre-season for the score keepers too.

The box score I'm looking at from NBA.com shows some really interesting stuff.  Having only heard bits and pieces of the game, I was trying to reconcile what I heard with the numbers.  For instance, if as this box suggests, Baron Davis played a little less than 21 minutes, and Mardy Collins played just over 14, then that means there were about 13 minutes when neither of them was on the floor.  That would seem to have been a lot of minutes at the one for Eric Gordon.  And then there's the curious line of Al Thornton.  A notoriously poor rebounder, according to NBA.com, he grabbed seven boards in under 8 minutes.  He also scored 9 points and fouled out in what must have been the busiest 7:32 in the history of the league, preseason or no preseason.  The fact that the team was minus 11 in that 7:32 is astounding.  The mind boggles at the potential final deficit for the Clippers had Al gotten more minutes.  But something didn't make sense about those numbers - they didn't add up.  Literaly.  The sum of the listed minutes played for the Clippers in the NBA.com box score comes out to 192 minutes - a full NBA game would be 240 player minutes.

So, yeah, it's pre-season.  It's too bad that the data aren't reliable, because having missed most of the action, I'd like to use the box score to dissect some aspects of the game.  But it's hard to put too much effort into something you don't trust.

Of course the box score is just wrong, and there's a correct one at ESPN.com, so I can stop kvetching.  Gordon didn't play any point, and Thornton took a full 20 minutes to rack up those 6 fouls.  So now that we've got a decent box score, what does it tell us about the game?

For those of you who recall the Clippers victory over the Lakers in pre-season a year ago, let's all remember this fact - preseason doesn't matter.  But it's pretty obvious that you can't win a game when you commit 26 turnovers and 34 fouls. 

For all of you citizens dreaming of a faster-paced Clippers team, there's good news and bad news.  The good news is that this game was played at a fast pace - 101 possessions.  Now obviously that's in large part due to it being against the Warriors - but on the season last year, the Dubs averaged 98 possessions while the Clippers averaged 92, so 101 is a little fast even for GSW.  The bad news is there's no more surefire way to make your conservative coach flee back to his conservative game plan than to be sloppy with the ball.  26 turnovers is a nightmare.

Still there was other good news in the loss, primarily in the form of DeAndre Jordan.  CMDsr and also Ralph have been raving about how good he's looked in camp - and I saw it myself at practice on Friday, if only for a brief glimpse.  I was also in Vegas, and frankly if Blake Griffin hadn't been the story, everyone would have been raving about Jordan's improvement.  (Even so, David Thorpe called him the most improved player in Vegas.)  Tonight in Oakland he was 8 for 8 for 22 points, with 5 dunks, and also grabbed 10 rebounds.  The five dunks are what you expect from DJ - what you don't expect is the jump hook, which he made twice.  We've been wondering if the 21 year old Jordan might be the Clippers' center of the future - this game makes you wonder if the future is now.

So it's back to the training center for the Clippers, to see if they can do a better job of taking care of the basketball.  The players had better be careful - I'm not sure how long a leash CMDsr is going to give them if they're going to turn the ball over like that.

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