I think I got that line from Ralph's twitter feed after the Heat game....
I think this is why the team made trade! To win these types of games. Yes, I had a tough time thinking about Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman being gone. But tonight's game makes all those feelings go away! Here's my summary of what I saw:
- Rebounding. This was a key to victory. With Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum on the floor we needed to control/limit their offensive boards. Blake Griffin seemed like he was more committed than any other game this season to rebound. and ended up with 14 boards. Reggie Evans also did some dirty work on the boards, especially the offensive glass. 16 mins and he got 6 offensive boards against the 7 footers. Now if they could just commit to this type of rebounding every game!
- DJ early foul trouble. As always, DeAndre Jordan has got to stay out of foul trouble early in the games. Tonight he got called for two early fouls and was pulled. The Lakers took advantage as the middle opened up for Kobe Bryant and Pau and Bynum did some damage on the smaller Blake and Evans. DJ came back in the second half and was more disciplined and played solid D on Bynum in the block.
- Butler/Foye/Gomes on Bean. Bean started out slow in the 1st half and only had 11 pts going into the half. He still got his 40, with most coming in the 3rd. VDN went with the BFG defensive threat (Caron Butler / Randy Foye / Ryan Gomes) against him. I think only Gomes had some success against him. Foye hounded him, but he was just too small and Bean easily shot over him.
- Chippyness. Near the end of the 1st, the game got heated when Darius Norris kept his dribble waaaaay after the foul had been called. FSN showed that Blake gave the rookie a little nudge when he dunked after the whistle. Coach Mike Brown got a tech, and words were exchanged between the players. Morris then took his aggression out by shooting a 50 footer to end the 1st. Then in the 2nd half as the Lakers where making their run, Metta World Peach and Blake got into it after MWP would not let go of the ball when the whistle had blown. Double techs for MWP and BG. Another "playoff atmosphere" type game!
- Closing quarters. Being a Clippers fans, I have come to dread the end of any quarter. This is when any big lead or close game is given up by the Clippers. I am slowly getting used to NOT having such feelings anymore! CP3 closed out the 1st with a beautiful fade away And 1. The end of the 1st half the lead was stretched. Not even the dreaded 3rd Quarter Meltdown has been seen this season! It did get a bit nervous with Bean taking over the 3rd, but every time they got close CP3 had an answer. He even put the game on ice with another beautiful fadeaway J in the fourth, and he left the game right after that.
- Oatmeal Raisin. For what seemed eternity (in reality it was only 6 minutes) our pal Brian Cook (aka Oatmeal) made an appearance. He instantly clanked two open 3s, blocked a Pau layup and tried to do one of the worst up and under shots in NBA history! How can Try Thompkins and/or Solomon Jones be any worse than that VDN! Oatmeal did not get off the pine the rest of the game.
- Bean. He got his 40, but really, is that MBrown's offensive strategy? Allow the guy to get his outside of your offensive scheme? I mean he has bynum and Pau to help, yet the guy chucks the 2nd worst (see above for the first) shot of the night from about 35 feet! This won't last all season.
- CP3. What can I say. I was not a believer at first. Maybe it was because I did care much for watching the games against the Hornets. But man, was I WRONG! CP3 is DA TRUTH!...He probes that paint area unlike anyone I have ever seen. Nash comes close but he zips past the paint, CP3 takes his sweet time in there, it's like the whole area is open space even when he's got 2-3 guys within inches of him. It's beautiful to watch. He got a
careerseason high in points and he kept the team afloat during that 3rd quarter run. That 35 footer to beat the 24 (after Evans' offensive board) was just out of this world! Sounds like the strained hamstring might be an issue if not taken care of properly. Resting him on Monday is crucial as the lowly Nets should be easily manhandled, esp if Mo returns.
- Gameball: CP3
- Unsung hero: Reggie Evans
- Quote to note: "If they're going to play after the whistle, I'm going to defend after the whistle." --Blake Griffin, on the contact he made with Lakers rookie Darius Morris after a foul had been called.