While most of us Clipper fans were thinking lofty thoughts of a 3-0 start to this 2012-2013 season, the Golden State Warriors had other ideas.
Was this a trap game? After putting down a tough, talented Grizzlies' team in the first game and dusting the highly touted Lakers in the second, Clipper fans were feeling pretty good about the Clips prospects against the Golden State Warriors.
Don't get the wrong idea, the Warriors aren't a bad team, they have some nice pieces and they seems miles better than the strange mismatched teams the Warriors have fielded the last few years. With a potential starting five of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, and Harrison Barnes, the Dubs can play with anybody. And they started the season with some nice reserves in Jarret Jack, Carl Landry, and Brandon Rush.
But Rush went out last night with a torn ACL, and Bogut's not ready to play back-to-backs and was unavailable tonight. The Clippers aren't going to sneak up on anyone this season and the Warriors are a legitimate threat to make the playoffs, a victory against the Clips would be huge plus for the 1-1 Warriors.
It was an ugly game for both teams with a total of 91 free throw attempts on 65 called fouls. (Box Score here). That's right ninety-one free throws (there were nine technical fouls). But don't blame it on the refs. The Clips fell behind at the start 8-0, and were down by 14 halfway through the first quarter. They stayed behind the entire game, barely managing to tie it three times, at 49, 67, and 105, but never taking the lead.
When Chris Paul was called for an offensive foul after apparently driving to put the Clips in the lead with seven seconds left, it seemed to be just the way things were going.
- On the bright side. Caron Butler had twenty and kept the Clips in it with 16 points and 4 three-pointers in the third. This is the pre-2011 version of Tuff Juice.
- Jamal Crawford isn't a mirage, he had 27 points, 4/8 for three-pointers and played 32 minutes.
- Chris Paul is still Chris Paul even on an off-night. He was only 3 for 9 but went 19 for 20 at the free throw line, had ten dimes, and 27 points but looked stressed and off kilter most of the game.
- On the cloudy side, Blake Griffin was meh, fighting desperately through double and triple-teams, holding the ball too long, trying to force his inside game. He had 19 points and 11 rebounds on 4/12 shooting. I'm no genius but Blake's got to go quicker to the basket or find an open teammate when the double team comes. And what happened to the pick-and-roll with CP?
- DeAndre Jordan, so good in the pre-season had 4 points and 8 rebounds and fouled out in 22 minutes and was outplayed by rookie Festus Ezeli, the thirtieth pick in last summer's draft. He's not playing like a ten million dollar center.
- Eric Bledsoe, everybody's favorite energy guy off the bench, was the last year's out-of-control Eric Bledsoe. He was -11 fifteen minutes and I don't think anyone would argue he deserved more time on the floor.
- Lamar Odom looked fat, slow, and rusty. He played ten minutes went 1-5 with four personal fouls.
- Ryan Hollins played 19 minutes and Ronny Turiaf acquired another DNP-CD. Not that Turiaf's anything great, but Hollins plays like filler.
- Speaking of filler. Willie Green is filler.
|Final - 11.3.2012||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Golden State Warriors||33||24||28||29||114|
|Los Angeles Clippers||24||29||26||31||110|