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Clippers 101 - Heat 97

I just got back from the game.  This was a nice win for the Clippers.  Not overly impressive, but a solid win.  Here are a few quick thoughts before bed.  I'll fire up the TiVo tomorrow and share some more.

  • It doesn't really seem possible that there was only one more foul called on the Clippers than on the Heat.  The whistles seemed to be continual, and dubious, and I must not have been the only one who thought so, as the Clippers picked up four T's.  I'll definitely have more to say about this tomorrow after re-watching some calls.  For instance, it sure seemed like the refs bailed DWade out of a heap of trouble in the final minutes by calling a non-foul on QRoss.  We'll see if my view from section 304 was better than their view tomorrow.
  • Elton Brand may just be back.  It's possible.  His second 30 point game, he ended up with 33 and 17 boards.  He was aggressive - he was efficient.  33 points on 18 shots.  
  • The Heat shot 3 for 25 from three point range.  Now, they're not a good three-point shooting team so far this year (23rd in the league, which is one of their big problems), but 3 for 25 is abysmal.  Why they're taking 25 threes, when they shoot 32% as a team, is another question.  
  • The two headed point guard came through again.  Livingston and Cassell combined for 9 points and 15 assists in 54 minutes.  They didn't shoot great, but they distributed very well.
  • Assuming Cassell was 100%, and given that the Clippers last played on Sunday, and given that Jason Williams is not a particularly tough cover at the point, we can only assume the Livingston is now the starter, period.  I'm cool with that.
  • Speaking of Livingston, the kid can play defense.  Maybe it's time to compare him to another NBA superstar.  Not Magic Johnson.  Not Jason Kidd.  Maybe he's Scottie Pippen.  A guy who changes the game with his defense, and then surprises you on the offensive end.  Maybe.
  • Speaking of defense, QRoss worked his skinny ASS off against DWade.  Wade is amazing, but Ross harassed him into a 12 for 27 night, and blocked several of his shots.  Sure Wade scored 33, but he needed his FastPass to the free throw line to get it.
  • Cat Mobley had another solid game, with 21 points on 14 shots, including a couple of big threes.  His first three pointer gave the Clippers the lead in the second quarter, after they had trailed by as much as 8.  It was a crucial momentum bucket, and really got the crowd going.  Is it my imagination, or is this season becoming a 'As Cat goes, so go the Clippers' thing?
  • Section 318 got the Corona Move of the Game for the second straight game.  What's up with that?  Is ClipperBlog pulling some strings?
  • Did Corey really deserve only 13 minutes?  I know he picked up 3 fouls in the first half, but why did Dunleavy pull him in the 4th?  I sure didn't see Tim Thomas doing a lot to help out there.  Then Thomas made the mistake of the night when threw the ball away and was called for a clear path foul, setting up a four point play (all by DWade at the line, knock me over with a feather).
  • Alonzo Mourning is still a force.  I mean, I guess he doesn't go 7 for 8 every game, but it seems like he does when I watch him.  On offense, he forced MDSr to replace Kaman with Aaron Williams because he was just killing Chris.  And his defense is immense.  5 minutes into the game, Zo had blocked as many shots as the Clippers had made (2).  
  • I tend to think it's one of those non-stats, but Ralph and Mike mentioned Sunday that the Clippers have only lost one game this year in which they have accumulated 20 or more assists.  22 assists against the Heat equals another W.
  • 17 turnovers were way too many, or the Clippers would have won this one much more handily.  I'm going to have to go through the play-by-play to see how many of those were offensive fouls.  A lot, I know that much.

Combined with losses by Golden State and Sacramento, this win catapults the Clippers into 3rd place in the Division.  Not exactly where we wanted to be going into the season, but it's a major upgrade over 5th place.