Truthfully, this game went about how I suspected it would. I said in the preview that if Marcus Camby couldn't play "the whole thing falls apart." Of course, it's far from clear that the Clippers would have had any chance with Camby - they would still have been missing 6 guys including 3 stars. But without Camby's veteran presence, the young Clippers fell right into the Warriors trap and tried to play the game way too fast.
With the team as thoroughly depleted as they are, there are very few teams that they can even hope to compete with. Obviously Oklahoma City is one of them, and frankly that's the profile of a team the $11M Clippers can beat - very young, and not very good. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few different types of teams against whom they really have no hope: either a super disciplined team like the Spurs, or a team that will tempt the young and inexperienced Clippers into a track meet, like the Warriors. Camby might have made a difference there, but without him things did indeed fall apart.
Not that DeAndre Jordan had a bad game replacing Camby. He did a very good Camby imitation on the boards, grabbing 20 (the only reason I watched until the end, to be honest - hoping he'd get that magical 20th rebound). But he also tried some ill-advised dunks. He missed three in the first half alone, and all for the same reason - he simply was too far from the basket. It's amazing that he thought he could dunk any of those balls. But he was very active rebounding, and his potential is just through the roof. He's got a long way to go, but he's only 20, so he's got lots of time to get there.
It wasn't just DeAndre reaching for the spectacular play on offense and coming up short. The Clippers attempted at least 3 lobs in the first quarter, and missed on all three. One can only imagine what Don Nelson was thinking watching the Clippers throwing wild half court lobs 3 seconds into the shot clock - something along the lines of 'Sweet' would be my guess.
I don't see a lot of point in discussing this game. The Clippers only had 8 players in uniform, and half of them are barely in the NBA and wouldn't get a minute of playing time were it not for all of the injuries. Gordon and Thornton each had a decent first half, but Al was 0 for 5 in the second, and neither shot well.
As for the Warriors, they are a very tough team to figure. Their two best players, supposedly, are Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson, but neither of them looked very good in this game. Ellis only played 22 minutes, partly because of foul trouble, but I'm certain that Nelson was only too happy to be able to limit his minutes in his second game back from injury and still win the game easily. Jackson meanwhile shot an abysmal 3 for 14.
The roster on the whole is just plain weird - Andris Biedrins and a bunch of wings. They don't really have a single decent point guard, nor a power forward. Just wings. And that's without Jamal Crawford or Marco Belinelli tonight. It will be very interesting to see how they play the rest of the season. Biedrins is very good - much better than I thought he'd ever be. And there are some talented players and some great shooters on the roster. A little like the Clippers, you just have to wonder how it's all going to fit together - remember, Monta Ellis and Jamal Crawford have still not played a game together. But in the case of the Clippers, I know the theory of how it fits together at least. With the Warriors, I have no idea.
There's no time to dwell on losses in an 82 game season. It would be nice to think that some reinforcements will be available soon, but I really have no idea. I assume Camby remains the most likely to be back. Baron has been talking about Wednesday.
It will certainly be nice to have something resembling a full roster at some point.