It was a big win, and there are a lot of comments coming in on the recap. I had some additional thoughts, so rather than burying them in the comments, I thought I'd sqeeze another post out of it.
- I don't think it was the biggest win of the season. I'll still give that honor to the Portland win, against a very good team, at full strength, on the road. But it was a big win.
- Does it start something? That's the question, right? I've seen some comments suggesting that the Clippers could win as many as 25 games this season. Is no one willing to set the bar higher than that? Here's some simple math. Clippers with Zach Randolph in the starting lineup 11-9. 24 games remaining. 15 wins in the books. Just continuing the Zach Randolph winning percentage gets you 13-11 down the stretch and 28 wins on the season. Expecting even better performance seems not unreasonable - based on Kaman hopefully being available for 15 to 20 games, Baron playing better, more time together, building momentum. I'm not predicting this mind you - but it's not a difficult case to make. It starts now of course. At Sacramento and home against Charlotte are completely winnable games. Don't we have to EXPECT a season-high four game winning streak at this point?
- Mike Taylor had one of the more interesting games I can recall. He entered for defensive purposes for the final possession of each quarter. So he appeared in all four quarters of the game, while his playing time was 20 seconds (rounded down to 0 minutes). Funny.
- I mentioned this in the recap, but Fred Jones was just outstanding. He scored 11 points on 5 shots, made a HUGE three to tie the game with the shot clock expiring, and played tough defense throughout including two steals and many more deflections. He personally created two of the Celtics turnovers down the stretch, and contributed to others as well. His performance allowed the Clippers to survive the absence of Eric Gordon.
- Doc Rivers post game comments were interesting. In criticizing his team for overlooking the Clippers, he essentially overlooked the Clippers. "We looked at their record, and not at their personnel." OK, so the personnel's pretty good then, right Doc, a lot better than the record, and the Clippers earned the W with-that-better-than-their-record personnel, right? "We were awful. We absolutely did not deserve to win that game." It's fine, he's the coach and it's his job to motivate his team. But it was pretty ironic.
- It's just one thing, and it's what he should have been doing, but it was good to see Zach being something of a peacemaker in the Pierce-Collins flapdoodle. Funny also that Milph incorrectly had him at the center of it through the play and several replays before realizing that he was actually trying to break it up. Reputations are a funny thing.
- I was thinking about the blown time out call at the end of the game some more. It was a terrible anticipation call - totally incorrect. But did it really change the game? 33 seconds left, Clippers score on their possession in 14 seconds, Celtics miss on theirs in 10 seconds, Zach misses a free throw, Celtics get a final possession with 5 seconds left down 2 and fail to get a shot off. So each team got one 'full' possession after which the Clippers were up one. The key was who scored in those remaining possessions after the blown call, but I don't think either team gets more or fewer if the call were correct.
- Baron Davis has, somewhat quietly, put together a string of good games. The last two, both Clipper wins, were particularly good. 16/7/5 against the Celtics is every bit as good as 25/9/10 against the Warriors when you consider the opponent. And I love the rebounding numbers, which we've said time and again is an effort stat. Baron with 16 rebounds in two games speaks volumes about his effort level is now. Over the last 5 games, he's 31 for 66 (47%) with 8 threes (53% eFG) - five games is not a huge number, but it's by FAR the best five game stretch he's had as a Clipper. Citizen MadGlove is right - we need to give him credit where it is due. You can really see the difference in his defense and attacking the basket the last couple of games.