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Clippers vs. Portland - Open Thread

2010/2011 NBA Regular Season
Staples Center
October 27th, 2010, 7:30 PM
FSN Prime Ticket and ESPN, KFWB 980 AM
Probable starters:
Baron Davis PG Andre Miller
Eric Gordon SG Brandon Roy
Ryan Gomes
SF Nicolas Batum
Blake Griffin
PF LaMarcus Aldridge
Chris Kaman C Marcus Camby

The Back Story:

First meeting of the season. Portland won the season series last season 3-1.

First QuarterI guess this Griffin guy is a big deal. All last season, I was in the courtside press seats. Today I'm in the press box, above the 300 section. I should just sit in my ClipsNation night seats, but it would be harder to write on the laptop.

The new court looks sharp. The red is classier than last year. The arena looks a little more Clipper-y also, with lots of (temporary) red design elements. If we could get rid of the purple seats in the 200 section, you'd almost think this was just the Clippers home. Oh, and those banners - we might need to do something with them also.

If the Clippers strategy is to close out on everyone else and make Marcus Camby beat them, it's working and not working at the same time. Camby scores Portland's first six points.

EJ's two quick fouls were a bad start to his breakout season.

Blake Griffin will have more highlights to plays this season than any player in the league. We need a new stat - Highlight to point ratio. He'll lead the league.

Griffin's got 8 of the first 13 points for the Clippers. He also has four offensive rebounds. The first four Clipper misses were rebounded not by Blazers, but by Griffin.

Seven minutes into Blake's NBA career, Clipper Darrel starts the M-V-P chant. CD's never been one for perspective.

The Clippers' range today seems to be about 2 feet. They haven't made a field goal longer than that, and haven't done much better on free throws.

Ouch. Griffin is the only thing working for the Clippers, and he picks up his second foul after Kaman tries to dribble past BRoy and gives it up. That one hurts.

DJ's first minutes are at the four for Blake.

It's good news and bad news for the Clippers on offense. The good news is that they're getting good shots. The bad news is that they are missing them. Kaman gets exactly what he wants on three straight trips, but can't convert any of them. Ryan Gomes is oh for his Clippers career.

The score after one is 31-23 Blazers. Portland is shooting 55% and the Clippers are shooting 42%. Of the Clippers 10 made field goals, at least four are dunks, and four more are layups. Randy Foye's three is the only shot they make longer than 5 feet (Kaman added a short jump hook for the tenth). I predict that if the Clippers make less than 10 percent of their jump shots this season they will not win many games.

31-23 Portland.

Second Quarter

Great start to the second quarter, featruing a very active DeAndre Jordan. In the first two minutes, DJ has a poke away on pick and roll defense, and dive after the loose ball, a tip out on an offensive rebound, a drawn foul, and two for two from the line. He also had a goal tend that at least sent a message.

Rudy Fernandez is shooting the ball so well right now it's not fair.

Griffin hits the first jump shot he takes in his NBA career. He's not guardable if he can do that.

Can't say enough good things about DeAndre right now. His activity is contagious. Last year we were ready for his breakout, and he had a disappointing first game. It would be huge if he could get off on the right foot this season.

The shirts they gave away tonight are vaguely reminiscent of an alternate Blazers logo it seems to me. Every time I catch a glimpse of one, the first think I think is Blazers. Maybe it's the dominant red on whitem I dunno. I guess it's the semi diagonal red stripe... it's like the Blazers jerseys.

The Clippers had multiple chances to catch the Blazers at 38, but DJ missed two free throws, Blake missed a jumper, and Baron turned it over on three straight trips. Unfortunate.

The Blazers have 10 offensive rebounds so far - as many as they have on the defensive glass. I'm not sure why the Clippers can't seem to secure the ball. Blake's been a defensive rebounding machine all pre-season, but he's got only 2 in 14 minutes so far in this one.

The good news right now is that the Clippers are in the bonus for the final seven minutes of the quarter. Of course, they'll need to make some free throws when they get there.

We were so worried about the clippers second unit tonight, but led by DeAndre Jordan, they've gotten the Clippers back into the game tonight. Of course, VDN has shortened up the rotation a lot. He's playing 8 in the fist half, with DJ, Foye and Sool supplementing the first five. That's smart... that's what I would do, plus Smith when he's healthy.

Roy always amazes me... he seems to move in slow motion, and his moves rarely look unstoppable. But he gets where he wants every time nonetheless. A simple, loping move gives the Blazers the lead again.

Tough sequence for the Clippers around the two minute mark. EJ has what looks like a layup, only to have it poked away by Roy. Then Kaman has what looks like a dunk, only to have Camby pull his patented sweep block. Meanwhile Roy is scoring on every Blazers possession, no matter how the Clippers guard him. In the modern NBA, teams win with great players who can consistently score buckets no matter what - Roy is one of those players. Check the play by play on this game and see what he has done in the final three minutes of each quarter.

The Clippers are down by five at the half, and Roy scored six points on final possessions. He has 18 points at the half, including the final 11 Blazer points of the second quarter, and the final 5 Blazer points of the first. During those stretches, he has not missed. He is 7 for 7 for 16 points closing quarters. Unbelievable.

Halftime score - 54-49 Blazers.

Third Quarter

The Clippers have a terrible start to the quarter, but amazingly it doesn't hurt them much. Three minutes in, the Blazer lead has only grown by a point, despite the fact that the Clippers have done essentially nothing right.

Andre Miller and Marcus Camby seem to remember each other from Denver. Miller has always been the best lob thrower in the league, and he and Camby have connected a few times tonight.

The Blazers have gotten their hands on an astounding number of balls tonight. In less than six minutes of this quarter, Blake has grabbed three offensive rebounds only to be acosted by multiple Blazers. On the third one, the finally call a foul on Andre Miller, and judging from BG's reaction, it wasn't the first time they'd gotten a piece of him as they were reaching.

The truth is, the Clippers have done a great job defensively tonight on everyone except Roy and Batum. But those guys are killing them, and second chance points are killing them also. Actually, I think most of Batum's points have come after offensive rebounds, when the Clippers are scrambling and lose track of him. LaMarcus Aldridge is certainly living up to his squeezably soft Charmin rep tonight.

I like when the Clippers screen for Gordon to get him into the middle. Good things often happen.

This technical foul crack down is stupid, and I predict the NBA will abandon it in a month, as they did when they tried this four years ago. Which of course means it's just wasting our time, since it won't amount to anything in the end.

Jarron Collins comes in for Kaman in the third. Where is Jordan? He was the Clippers best player in the first half.

Clippers in the bonus for final 3:38 of third. It did them absolutely no good to be in the bonus for the final 7 minutes of the second quarter. Let's see if it goes better this time.

With a chance to tie, the Clippers come up with a terrible possession - first Gordon, then Foye get the ball poked away. No shot, turnover.

EJ is nonetheless asserting himself in the third. His outside shot is not falling (and nor are his free throws) but he's getting to the rim time and again. It's also worth noting that Baron and Sool have spent a lot of time on Roy tonight... but this third quarter comeback happens with EJ on him. Coincidence? I thnk not.

The Clippers take the lead at on two Collins' free throws at the end of the third. They are 13 for 22 from the line through three. Why do I have a feeling that those nine misses are going to be important at the end of what is currently a 1 point game?

Roy is 0 for 5 in the quarter by my math. On the other hand, Aldridge woke up a bit before picking up his fourth foul.

71-70 Clippers after three.