The Clippers sucked tonight. They really did. It was the lethargy from earlier in the season combined with horrific individual performances.
Like normal, I'm going to skip straight to some notes from the box score:
- Blake Griffin: Despite some criticism by Hawks commentator and NBA great Dominique Wilkins, Blake Griffin can do more than dunk after all, as he hit several jump shots, at least 4 in the first half, and led all players with 22 points and all Clippers with 12 rebounds and 7 assists. He would have had a triple double if the game had been close enough for him to stay on the court.
- Chris Paul: Don't be fooled by the 19/7/5/7 stat line, Chris Paul is NOT back. He was bad tonight as he was bad the last two games. He was just matched up against Jeff Teague instead of Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook. Paul had one play near the end of the first half where he threw the ball away trying to get it to an open Blake Griffin on the wing. Why did he throw it away? He tried to make a fancy, no-look, scoop pass instead of a basic pass. When Blake Griffin was wide open. That's two points down the drain. And then, how about him leaving his feet to make a pass without knowing who he was passing to? That's something coaches drill out of you in elementary school. How about chucking a contested three without passing the ball? He's not sharp at all.
- Jamal Crawford: The Clippers' leading scorer wasn't so great tonight either. Even though he finished with 12 points on 3-8 shooting, all of his points came after the game had been decided.
- Eric Bledsoe: Bled helped to fuel a 4th-quarter comeback that cut a 29 point lead down to 10, but it was his initial lethargy in the first half that caused a large portion of the deficit. He also, without fail, had his highlight of the night: a huge follow dunk off of a Matt Barnes missed three.
- Caron Butler: How long will Clippers fans have to put up with this guy? He was 1-6 tonight. 1-1 on good shots, 0-5 on chucks. He got one good open three in transition that he hit for his only points. Otherwise, he missed 5 plays where he killed the possession and chucked up a contested jumper. He was 4-17 on this road trip. He barely shot 40% last season. He's not even averaging one free throw a game and barely has 2 boards a night. What is he contributing right now? Oh yeah, nothing.