Well that's better. After a dominant win against the struggling Pelicans last week, the Clippers followed it up with another solid win against the Timberwolves (who were on a 3 game winstreak). Even though they had their chances to break away throughout the game, the Clippers couldn't seem to put the Wolves away. It wasn't a perfect game, but give credit to the Wolves for making timely buckets to keep them in the game. Overall, there were promising things as well as places to improve, but here are some of the noteworthy players and changes the Clippers had.
Lance Stephenson: Just like his previous game against the Pelicans, Lance looked absolutely fantastic out there. He had stretches with the 2nd unit and starters, and he was effective on both lineups. He played solid defense all night, made great passes and plays, and he grabbed some big boards that could have easily led to 2nd chance points for the Wolves. He finished with 9-6-3 in 20 minutes. Let's hope he continues this trend of improved play, because it makes a big difference.
Paul Pierce: Pierce finally looked a little more like The Truth out there. He made some tough isolation shots and nailed 2 big, consecutive 3 pointers. If he can nail these kind of shots somewhat consistently for the Clippers, it will really give our 2nd unit more spacing and offensive firepower.
Doc playing with lineups: Tonight, Doc started Luc Mbah a Moute to be a "defensive stopper" against
Mitchell Andrew Wiggins. Luc did a solid job on defense, and he nailed a couple of corner 3 balls, but overall, his reluctance and hesitation to shoot definitely hurts the offense. Basically, anytime there was a decent close out on him, he resorted to driving to the hoop, where he just looked uncomfortable and out of place. Doc also staggered lineups a bit more, and the lineup of Rivers/Crawford/Stephenson/Griffin/Smith looked pretty damn effective out there! Hopefully Josh Smith can get more than 16 minutes a night though, because he looked fantastic (including one play where he looked like Hakeem out there).
Other Notes: Griffin did Griffin things once again. He got close to a triple double with 26-8-8-2, and while his jumper was off for most of the game, he finished the game making some big jumpers (including an end of the shotclock 3 pointer). Outside of Kevin Garnett, the Wolves really had NO answer for him. Bjelica looked like he knew he couldn't even slow down Griffin, and it showed. Paul also had a solid outing with 20-9-2, and Redick chipped in 18 points on 7-12 shooting. Crawford looked terrible out there, stringing 3 poor possessions in a row to end the 3rd quarter. For the Timberwolves, Towns is looking like the real deal. Fade away jumpers, deep 2 balls, solid defense, and even a 3 pointer! He, along with all of the Wolves, are looking great. They are on track to be a good team in the future (and even now).
Overall, there are things to improve on, but the Clippers seem to be moving in the right direction. One final thing to note is that we seemed to have finally won in rebounds... but nope. We ended up tying the wolves 39-39. Anyways, it was a good night overall. Onto the next!