The Clippers started the game off extremely poorly. They were making bad passes, missing open shots, and not playing with any kind of organization. The only reason they were in the game after the first quarter was because the Jazz had missed a bunch of open shots themselves.
The second quarter, however, belonged to Clippers’ forward Jamil Wilson, who poured in 15 points in the period, leading the Clips to a 31-10 advantage in that span. Up 12 at halftime, the lead never shrank closer than 7 the rest of the way, as the Clippers fended off every Jazz move to get back into the game. By the 4th quarter, the rout was on, and the remainder of the game was essentially extended garbage time.
Almost everyone on the Clippers played well, but here are some notes on the standouts:
- Jamil Wilson was the absolute star for the Clippers tonight, scoring 18 points in 16 minutes on 7-8 shooting, including 4-5 from three. He couldn’t miss right from the jump, hitting shots off the pick and pop, kickouts, and offensive rebounds. More significantly, he didn’t force up wild shots even though he was hot, playing comfortably within himself and still contributing elsewhere (5 rebounds and a block). His defense appears to be solid, and after a strong performance (albeit a quieter one) in Game 1, Wilson is trending up higher than any other Summer League Clipper thus far.
- Kendall Marshall made some absolutely gorgeous passes tonight from all over the court. He’s a terrific passer and playmaker. The offense runs the best with him in the game, and he knows where to be on defense. He’s probably a solid enough 3rd string point guard, but I continue to have reservations over his lack of scoring ability (he can’t blow by anyone, or finish at the rim) and man to man defense. Nevertheless, he’s almost assuredly won himself at least an invitation to training camp so far.
- Brice Johnson once again looked too good for Summer League. Even better, he looked it in a completely different way from Game 1. Instead of dominating offensively, Brice controlled the game defensively and with his hustle. He pulled down six boards, and collected two steals and blocks apiece as well. He finishes strong around the rim, and had some nice dunks. Just as a cherry on top of the performance, he made all four of his free throws. I do have worries about Brice— mostly related to his passing and vision, or lack thereof— but he looks ready for NBA minutes.
- Sindarius Thornwell was much quieter tonight, scoring a mere four points on 1-5 shooting. He still impacted the game defensively and made good decisions with the ball, but he needs to hit open shots, especially from three. A couple of them just rimmed out tonight, so hopefully they start falling soon.
- Isaiah Hicks also continues to impress, and the Clippers’ decision to sign him immediately after the draft looks like a smart decision right now. He was on the receiving end of several Marshall passes in the early 3rd quarter, but he made sure to finish them (4-4 from the field), and is a quick leaper around the basket. While his decision making on defense isn’t always correct, he has some nice instincts, and shows flashes of being a real rim protector. While he might not make the Clippers’ full roster, he might be a candidate for a two-way contract.
- The final starter, NBA veteran Anthony Brown, played poorly in the 1st half, missing all his shots and looking out of control. He was better in the 2nd half, however, and also showed a nose for the glass with 7 rebounds.
- David Michineau probably had his finest SL performance (counting last year as well), making his only shot and contributing 3 assists. One of them was a truly great pass to a rolling Johnson for an easy dunk. He did still pick up two turnovers, but in general was under much better control than in the previous outing. Michy also had a couple nice stands on defense.
- Jawun Evans almost doubled his minutes from Game 1, and looked quite a bit more comfortable this afternoon. He hit a three off the dribble in the 1st quarter when the Clippers were struggling, and had a really nice drive to the basket in the 4th quarter. Evans also demonstrated nice instincts on the defensive glass, adding four rebounds, and had four assists to only one turnover. There are times where he’s still clearly struggling with NBA length and athleticism, but he has good point guard skills, and just zooms with the ball in his hands.
- James Bell and Jaron Johnson, the two three-point shooting wings, both played a lot better in this one, hitting open shots and not forcing the issue as much.
- The one down note in a game where everyone else played at least alright: Kyle Wiltjer. The big man who came over in the Chris Paul trade was simply awful, missing shot after shot. Worse, he just looked really slow on both ends of the court. I don’t see NBA level athleticism in his game.
This was a fun one! The Clippers play again tomorrow at 7:00 PM PT on ESPN2 against the Milwaukee Bucks, and will look to go undefeated in the “opening round” of Summer League.