Game Recap: Clippers 114, Trail Blazers 119


34. 114. 77. Final. 119

Scoring Leaders:
Jamal Crawford (LAC) – 23 points
Wesley Matthews (POR) – 22 points

Rebound Leaders
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) – 8 rebounds
Chris Kaman (POR) – 9 rebounds

Assist Leaders
Jordan Farmar (LAC) – 7 assists
Steve Blake (POR) 7 assists

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news is the Los Angeles Clippers can score with the best of them.

The bad news? They can’t stop the best of them from scoring. So basically, as I tweeted during the performance, the Clippers defense is in mid-season form.

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  • In the second preseason game, the entertainment factor was off the scale. “Tonight would have been an NBA record of three-pointers made if this was the regular season,” said head coach Doc Rivers in the post game. There were 233 combined points, 13 combined double-digit scorers, 64 combined attempted three-pointers and 36 made threes. But looking deeper, past the entertainment, the Clippers suffered from issues that plagued them last season, playoffs included.

    Take the fourth quarter for instance. Led by Jamal Crawford (17 points in the quarter), the Clippers scored 40 point, yet couldn’t keep the Blazers from scoring at will, having scored 31 points on their own. A power forward-center duo of Spencer Hawes and Glen Davis doesn’t help, but each possession seemed to have ended with an excellent shot. The shooting of the Blazers isn’t sustainable — 53% from field, 68% from three — but the process up until those shots is always a cause for concern.

    The defense remains a work in progress — DeAndre Jordan’s inconsistencies, no rim protector outside of him, defenders keeping ball-handlers off the paint, and defenders rotating to cover for the helper — but this is what the preseason is all about. Rather these kinks be an issue now than throughout the season.

    With the league improving offensively, it’s going to take discipline in these games. Can the Clippers compete with the high-scoring Blazers or Thunder or Cavaliers? Yes, but forcing them to match the Clippers tempo instead of the opposite seems to be better option than the opposite. And if the Clippers are unable to the tempo of games, they’ll need to control the game on the other end of the floor.


    – The Blake Griffin jump shot experiment did not past tonight’s test. Not only did Griffin struggle in general (4-of-16 from the floor), but 10 of those shots came on jumpers, with Griffin only making one. The transition from decent shooter to good shooter wasn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s going to take some getting used to as Blake dances through consistency and inconsistency.

    – The Farmar-Crawford-Hawes trio is going to be a pain in reserve defenses. Tonight the three combined for 51 points on 36 shots (12-of-19 from three). I’d like to wager that it’d be pretty difficult to stop the Clippers on a nightly basis if they can sustain this kind of shooting (they can’t).

    “Right now our small forward position is open. Reggie, Matt and Chris (Douglas-Roberts) will have opportunities at the spot.” – Doc Rivers

    Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joe Ingles, and Jared Cunningham all received DNPs. Ekpe Udoh missed tonight’s game with an ankle injury suffered in pre-game warmups.

    – With CDR and Ingles not playing, the small forward shuffled included Reggie Bullock and Matt Barnes. In 44:56 combined minutes, the two forwards shot 3-of-11 from the field, with all three shots coming from behind the arch. Underwhelming would be the word to best describe their performance. Having similar skill sets, Bullock’s and Barnes’ games differ little, but neither provided anything resembling a spark. With a game tonight, it wouldn’t shock to see Chris Douglas-Roberts replace Bullock in the starting lineup.

    – These rotations seemed “real-life” like, with Chris Paul and the gang leading off and Jamal Crawford and co. sparring them minutes.

    – For the first time, we got a chance to see a DeAndre JordanSpencer Hawes pairing. Without lineup data, it’s hard to see who they truly functioned together, but the eye test agreed with a thought withheld in the offseason: in limited minutes, this can work.

    Hedo Turkoglu received his first minutes since injuring himself in the NBA playoffs, hitting one three tonight.

    Next Game: 10/13 at Utah Jazz

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