Game Recap: 3 Thoughts after Clippers-Wizards


All good things must come to an end. That includes the Clippers nine-game win streak as Los Angeles dropped tonight’s game to the Washington Wizards, 96-104.

After what’s been witnessed these last nine games, it wasn’t a good one for the Clippers. Pretty much everyone struggled while the Wizards were able to get much of anything on offense. Basically, the Clippers wet saw to start the season made a glaring return asa a winning team, an opponent the Clippers hasn’t seen a lot lately.

Here are three quick thoughts about tonight’s game.

Chris Paul ran into a Wall

Even losing an inch of a step, Chris Paul has pretty much been able to do what he wants against opposing defenses, getting to his favorite spots as he chooses. That strategy was a no-go as John Wall had his way with Paul on the defensive end of the floor. The blocks were there. The on-ball pressure. Wall may have put together the best defensive performance against Chris Paul since the Grizzlies in the 2013 NBA playoffs. That’s impressive.

It’s a testament to how good Paul is that he walked away from tonight’s game with 19 points, 6 assists, and 7 rebounds, but this was far below his typical standard. The real proof?  Paul finished the game with 6 turnovers, his most in a game all season. For perspective, Paul didn’t reach the 6 turnover mark on the season until seventh game of the season.

The immovable forced stifled the unstoppable object

Paul wasn’t the lone Clipper dealing with a force unable to shake on the defensive end of the floor. After averaging 110 points over their last 10 games and 117 through the last five, the Clippers walked away from tonight’s game with 96 points. Unable to make an impact on defense, the Clippers were forced to rely on their offense and came up empty.

This Wizards team is good. Offensively, they’ve some ways to go (those ways could be linked to a poor-fitting coach), but this defense? It’s a bit scary, especially when NeNe is on the floor. There was a possession in the fourth quarter where Blake Griffin received a pass, caught wind of NeNe being in his immediate vicinity and darted the pass back to Redick for a shot clock-ending jumper.

No non-Chris Paul player scored more than 15 points. The Clippers finished shooting 42 percent from the field. The Clippers finished shooting 30 percent from the field. The Clippers committed 18 turnovers, the second most in a game this season.

It was one of THOSE nights. Props to Washington there.

Why is Glen Davis?

Early in the 2nd quarter, Spencer Hawes went down with a knee injury. Fortunately, Hawes was unable to walk off the court at his own will, but not returning, this could spell bad news for the Clippers. If Hawes is unable to return immediately, Rivers will have to rely more on Glen Davis which is a disaster waiting to happen. According to NBA Stats, the Clippers have posted a net rating of -2.7 when Davis is on the floor; 10.3 when off. That decline is majorly on the offensive end of the floor as the offensive rating dips from 113 to 98 — that’s the equivalent of going Dallas Mavericks-ish offense to Charlotte Hornets-esque offense.

Maybe we’ll get a glimpse of Ekpe Udoh if Hawes is unable to go tomorrow against the Milwaukee Bucks.

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