While you were sleeping: Game 2 vs Toronto takeaways

HONOLULU, HI - OCTOBER 03: Blake Griffin
HONOLULU, HI - OCTOBER 03: Blake Griffin /

The LA Clippers got a win back from the Raptors in the second game in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In what was a fairly ugly display of basketball, there were several takeaways. They are listed and discussed here in no particular order of importance. Let’s take a look at what we learned from the LA Clippers:

The game

The Clippers got the win, with the final score falling at 98 to 84. Leading the way for the Clippers were Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with solid lines. Blake went for 17 points and 4 rebonds, with DJ recording 15 and 8. Blake also had 3 assists. Among the best secondary contributors were Willie Reed with 12 points and multiple charges drawn. Oh, some rookie named Milos dropped 5 highlight dimes (more on that later). The Clippers shot 60% from the field in the first half en route to a dominant lead that stretched into the high 20’s at times in the second half.

The lob, the jam!

Lob City

is back

never left. Enough said.

Milos fever

Milos Teodosić showed off some more of his slick passing skills last night. Given the lateness of the hour, Twitter didn’t melt down as much as it broke out in a hot flush, but nonetheless, it was fun.


Teodosić also showed off a facet of his game that I feel will become more and more important as the season goes on. Early in the first, he initiated a pick and roll, recognized that DeRozan was not going over the screen as much as running into it, and made the Raptors pay. Help didn’t come, perhaps because he hasn’t earned defenders’ respect thus far. With luck, more of his shots will fall and he will command some help even if he can’t drive to the rim as well as others. This could see more passing lanes open up for him, as as we saw last night he doesn’t need much space to pull of some truly amazing passes.

Next: We love Milos


There was some pretty ugly basketball on display last night: 22 turnovers in total, with often more of a pickup feel than a coherent system. The lack of cohesion on offense largely resulted in the aforementioned turnovers, but often it was left to somebody to make a bailout play, with Danilo Gallinari stepping up on a couple of notable occasions. Defensively, as alluded to above, the Clippers demonstrated some questionable pick and roll coverage and poor communication on switches.

Some of the lineups that likely hadn’t seen much run together were responsible for a lot of this, as well as the fact that it is preseason basketball after all, but it is something to keep an eye on heading into Sunday afternoon’s matinee date with the Portland Trailblazers.

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Lineup notes

Now, let me preface this by saying I am comfortable in my mindset with Austin Rivers as a starter. Watching yesterday’s game had me thinking that even though he will really struggle against front line guards defensively (particularly in the West) and even though he is still adjusting to the NBA, Milos wouldn’t be the worst option to start next to Patrick Beverley. Now, I don’t necessarily want to see this happen. Austin and Pat are going to cause a lot of headaches for the aforementioned superstar guards out West. But, unfortunately, neither Milos nor Lou Williams is known for their defense. In fact, it could be porous. Just something to think about as we move forward.

Next up for discussion is the backup wing debate. Game 1 vs Toronto was not, in fact, an anomaly. Wesley Johnson played backup 3. He wasn’t quite as solid this time around, but he did make a number of plays. Last night, Johnson and Sam Dekker were on the floor together for the most part in an experimental lineup, and although they appeared to play similar offensive roles in a smaller lineup, Dekker was tasked with guarding power forwards. This might say more about Johnson’s defence than anything, but if this pattern continues it looks like Dekker may be fighting up a weight class for some of this season. He is comfortable with this role, presumably, as he played it in Houston last year.

Finally, Willie Reed got the backup big man minutes last night. Montrezl Harrell wasn’t seen until the 4th quarter, which was scrub central. Reed acquitted himself well, and might be the man behind DeAndre. Keep an eye on Harrell’s role in the next couple of preseason contests.

The Clippers play their next preseason game at Staples Center vs the Portland Trailblazers Sunday at 12:30 PST.