Takeaways from the LA Clippers’ preseason loss to the Trail Blazers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 8: DeAndre Jordan /
4 of 5
HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 4: Sindarius Thornwell
HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 4: Sindarius Thornwell /

Thornwell is ready to contribute

After playing just 15 minutes in the Clippers’ first two preseason games, Sindarius Thornwell received a large increase in minutes against the Trail Blazers, earning just under 22 minutes in LA’s blowout loss. Thornwell played well in those small spurts of minutes in the first two games, shooting 3-6 for eight points. In the team’s game against the Trail Blazers, the rookie scored 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting (2 of 3 from three) and also grabbed five rebounds. The guard also showed some glimpses of superb on-ball defense, shutting down Blazers’ guard C.J. McCollum at the end of the third quarter.

We knew that Thornwell was a good defender coming out of college and that he would immediately bring value to the team off of the bench if he could earn playing time. “With coaches, if you don’t play defense you’re not playing,” Thornwell said at the Clippers’ open practice, “So it’s simple. I want to play so I’m gonna play defense. I’ve done it for four years now so it’s become natural to me.” In the Clippers’ three preseason games, the former Gamecock has looked more NBA ready than LA’s two other recent draft picks and should earn himself some minutes as the team’s fifth guard.