After two upsetting losses, the LA Clippers bounced back and beat the Mavericks 119-98 for their fifth regular season win.
Ball Movement and Assists
There were a lot of things that were done well in last night’s ball game. Ball movement and assisting was definitely a huge factor in the Clippers’ bounce-back win. Overall, the team had a season-high 27 assists and it showed. This new Clippers team is not a one man show and the proof is in the W.
There were a lot of well executed passes last night, something the team needs to continue to practice and deliver on in the coming months. Ball movement in general keeps the defense on their heels and opens up opportunities on the offensive end that wouldn’t otherwise be there. But like I said, the Clippers seem to be working on this aspect of their game. And I just hope they stay persistent in communicating and keeping their heads up in transition.
Speaking of transition; one thing I really enjoyed seeing last night from the Clippers was their transition defense. And not just that, but their defense in general. After a very close first quarter, the Clips really began to put the brakes on the Maverick’s offense.
This is where they’ve been failing in the last couple of games. The defense had been lacking in such a way that most of the buckets from the opposing team’s offense were either in transition or from an open shot. I saw a lot of that in both the games against the Golden State Warriors and the Detroit Pistons. It’s safe to assume after last night’s performance that the players have watched their previous game footage and recognized that they’re literally giving away all of these easy baskets. Barely even defending, whether it be Curry’s wide open three or simply boxing out Andre Drummond (who had 13 defensive rebounds in their matchup), is inexcusable. You can read all about that Pistons game here.
But yes, in the game against the Mavericks the Clips’ defense shined as bright as the sun with the Clippers finishing the game with a total of 5 blocks, 9 steals, and forcing 14 turnovers on the Mavs’ end. Last night was a display of how this Clippers team can really thrive on defense and also shows that they have to continue to press that button and put stops to the opposing team.
Everyone that had time on the court last night stepped up and played their part. Blake Griffin continued to be Blake, the Behemoth that he has shown himself to be this season. He finished the game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Alongside him his fellow forward, Danilo Gallinari, played very well contributing 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists,and 1 steal to his Clippers team. Austin Rivers, the starting two-guard, has been able to turn over a new leaf as far as his personal game goes. Especially after the first couple of games. He finished with a total of 19 points, 3 assists and 1 steal. Mr. 94 Feet, Patrick Beverley, didn’t score as well as he has in previous games. But what he lacked in points he made up for on the defensive end. He totaled out at 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists and 3 steals. And in the center court, DeAndre Jordan, who’s always a formidable asset, finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 1 steal.
Clippers coach, Doc Rivers is very lucky to have backup players that are very much able to hold their weight when it comes to both defense and offense. With Lou Williams, who is definitely a major asset in the leading and scoring aspect of the game; there aren’t too many doubts you can have when there isn’t someone like Griffin or Jordan on the floor. Lou Will finished the game with a total of 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Wesley Johnson is yet another player who I hope will shine a little more than he has already. He finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
When it comes to the center spot; trying to make up for what Jordan contributes seems like it could be a couple of big shoes to fill. But I’m beginning to think that we have the feet to fill these shoes with like of Montrezl Harrell and Willie Reed.
In most of the regular season games so far, they’ve begun to prove that they’re able to make the most out of the minutes they’re given. Willie Reed, who’s arguably the Clippers’ toughest defender, totaled out at 2 points and 6 rebounds last night. But don’t take those numbers for granted. He only played about 10 minutes and I hope to see him getting more minutes in the future. And on the other foot is Montrezl Harrel. The big man was given a baker’s dozen of minutes in which he was able to put on a monstrous showcase of his talent! He scored 8 points, grabbed 8 boards and pulled in 1 assist.
Other Statistical Mentions
- Sindarius Thornwell: 3 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists
- Sam Dekker: 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
- Jawun Evans: 3 points, 2 rebounds
- Brice Johnson: 1 steal
The boys bounced back big last night with another display of why we’re the number one team in the Western Conference. There are still plenty of wrinkles to iron out. But let’s not get hung up on those quite yet. Even after a blowout loss, this is still a team that’s more than capable of making waves this season. November 3rd, the Clippers play the Memphis Grizzlies who are currently 5-3. I expect the Clips to further outperform themselves and continue to prove why they hold the number one spot.
For now, let’s all take a breath. Last night’s win was huge for our LA Clippers and there are still plenty of games to look forward to. Be sure to check out @ClipperholicsFS on Twitter for live updates during the game.