Last night came at one of the worst times possible for the LA Clippers (21-8). They had to come off a game the night before in the 128-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to play against the defending Eastern Conference champions in the Miami Heat.
They had to do so without four of their starters in small forward Kawhi Leonard (leg), shooting guard Paul George (toe), point guard Patrick Beverley (rest), and power forward Nicolas Batum (concussion).
A year ago, this game would have been an automatic loss under head coach Doc Rivers. There is new energy this year as this was evident in the Clippers’ huge unexpected 125-118 victory over the Heat on Monday night. This feels like a team composed of players that not only want to make losing not an option, but the players are buying into the system of first-year head coach Ty Lue and having fun with it.
Several members of the LA Clippers impressed against the Heat.
Even with the absence of four of their main players on the court against the Heat, the Clippers were extremely vocal and aggressive on both ends of the court. This huge win as an underdog goes to coach Lue for establishing his presence through significant substitutions and player adjustments.
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Several players made a tremendous impact on the court for the Clippers that got them their 21st win this season. One of the players that can be mentioned is second-year shooting guard Amir Coffey, who took the role of one of the main guards coming off the bench. Coffey shot 5-for-6 from the three-point arc as he scored 15 points for the Clippers.
When needed to Coffey and several other former role players stepped up and became some of the main contributors of the night. The Clippers had six of their players score into the double-digits against the Heat.
Here are the Clippers that had the biggest performances against the Heat on Monday night.
LA Clippers Best Performers #3. Lou Williams – Shooting Guard
There has been a lot of criticism of the three-time sixth man of the year winner early this season. Williams has been a player that has been wondered if his best days are behind him. Within the past seven games, Williams has at-least 15 points including his 30-point performance the night before in the win over the Cavaliers.
Williams continued his hot streak as he started his second game in a row for the Clippers. He was one of the main orchestrators of the offense along with point guard Reggie Jackson. Williams played the most minutes on the court of all of his teammates with 36 minutes.
He finished the night with 18 points shooting 8-for-20 in overall field goals. He had 11 points of his field goals in the second half including seven points in the fourth quarter. While he was tremendous in the shooting portion of the game, he was even better at creating great opportunities for his teammates to score. Williams led the team in total assists with 10 with some having great finishes by center Ivica Zubac. Even after a back-to-back, Williams displayed tremendous energy in his performances.
For him to continue this impressive streak of performance especially two back-to-back shows that he has more than plenty left in the tank at 34-years old. This Clippers team shows that not only can they survive on surprises to the lineup, but they thrive. Williams is the first and only needed example of this factor.