Clippers week in review; road challenge continues
The week ahead
Nobody said this road trip would be easy, and it hasn’t been. The Clippers continue their seven-game, two-week eastern swing with stops in Philadelphia (tonight), Boston, Brooklyn (back to back on Wednesday and Thursday) and Washington on Saturday. None of the four has a winning record, but the road is never easy.
The week behind
After losing at home to the Indiana Pacers, the Clippers started their trip 1-2, losing at Atlanta, winning in Memphis, then suffering a discouraging defeat at Cleveland. On the road this season, the Clips are 5-6.
Record and standings
At 14-8, the Clippers still lead the NBA’s Pacific Division over the Golden State Warriors, extending their lead to two games after the Warriors’ loss to the Bobcats on Monday.
The Clippers offered a gritty defensive performance last Thursday night at Memphis, holding the Grizzlies to 37.7-percent shooting for the game and just 11 points in the third quarter. It was also a nice milestone win for coach Doc Rivers, representing his 600th coaching victory.
Rivers used the word “pouting” to describe his team’s letdown Saturday night against the Cavs. That’s a bad trait, one the Clippers displayed in their body language after center DeAndre Jordan and rookie Reggie Bullock went down with injuries. It’s hard to believe a team with Chris Paul as its core player would allow that, but it should be gone by tipoff tonight against the 76ers.
Player to watch
Jordan is tentatively listed as a starter, but his sprained right foot bears watching. Jordan has been impressive defensively, averaging 12.9 rebounds (fourth in the league) and 2.24 blocks (also fourth), so any minutes he misses could be costly.
Stat of the week
The Clippers have held four of their past seven opponents to 38.6 percent shooting or worse, including their past three. On the season, Clippers opponents are shooting 44.9 percent. Their defense isn’t quite where it needs to be on a consistent basis, but it’s getting better.
“We’ve got to fix it. We’re going to try and make it as quick as possible.” — Chris Paul to Clippers.com after the team shot 32 percent against the Cavaliers.