The Morning After: Clippers lose despite Blake Griffin’s triple-double
The LA Clippers fell yet again in Toronto to the Raptors, 118-109, despite Blake Griffin’s first triple-double since the 2014 season.
Where do we start? The Clippers now have the 2nd worst record in the NBA since Chris Paul‘s injury. (The worst being the Nets). Monday night was no different. Blake Griffin came out and played some inspired ball yet again, but the team needs to figure out something on the defensive end. At least this season’s trip to Toronto shouldn’t end with the same post game issues. (Knock on wood.)
In honor of the game in Toronto, here are 5 Drake themed takeaways from the loss.
1) Shot For Me
The Raptors completely capitalized from the stripe. Out of 29 attempts, they converted on 26. Meanwhile, the Clippers only got to the line 18 times, converting on 12. Players need to drive more and find contact, especially Blake Griffin. It’s worth noting that the Raptors did have more team fouls, but the Clippers just came at inopportune times.
2) 6 Man
Both Jamal Crawford and Mo Speights played decent on the offensive end. They ended with 14 and 15 points respectively. After a bad month of December for Jamal, it seems like his shot is back on track. Mo has been great from 3 this year, especially considering that up to this point last season, he had only 7 made three pointers.
3) Light Up
The three pointer has been an issue as of late. It’s falling decently, but the team is reliant on it. The Clippers shot 35 times and knocked down 13. Other than Austin Rivers, Mo Speights and Blake Griffin tonight, they just weren’t falling. J.J. Redick looked like he might have yet another game without connecting, but finished 1 for 6. Raymond Felton only hit 1 of 3 and Jamal knocked down 2 of 6. No one has really gotten hot for the team lately from deep and yet the team settles.
4) 6 God
Even though he may have just returned from injury, but you couldn’t tell by the way DeMar DeRozan played. He finished with 31 points on 50% shooting, while converting 7 of 9 free throws. DeRozan didn’t miss a beat and his ankle seemed fine after missing 7 of the last games. His back-court mate, Kyle Lowry, added 24 points and 8 assists. Arguably a top 3 back-court in the league (I’m torn between them and Portland), the tandem couldn’t be stopped by the Clippers. This is where the biggest hole is felt from Chris Paul’s absence.
The silver lining of yet another loss is that Blake Griffin has looked amazing. Despite a lack of team success, Blake has played extremely well and the knee doesn’t seem to be bothering him. Tonight, he was able to get his first triple-double since 2014, posting 26 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. If he can maintain this level of play even after Chris Paul returns, the team should be a formidable match-up for anyone.
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