Week ahead for Clippers: How long will Crawford remain a starter?
The week ahead
Having, maybe, hit a spot where the turnaround is imminent, the Clippers have a relatively slow week which should allow the team to get a lot of extra work in. The quantity of the Clippers opponents may not be high in volume but the quality certainly is (although their records may not indicate as much). The club tips off the week at Staples Center Monday against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. Following that they won’t return to action again until Saturday when the Suns visit Staples Center.
The week behind
The highlights or more accurately the lowlights of the week took place in the Bay Area. The Clippers were absolutely worked in a nationally televised 121-104 loss to the Warriors. Following the game there was a players only meeting and head coach Doc Rivers didn’t mince any words when he met with the media saying his team lacked heart during the early part of the season. The team appeared to make a turn for the better with a 106-102 win over Portland thanks to the sharp shooting of J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin fighting through flu-like symptoms.
Record and standings
The Clippers enter Monday 4-2 on the season and one game behind the first place Warriors, who lost their first game of the season at Phoenix on Sunday.
J.J. Redick was shooting just 23 percent from beyond the arc before breaking out of his slump with a season-high 30 points to lead the Clippers to a win over Portland at Staples Center Saturday. Redick made 2-of-3 three-point attempts and 11-of-13 from the field in the win.
Yes, he played through sickness and Chris Paul says the Clippers don’t beat the Blazers Saturday afternoon without Blake Griffin but rebounding is an issue for the team and Griffin’s got to do his part. The 6.3 boards per game he’s averaging aren’t good enough for a player of his caliber who many feel will be in the MVP discussion at the end of the season.
Player to watch
Jamal Crawford. The noted sixth man started for the first time this season in the Clippers win over Portland. The bench was clearly affected by his absence totaling just five points but it was in a win. Which begs the question: How long will Crawford remain in the starting lineup?
Stat to watch
The defense has had its struggles as well. The Clippers are giving up 103.8 points per game which is 26th in the NBA.