Summary

This was, in many ways, an unusual win for the Clippers. There was no huge comeback, or major collapse. There wasn’t any desperation at the end of the game, no “Cardiac Clippers” in effect. Instead, the Clippers took a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and led by a comfortable margin the rest of the way. The Thunder played hard, and made a few attempts at runs, but the Clippers were always there with a stop and a score, and inserted their will on the game from start to finish. The result was a truly easy victory against a top team on the road, a low-drama win that belies the difficulty of winning in OKC this year. Really, really good showing, especially on the defensive end.

Notes

Rest All Around: Doc Rivers was able to spread out minutes tonight, with only Kawhi Leonard (33) and Marcus Morris (30) playing over 30 minutes tonight. As the season draws towards its conclusion and the playoffs approach, it will be important for the Clippers to find time to rest their key players in preparation for the postseason. Every minute counts, and stealing some extra rest on what was projected to be a very tough game counts as a big win.

PG and Kawhi, Dominant: This was the type of performance the Clippers (and their two superstars) envisioned when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard came together last summer. Neither of them put forth a massive statline, but were the best players on the court on both ends of the court. On defense, the length of Leonard and George shut down driving lanes, disrupted shots, and generally made life difficult for the Thunder. On offense, each star was able to get to their spots and get shots up whenever they wanted, and neither of them appeared out of a rhythm or uncomfortable all game. Both guys look healthy, they’re locked in on each side of the ball, and they look more in sync than ever.

Second Place: With the Clippers win, and the Nuggets loss, the Clippers are now alone in second place in the Western Conference. They have two more tough games coming up, but after that their schedule gets lighter, and there’s a good chance they could have that 2 seed locked up by the end of March if they’re able to clean up against weaker opposition. As long as they stay healthy, the Clippers are in a great, great spot.

10 Comments

  • Avatar AndreyDKS says:

    It is a relief finally having a solid win in a road game. There is no reason to lose to Rockets.

  • Avatar Kenneth Hansen says:

    I hope Trez is okay and ready to go on Thursday against the Rockets. If there was ever a game when we needed a small ball center…

    • Avatar ChrisD says:

      Actually I think we’ll be fine even if he isn’t ok. I’d argue that JMyke is better at defense than Trez if we need him to play against the starters. And PatPat/JMyke is a good bench unit against small ball. Offensively Trez should beast on them though, but we should have enough offensive firepower without him. Hopefully Shamet can get going again.

      • Avatar PIKE4-3 says:

        Agreed, & in hypothetical world with a different head coach, I’d probably argue that Harrell sitting out & resting vs. Rockets actually a blessing-in-disguise forcing more min to our guy with the greatest mismatch/advantage ie Zu.

        However, this is not going to be the case knowing our head coach, in all likelihood, which makes this matchup vs. the scorching hot rockets a bit more worrisome than the past few matchups.

        It will be very interesting to see how these 2 very hot teams battle, but also to glimpse just how exactly Doc will implement the small-ball Clippers (imo subverting our natural advantage) to adapt a reflection of Hou’s unique set up. Hoping i am wrong here, and that Doc and our Boys continue to demonstrate this squad’s flexibility and prowess against any opposition

  • Avatar Minion94 says:

    Shamet is a great shooter but he’s had a tendency of disappearing when there aren’t actions being run for him or if he isn’t the primary option in case of injuries. I hope he adds a cutting element to his game like Devin Harris to contribute more off ball than just his shooting.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Sham’s shooting has been off lately. He’s not hesitating like JRob did but he’s just been so off. Wouldn’t mind so much if they were close misses. Seems to have conincided with the team getting back to full strength and having a plethora of competent shooters.

    Not givng up on him tho.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Hope Sham and Green rain 3s on the Rockets.
    And to think PG is still on minute restriction. (29 mpg right now)
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28832591/paul-george-work-progress
    Him being fully healthy will be very interesting.
    Playoffs can’t come soon enough.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Wow. I was actually able to log in for the first time in days… man this site is glitchy as hell.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Eureka!

      • Avatar sjake says:

        I’m in! and ready to comment. Re: Shamet…this guy is great for this team. He plays d with passion, a little undersized, but is always hustling. You can’t leave him on offense or he’ll make you pay. He may get frustrated with the lack of looks on O, but you haven’t heard him complain. Not everyone is allowed to get up 15 – 20 shots a game.