It’s safe to say some GPAs will be getting a boost tonight after LAC secured a blowout win without both of their star wings. Read on for full Clippers vs Cavs player grades, with some abbreviated comments since I already wrote about this game and the Clippers are right back in action tomorrow against the Miami Heat.
Clippers Starter Grades
Patrick Beverley: A-. Was Pat even the point guard tonight? The Clippers essentially started all three of their guys who play the point primarily, so it’s hard to say. But whatever position you want to call him, Pat was great tonight. Nobody expects him to be a high-usage player offensively, but he picked his spots in support of Lou Williams tonight with surgical precision, finishing with 16 points on 5-8 shooting, including 4-6 from deep, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and only one turnover. The Clippers won his 20 minutes by 26 points.
Reggie Jackson: B. On balance, the Clippers got a nice bit of production from Reggie tonight. But it was a story of the good mixed with the bad tonight, as he mixed some questionable shot selection with an active outing overall on both ends. You can knock his offensive decision-making, but you can’t knock 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
Lou Williams: A. Did you watch the game? If you didn’t, you should really watch it, or at least Lou’s minutes. He was magnificent in the pick-and-roll finding others, particularly Ibaka, and was the centerpiece of this win.
Nicolas Batum: B. I worry a bit about Nic in games like this. So much of what he adds comes in the margins, which is very helpful when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are handling the big-ticket items, but secondary to those items when the Clippers’ stars aren’t dealing with them. Well, LAC found 128 points tonight, so I guess I was worried for nothing. That means we can give Nic a solid B for a quiet but solid outing, with just 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block while playing good defense throughout.
Serge Ibaka: A. This was Serge’s best game as a Clipper. He had a season-high 21 points and a career-high 6 assists, producing a bunch of offense and looking really good in the pick and roll with Lou Williams. And defensively, where I’ve been a bit hard on Serge, he was great tonight, especially early in the game as the Clippers were establishing themselves (everyone slipped a bit in the third quarter with a big lead).
Clippers Bench Player Grades
Luke Kennard: B. Man, a B is a nice breath of fresh air for Luke considering how recent weeks have gone. But he had a perfectly nice night off the bench tonight, with 12 points on 4-9 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists, and his back-to-back threes in the final minute of the first half pushed the Clippers’ lead into double digits at the break.
Marcus Morris: A. Obviously you have to love Morris having his most points as a Clipper with 23, especially doing so on an efficient 7-14 shooting night. But what I especially like about this Morris outing is the rest of the box score: 6 rebounds (his third most in a game this season), an assist, a steal, and 2 blocks. That’s the guy you paid $64 million.
Terance Mann: B+. It wasn’t quite as big of a night as Terance has had in other games recently, but his confidence is clearly high right now and he was able to add 8 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes, aggressively getting downhill and earning eight free throw attempts despite 1-4 shooting.
Ivica Zubac: C. Zu got flustered after some early foul calls (only one of which was questionable, to be honest–he had some outsized reactions to properly-called infractions) and took himself out of this game mentally. Overall, his shifts were far from a failure, but he didn’t come in and make a positive change in the flow of the game like he has in recent weeks.
Amir Coffey and Mfiondu Kabengele checked in for a few minutes at the end, but I don’t have anything for them in this one. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Jay Scrubb, and Daniel Oturu are all currently injured. Patrick Patterson was the sole unused substitute tonight.
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