Sugene Lee

Posts Tagged ‘reggie evans’

“Miracle in Memphis” happened, what’s going to happen next?

In NBA: LA Clippers on May 3, 2012 at 12:17 am

I said I had a feeling the Clippers would steal the first game, but there was no way I would’ve thought they would steal the first game coming down from a 27 point deficit.

Most people watching the game probably thought the game was over after the first quarter as it ended with the Grizzlies up 41-26. Memphis was strolling through the first three and a half quarters doing whatever they pleased, shooting over 50% and draining three’s without a hand in their face. The Clippers’ superstars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, were held to 3 points and 3 turnovers combined in the first half.

With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Chris Paul entered the game, down 24 points. Then, the chipping away began. Reggie Evans anchored the Clippers defensive intensity and physicality, grabbing 13 rebounds in 20 minutes and shut down big man, Zach Randolph.

Memphis took their feet off the pedal and thought they had game 1 in the books. So did everybody else. Televisions were changed to different channels, people were going to bed, and everyone said the Clippers were going to get swept. Even I, a fan who’s watched nearly all the games this season, asked why there was so much time left at the 8 minute mark of the 4th quarter. I wanted the misery to be over with and watch a great comeback game in game 2 of the series, but that came sooner, a few days sooner. The chipping, defensive stops, and three-pointers came so slowly that nobody else saw it coming until Nick Young made three 3’s in a row, cutting the lead down to three. Then, Blake Griffin made the two most important free throws of his career and were down one. Guess who put the lay-up in to put the Clippers up by one? No, you didn’t guess it. It was Reggie Evans off the pick and roll with Chris Paul. With less than a minute left, Memphis comes down the floor and gets the mismatch with Chris Paul and scores easily. Time out is called. Chris Paul brings the ball into the half-court with Tony Allen on him. Guarding too hard, Allen fouls Chris Paul who then makes another crucial two free throws. Clippers up one, again. With about 26 seconds left, Rudy Gay has the ball in his hands with Kenyon Martin as the defender. At 9 seconds, Martin takes the foul to give and it starts again. Gay takes the pull-up jumper with the clock winding down and hits the front of the rim. Too short. Too late. Blake Griffin grabs the rebound and throws it away to Bledsoe and the buzzer beats at 99-98. The Clippers just made the biggest comeback in playoff history.

You can ask Chris Paul what happened in the 4th quarter and how they came back, but he wouldn’t be able to tell you. What he is able to tell you is if that happened again in game 2, Memphis would either increase the lead to 35 or 40, or the Clippers would come within 8 and call it a good fight. The Clippers may have had the worst start of the season, but Memphis had a first quarter that might never happen again, so they cancel out.

All I can expect from the second game is that it will be a grind out game for a full 48 minutes. But, I can say that I feel like the Clippers will take game 2, too.

Why?

Chris Paul was no Chris Paul in those first three quarters. In fact, he was making rookie mistakes and playing out of control.

Blake Griffin was also not Blake Griffin.

Memphis, one of the worst offensive teams, will not be shooting lights out from behind the arc.

Of course, the Clippers can always cause self-destruction and give this game away, but can anyone expect Chris Paul to let that happen to his team again? I don’t think so.

It’s going to be a good one. I can guarantee that much.

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Clippers fall in Rose Garden 97-105

In NBA: LA Clippers on January 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

The Clippers lose, 97-105, in a physical battle against the Trailblazers, who continues to be unbeaten in their vicious Rose Garden.

Despite finally out-rebounding a team, 39-34, with 13 of the 39 being offensive rebounds, the Clippers weren’t able to dig themselves out of their 2nd quarter deficit.

Portland got off to a hot start with Gerald Wallace, who was scoreless in their New Years match, hitting consecutive jumpers and fouling out of the game with 20 points on 8-12 shooting. The Clippers were struggling to get the ball to go through the hoop, only hitting 33% of their shots. However, they went on a quick run with Mo Williams coming off the bench, making seven points in under four minutes and 14 to finish the game, ending the quarter 26-24.

CP3 got into foul trouble quickly, receiving his third with seven minutes left in the 2nd quarter. He sat out the rest of the half with 0-3 shooting, 1 assist and 3 rebounds. Blake Griffin continued to be double-teamed, but finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, also hitting three consecutive jumpers in the third quarter on Lamarcus Aldridge who had 18 points and 7 rebounds of his own.

Caron Butler, who has been consistent throughout the season, continued to quietly contribute his 20 points and 6 rebounds. Reggie Evans also continues to be a threat on the glass with 7 boards in 16 minutes.

The closest the Clips got to Portland was after Chauncey, who had 19 points, hit a three, making it a two point game, 80-82. However, Portland came right back on a 7-0 run, giving them a nine point lead. Every time the Clips cut the lead, Portland made more shots to keep their lead.

With just a little over 20 seconds left the Clips were down three, 97-100, but missed key free throws, one by Billups which was his first miss of the season, and had a couple key turnovers in the final seconds of the game by Blake Griffin. They were just unable to execute their plays in the final minutes.

The Clips didn’t have a horrendous night, but they let Portland outwork them on both ends. They gave Wallace, Aldridge, and Wesley Matthews too many easy looks, especially in the second half. Portland also got sent to the line 32 times and were able to get 26 points from free throws, while the Clips got 17 of their 24 attempts. Whistles were constantly blown by the refs as both teams became chippy with one another, being very physical.

At times, the Clippers seem to be unorganized on their offense, but they need to figure out to jell quicker as they return home to play Miami on Wednesday night and the Lakers on Saturday night.

What Went Wrong?

It won’t happen very often, but CP3 getting into foul trouble hurt the Clippers badly. Without CP3 on the court for most of the first half, Raymond Felton was able to have a smooth first half. However, when Paul came back, he forced two critical turnovers on Felton in the final minutes of the game. Also, with CP3 on the bench, he wasn’t able to be on the court to make plays for his teammates, which led to the Clips’ sloppy offense.

DeAndre Jordan, who blocked 4 shots, but only had 4 points and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes, seemed to have disappeared. For someone who stands at 6’11 and ┬áhas a wingspan of 7’6 should be recording double digits in rebounds. He grabbed 11 rebounds, his only double digit, in their last game against Portland on New Years, but failed to grab more than 8 in any other game this season. His agressiveness seems to have gone down and he doesn’t battle his opponents for rebounds like last season as he averaged 7.2 rebounds in 25 minutes compared to 6.7 rebounds in 31 minutes this season.

Brian Cook went scoreless on 0-3 fg’s and 0-2 from behind the arc in his 4:50 minutes of play, which resulted in a -14 in his +/- rating. He fails to make open shots and only contributes to his reputation of becoming the next Luke Walton for the Clippers. (I honestly think Trey Thompkins would do a better job in replacing Cook who can’t even do his job of hitting some 3’s once in a while).

Lastly, Vinny Del Negro’s inability to draw up good plays in the final minutes of a game. Portland deserved to win (and I’m not taking any credit away from them), but with a better coach with more experience, the Clippers can get to a whole other level, fast.
Jerry Sloan? Stockton & Malone = CP3 & Griffin?

Next Game: vs. Miami, Wednesday 1/11/12

Third straight win vs. Bucks

In NBA: LA Clippers on January 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm

A game that should’ve been an easy victory for the Clips became harder than expected in their 92-86 win against the Bucks.

The Bucks didn’t have their starting center, Andrew Bogut, due to personal reasons, along with three reserves and Brockman who left in the first half with an eye contusion.

The first quarter started off with a 8-1 lead for the Clips, until the Bucks went on a 10-3 run. During the second quarter, the Clips were unable to get a point for four straight minutes until Billups, shooting 100%, drew a foul and made two in a row. After another 2 1/2 minutes, they were finally able to get a shot from Caron Butler, who had 20 points and six rebounds of his own. Reggie Evans, who came in for the first time was able to get his first three rebounds within a minute. He’s proven himself to be a rebounding machine and a defensive energizer, but his free throw shooting was horrendous, going one of six from the line. The Clips were being outworked by the Bucks, but both teams shot horribly in the first half, ending in a Bucks lead of 40-38.

Third quarter starts have been the game-changer for the Clippers this year. Caron Butler quietly lead the team by making 13 of his 20 points in the third. The momentum completely shifted over to the Clips after Blake’s three consecutive highlight plays, all assists from CP3, and two of them being thunderous dunks. The Clips had 34 points in the third quarter alone, while Blake finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.

The Bucks trailed the rest of the way, but were still able to remain within reach with Brandon Jennings 21 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.

Chris Paul contributed with 9 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals, but also had 4 turnovers. His presence continues to be effective despite his low-scoring games. Chauncey quietly added 19 points of his own making all seven of his free throws. Mo Williams, another energizing reserve, came off the bench and added 10 points in 21 minutes and an amazing blocked shot on Brandon Jenning’s three point attempt. DJ, who had a quiet night due to foul trouble, finished with 3 points from the line, missing his other 3, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

Problems

Rebounding continues to be a problem for the Clippers who was out-rebounded for the fifth game in a row, only grabbing 37 against Bucks’ 42. The effort was a lot better tonight with Blake grabbing 14 rebounds of his own, but the Clips should be able to box out most teams and out rebound them.

Free throws have also been another problem for starters, Blake and DJ, who get sent to the line more than most of their other starters. Evans, who got sent to the line six times, only made one. The team only made 65% of their free throws, 26 of 40, when making those shots alone could’ve blown the Bucks away. The Clips only shot 45% of their field goals, but, luckily, they were able to hold the Bucks to a field goal percentage of 36.

Turnover rates for the Clippers continue to be inconsistent, with 14 against the Bucks. With only seven against the Rockets a few nights ago, the Clips finished the half with eight turnovers.

If the Clippers are able to out-rebound their opponents, which they should be able to, make their free throws, and turn the ball over less, they can be a very dangerous team.

Next game: Tuesday, 1/10, vs. Portland