The Clippers came out strong last night in Atlanta, getting out to a 6-point lead to end the first quarter thanks to good offensive ball movement and hustle defense, but couldn’t maintain the pace and gave up the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman led the Clippers with 17 points apiece and Marcus Camby continued to dominate the boards by grabbing 20 rebounds. The Clippers’ reserves had a great showing in the second quarter, pushing the lead to as many as 8 before the Hawks went on a mini-run to close out the first half and prevent the Clippers from heading to the locker room with momentum.
The Clippers got off to a great start in the third quarter, eventually pushing the lead to 13 but then allowed the Hawks to pull within three points entering the fourth quarter.
The glaring weakness for the Clippers was that they have no one who can come in and give Baron Davis a legitimate rest. Mardy Collins can come in and push the ball but he lacks a significant play-making skill and that void in his game allows defenders to cheat when guarding him. I would have like to see Bobby Brown get some run but he registered yet another DNP-Coach’s Decision.
So I’ll be spending some time today on the trade simulators to see how the Clippers could move a couple of bodies that would net them a starter and a significant bench contributor, no matter how unlikely that scenario is for the Clippers.