Good job, good effort.
That’s really the only way to describe what you say tonight in Miami. It’s one thing to lose to the defending champions. It’s another to lose to the defending champs on the second night of a back to back.
Well, I guess that’s an excuse, depending on how you look at it, but looking at the circumstances, it matters.
But something else showed tonight, distinguishing the differences between the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat: when need be, the Heat can flip the switch and dominate teams. If we’re talking offensively, then the Clippers deserve to be mentioned in that conversation. They’ve been the best team offensively this season, with the gap being a bit distant from the second person. But defensively? It’s something they can’t do and a factor that could keep them from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy come June. Doc Rivers was brought here to bring that, so we’ll let time reveal to us if that gear is evident.
Mediocre Lebron James nights don’t come often in the NBA and the Clippers couldn’t take advantage of it. Blake Griffin was the best player on the floor for LA, posting 27 points and 14 rebounds. It was easily his most impressive game of the season, but it just wasn’t enough. Defensively, Griffin had possibly his best game of his career, limiting Lebron James effectiveness on the offensive end, keeping him outside the pain and settling for jumpers. The absence of Matt Barnes forced Griffin into the role and this could be a look Rivers uses going forth for the bigger wings the Clippers struggle with.
Offensively, things clicked outside of Chris Paul (3-11 for 11 points, but defensively it just wasn’t enough. Paul’s struggles stemmed from the Miami Heat getting the ball out of his hands rather it was blitzing the high screen and roll or double teaming him near the sideline. The offense struggled from that point on, reinforcing the notion that this team relies too heavily on Chris Paul.
The defensive letdowns? I won’t speak on them now as there will be a post in the morning highlight those issues, but know this team has a long ways to go if they want to make the playoffs matter.
Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat with 29 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds his best while James, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen contributed a combined 42 points.
The Clippers will have a night off before they head to Texas and take on the Houston Rockets this Saturday.