Chris Paul drove right, picked up his dribble and tossed the ball back to Jamal Crawford who launched a 33 foot brick and as the buzzer sounded. Last nights loss 98-96 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans leaves the Los Angeles Clippers two and a half games back( 3 in the loss column) of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the loss, the Clippers have basically created their seed ceiling ( the 3 seed in the west). In addition to this, they are now in a fight for that three seed with the Houston Rockets who are only a game back of the Clippers. Portland currently sits in the 5 spot and they are 5 games back of LAC meaning the Clippers will be locked in to either a three or a four seed when the season concludes.
A reader contacted me a while back telling me that Matt Barnes was a great defender and was a better option then Danny Granger. Well Anthony Morrow scored 27 points last night while Barnes was primarily the one who was checking him. That can’t happen in the playoffs because it wont be Anthony Morrow, it will be Kevin Durant, or Klay Thompson, or Kawhi Leonard etc. And that number wont be 27, it will be 47. So rotationally, adjustments could be made, and the idea of Granger getting more minutes should be floated around. The Clippers coaching staff now realizes a lot of their defensive success will be predicated on the management of how many minutes Barnes and Granger play and in what capacity they are uses defensively.
I am not a guy who typically rips Chris Paul, he’s my favorite player and I believe he is the best guard on the planet. He caused the Clippers loss last night, there is no way around that. He scored two points and was 0 for 12 from the floor. It was his worst shooting night of the season and lowest scoring night. Don’t expect to see that Chris Paul heading towards the playoffs.
Glass half full, this was actually a good loss for Loss Angeles considering it answered many questions for them in terms of their seeding, defensive scheming, and also CP3 got his worst game of the season out of the way before the playoffs. Also, Jamal Crawford looks to be back in form as he scored 31 points last night and was the games high scorer. With only 10 games left to play, LAC knows what they need to do to hang on to the 3 seed.