I was at a meeting last night and didn’t get to see any of the Clippers-Rockets game. I really didn’t miss much, as judging from the highlights and stats, it was a game just like any from last season for Ego-Man, the laughing man, Deee-Wight Howard, as he led his new team to a 19-point loss. Howard was in tip-top mid-season form, as he played all of seven first-half minutes, highlighted by a violent, ego-crushing missed dunk. The Clippers, playing with vigor and enthusiasm, and unparalleled athleticism, scored 78 first-half points, 42 in the first quarter, and never looked back. Certainly not at Deee-Wight’s glaring sneer.
Howard graced his teammates with his presence on the court for all of 26 minutes, and was a negative-24 in point differential. Gee, if he’d played 40 minutes, the Clippers might have scored another couple of dozen points. Howard did score 13 points and pulled down
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|nine rebounds. Not bad for what, $88 M? Final word on Deee-Wight: He was outscored on his own team by Omri Casspi, Francisco Garcia, and Jeremy Lin, not to mention the more well known Chandler Parsons and James Harden.
So much for non-entitles like Deee-Wight – on to the Clippers!
Getting that big lead meant the starters got to watch much of the game from the good seats, but in his 33
minutes, Chris Paul was again a monster on the court, shoveling off for 17 assists, including nine in the first ten minutes, to go along with 23 points. Much of that early lead was due to a quick start from J.J. Redick, who scored a season high and team-leading 26. The big lead also meant some playing time from Reggie Bullock, but he did not distinguish himself, unlike Bryan Mullens, who made his first contribution of the season, hitting on five of six for 12 points and four rebounds. Doc thinks that Mullens can play, and you
|never have enough seven-foot centers around, but until facing the Rockets, he had done little so far to earn more playing time, hitting on one of eight shots over 24 previous on-court minutes. The four-year vet from Ohio State did average 10.6 ppg and 6.4 boards in 27 minutes per game last season for Charlotte, but he shot only 38%.
After four games, the Clippers are tied for first in the Pacific Division at 3-1, and they are the highest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 119
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points per game. They play their next three games on the road, including a rematch in Houston. Before that, however, they travel first to Orlando, and then Miami. That game, Thursday night, will be descried by many as a preview of the NBA Finals. I don’t know about that – Indiana looks awfully good.