Clippers Rolling On Despite Mounting Injuries

The Clippers went into last night’s game in Sacramento already missing Chris Paul and Matt Barnes. In the first half, they also lost J.J. Redick as well, but the rest of the team stepped up for an overtime win over the Kings.

The second string backcourt was superb, with Jamal Crawford stepping up and playing a monster game, taking over control as the floor general, posting season highs in rebounds with seven, assists with 11, and scoring, with 31. Darren Collison managed to score 15 when Crawford would let him have the ball.

DeAndre Jordan, going up against the Kings’ revamped front line, including the monster of a presence in DeMarcus Cousins and newly acquired forward Derrick Williams (recently



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obtained from Minnesota in a deal for former UCLA Bruin Luc Richard Mbah a Moute), and despite big numbers from Cousins, Jordan made his presence known and was a major part of the Clippers’ win.

I wrote a few days ago about how much better off the Clippers are having NOT dealt Jordan in a bigger deal than the one made with Boston that would have meant playing the aging and ailing Kevin Garnett for 15 minutes per game, rather than having Jordan out there for 35 per game. Well, last night as Jordan was a major force for the Clippers, Garnett missed yet

another game for the 4-12 Nets, and the other guy who would have accompanied him on the trip west to Clipperdom, Paul Pierce, did manage to play 15 minutes, contributing two points on one-of-six shooting.

Jordan took only nine shots, but made five of them, scoring 10 points, but he pulled down 15 rebounds (to Cousin’s 9, and significantly out rebounding him six-to-one in offensive rebounds) and he blocked nine shots. But, Jordan needs some schooling in his blocking techniques, as at least five of his blocks saw the ball directed straight at a Kings’ player for easy baskets. Jordan reminds me of former UCLA Bruins’ center and NBA washout Jelani

McCoy, who also was a monster shot blocker, but he never figured out direction or strength. The normal McCoy block would blast fifty feet in the air, always out of bounds, regularly giving the opponent a baseline inbound pass, generally for quick and easy points as well. Jordan needs to watch Tim Duncan and maybe some old films of Bill Walton or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and maybe even Bill Russell, and improve his technique as to the direction to aim his
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movements when going for a block.

Despite the outstanding sub play, the Clippers need Paul back, and hopefully las night will be his only absence. Barnes’ timetable for returning from surgery to repair a torn retina was a seemingly short two weeks, and we’re almost there. No word yet on Redick, though, about his hopefully only sprained wrist. After today’s off day, the Clippers play the NBA’s best, Indiana, on Sunday, and they will need the troops at full strength.

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