Short one today…

I’ve watched more Clippers games this seasons than the rest of my life combined; they almost play my perfect brand of basketball…Blake needs to take it to the rack more and they’d be perfect.

Had a few words with Jovan Buha from the Clippers Blog:

Knowing what you know now, did the Clippers pay too high a price for Paul?

No. I look at it this way — are the Clippers set up better now or in the future after the trade? I say both. There’s no way L.A. would be consistently beating elite teams with last year’s squad and simply the additions of Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups. In the future, with time to gel and additions through free agency and trades, they’re only going to get better. If the last four games have proven anything, Paul is the Clippers’ offensive maestro and the difference-maker from being a playoff team and being a contender.

Is it a big problem that Blake likes to shoot long jumpers more than he attacks the rim like a rabid animal off the high screen?

Yes, it’s a huge problem. Blake’s jumper, while improved, is far from a proven product. His outside shooting efficiency is actually down from 33 percent to 31 percent this year but that’s more of a reflection of his 4.8 attempts per game (too high and as a result, lowers his percentage out there). When he attacks the rim, he’s much, much better (71.0 percent shooting at the rim). A pick-and-roll with Paul is much more efficient if Griffin rolls towards rim destruction.

Is Neil Olshey executive of the year?

Yes, thus far it appears Neil Olshey should be the executive of the year. He turned a laughingstock franchise into a fringe contender with the Chris Paul trade and signings of Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups (for $2,000,032!). Who else made better moves this offseason?

Injuries

Toronto
Andrea Bargnani – Calf, should play
Jerryd Bayless – game-time decision, should play

Los Angeles
Chris Paul – Hamstring, game-time decision
Caron Butler – Knee, questionable

Match-ups

Point Guard
Paul is sick. Mo Williams is a solid back-up. Bledsoe is better than any back-up we got. And Chauncey can make it happen if he gets the call. That’s about all she wrote.
Edge: Clippers

Shooting Guard
At least DeMar showed up for the Blazers game on Friday; it took him 21 shots to get 22 points, but at least he got to the line 10 times. He hasn’t stepped up in Bargnani’s absence, but neither has anyone else really. While Billups wont break him down off the bounce, he will make him pay for every inch of open space DeRozan gives him and play tight defense on our boy.
Edge: Clippers

Small Forward
It’s going to be frustrating to watch a juicy, out of shape Caron Butler make things happen against our defense, but that’s exactly what’s going  down this afternoon. If Caron doesn’t go, the Raptors small forwards are actually better than anything the Clippers have.
Edge: Clippers

Power Forward
Bargnani’s supposed to play,  but he’s been sitting for over a week now and wont be crisp. There isn’t a whole he can do to control Griffin if he gets it in his head, but if he isn’t too much out of game shape, he can make things difficult on the phenom. Expect too see a lot of dunks and offensive rebound-put-backs tonight from the Clips, though.
Edge: Clippers

Center
Amir Johnson is a poor mans DeAndre Jordan. You could make the case that Amir has better offensive weapons, but what he does better on defense, Jordan more than makes up for on defense. The Raptors have more depth here, but Jordan is a work horse; it might even out since DeAndre doesn’t do enough outside of blocking shots and dunking (work with me here, I couldn’t give them a clean sweep).
Edge: Even

Keys to the Game

  1. Let Blake shoot the ball every time he gets it; it’s frustrating to watch, but he loves the jumper, and shouldn’t be a go-to thing for him. Off the high pick-n-roll, let the guy roll and force Paul create some genius on every possession.
  2. Control the boards; outside of Griffin and Paul, the rest of the team is pretty average to mediocre.
  3. Make the Clippers work defensively; Chris Paul is injured and limping, Jordan can be bated with a pump-fake and Blake isn’t making all defensive team (although he can make highlight blocks). The Clippers are going to score, nothing the Raptors can do to stop that, but if we make them work a little, hopefully the early start time will mess with them

The Line

The Clippers are 9.5 point favourites at home with an over/under of 184.5; I’m setting the over/under of Blake and Jordan dunking at 10. The Clippers dropped a heart breaker against the Timberwolves on Friday, and should be plenty pissed off today. If Bargnani is playing, and isn’t too rusty, the Raptors should cover. It’s starting to get more serious than just covering games and looking at the bright-side of things, though. The Raptors have dropped 7 in a row, and could easily drop the next 5 on the road. Have to make a stand sometime, yea?

  • mountio

    Its too bad the Clips dont come to town this year .. this is the only chance we have to see Lob City .. and its up opposite the Pats game. This one will be reserved for commercials only and PVR status later. Too bad, cause, especially if AB is back .. this was one of the games I was looking forward to the most this year.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    LOB City time……

    This game will be a blowout (10 or more point W) in LAC’s favor w/ or w/o AB & JB.

    The Rap’s only hope is that Paul (LAC have 2 former NBA all star pgs on their roster) & Butler can’t go or are very limited in their play, minutes & Blake/Jordan gets into early foul trouble.

    LAC collective of pg’s- Paul, Billups, MoWilliams & Bledsoe makes our collection of Jose, Bayless & Carter look like wtf?

    DJordan is longer & stronger than Amir.

    I remember viewing a segment of one of the Raptors Behind the Draft when BC was considering players to select with the Raptors 2nd round draft pick and someone in the room brought up DJordan’s name & BC just laughed it off like no way Jose.smdh

    If CButler is limited today the Clipper’s have RGomes (back up LAC SF) who is no slouch as he’s easily equal to JJ, Kleiza or Butler.

    Don’t foget Reggie Evans as he will punk the Raptors for a few rebounds.lol

    My unsung game changer for this game is RFoye, I think that he might have a big game today.

    • mountio

      Agreed. LOB city is a great fit for Reggie .. hope he does well there. Exactly what he needs .. lots of scorers and he can come in and give to little rest to the starters while inserting some energy and not having to do anything other than rebound.
      Our only hope to keep this close is that Chauncey still thinks hes mr big shot and tries to do too much (its happened a few times to he clips this year and has either cost them or almost cost them games). If CP and BG do their thing, it could get ugly fast ..

      • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/4587d202-451d-11e1-9744-000bcdcb5194 BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Reggie should fit in well with the Clippers if he can stay healthy (he already has missed an early part of the season with a foot injury).

        Also, I read where he said that he loves playing in a warm weather city for all it’s worth.lol

        Billups did just hit a game winning 3 pt shot for the Clippers against Dallas the other day he is still a quality big shot taker & maker just a little slower on the court- not that he was ever blazing fast.lol

        These next 5 road games (LAC, Phx, Utah, Den, NJ) could get ugly fast if the Raptors don’t compete hard- gotta win at least 1 of these 5 games 2 Ws (Phx & NJ?) would be really kool.

        • mountio

          And Im sure the Clips fans were cringing when he took it! Yes, he hit that one .. but hes been a disaster in several other games this year. Shotting 36% on the year .. not too great, unless your benchmark is Rasual Butler!
          Not that I dont think he was a great pick up .. he was. Its just a question of whether he knows his role or tries to be more than he is. I remember watching a game earlier this year vs GSW .. he almost singledhandedly shot them out of the game .. missed like 10 or 12 in a row ..
          If he does his thing, provides leadership and toughness, keeps his shots to a resonable amount and lets CP handle things down the stretch, Lob city will be in good shape. If he still thinks hes mr big shot .. Id be scared if I was a clips fan ..

    • Sam Holako

      Good catch on Gomes; forgot he was on that team and missed it while looking at boxscores somehow.

    • Shonuff

      Can you provide a link to the video of Raptors Behind the Draft showing BC laughing off a potential selection of D.Jordan? Or did you just make that up?

  • FAQ

    •••••••WARNING•••••••

    Avoid watching this b’ball game otherwise you risk contracting a disease called “Raptor Crud”… the slow seepage of shit upwards into your tribal honking brainlet.

     The immediate symptoms of this malady is sudden anger, angst and anguish … all at the same time.  You will become a total masochistic mess too.

    Watch figure skating…on at the same time………

  • JHP

    I think the Clippers will win this one.  Raptor’s have never done well on west coast trips.  Maybe they can beat NJN but a long week to say the least.

    One other side effect of the crud is watching the teams below Raptor’s(only a few) and hoping they win. 
     

  • Raps4Ever

    Ha, with Bargnani, a loss would still have been obviously expected. Without AB, this could get ugly in a hurry, especially with it being in LA and the early time. Early for the Clips, 2 hrs earlier for the Raps. If the defensive improvements keep it somewhat respectable for a while, that should be considered progress.

  • leftovercrack

    Jesus, just turned it on. How can you have scored a total of 6 points with the quarter winding down?

  • leftovercrack

    God do they need a player like J Lamb who can score at will

  • mountio

    Ugly stuff. Kudos to Casey for switching it up though and trying some different lineups. Liked the 2-2-1 press and zone .. and the small lineup with bosa and bayless. Lets see if he does the right thing and gives JB and LB lots of minutes in the 2nd half and rests Jose.
    Mr big shot could help us out by shooting even more. No passing, Chauncey, keep chuckin!

  • Matt

    Wow, this is a really really bad Team  :) :)
    What happened to Amir ? Did he get hurt ?

    • Buschfire

      he was benched after not hustling back on play where D Jordan threw down an alley oop from 40 feet.