After the trade deadline addition of Morris and the signing of Reggie Jackson, the Clippers are by far the deepest team in the league. In my opinion, it's more than likely their bench would be 5-6 seed in the east as a starting lineup.
Of all the games tonight, this particular matchup was the one that intrigued me the most in terms of X's and
While there is only a small sample size, we have now seen some teams attempt to go big against the Rocket "small-ball", while others have tried to go small to match the Rockets style of play, both with varying levels of success, so I was intrigued to see the lineups that Doc put out there after watching the success a large (but bad) Knicks team had their upset that ended the Rockets six-game losing streak and thought this would easily be the game of the night.
Doc was even quoted saying he plans on experimenting with Marcus Morris and Gerald Green at the five and I love just everything about Mook.
Here's where we wound up:
Clippers Starting Line-up
The 1st quarter was fairly competitive and it looked like the small ball spacing really opened the lanes for Harden and Westbrook to attack the rim.
Roughly 10 minutes into the second quarter, the Clippers went on a run and never looked back. At no point did the Rockets even come close to clawing their way back into the game. There really isn't much else to recap, as the Clippers scored at ease and the Clippers couldn't but a bucket in the second half.
So instead, here are my takeaways from the game for each team:
Let's start with the ugly (don't panic, you'll be alright):
- After a horrendous loss to the Knicks, you just typically expect a better reaction/effort against one of the top teams in the West
froma team that considers itself a "Contender".
- Every game matters in terms of seeding with how tight the West is, it will be interesting to see how things shake out for teams 1-10 which is just, awesome.
- I think a lot of this is fixable, and you still have enough time to figure this out. Adjustments need to be made defensively. You can't just switch everything come playoff time and while I was surprised with how long Houston stuck with it after the success the Knicks had against it.
- New players, new lineups, it will take some time; but Mike MD'Antoni is a good enough coach to figure out a system that won't wear out players over a 7 -game series.
- If my numbers are right James Harden is 7/38 in his last 38 attempts from behind the arc and the team was 2/22 from deep in the first half? I just don't believe that will last and think he can get hot just in time for a playoff run.
The Good (99.9%):
- I came away genuinely impressed with how well acclimated Morris and Reggie Jackson feel on that roster. Both look like they have bought into their roles and you can't ask more for that.
- Your team is talented on most nights that you should be able to manage Harden and Westbrook well enough to keep them fresh for the playoffs.
- I'm a Knicks fan, I miss Mook. Should have traded us Shamet and I'm salty.