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Clippers Vs. Wizards Recap: ...

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The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Washington Wizards, 107-81, on Saturday night. That's all I'm going to write about this game. There are children that sometimes view this website, and I don't want to offend their sensibilities by describing any of the 500 Clippers dunks. Oops, I've said too much. Sorry, parents.

Here are the notes, if you care to read them:
  • Often times, JaVale McGee will go for blocks needlessly, leaving his man open for an easy offensive rebound and putback. However, early on, he went for blocks because he kind of had to, not because he was out of position. The Wizards have to seal off the backside when McGee does actually have to cut off penetration. That's on Trevor Booker and Rashard Lewis in particular.
  • Stopping dribble penetration was a problem early. Rashard Lewis even let Caron Butler, whose offensive game is mostly long jumpers at this point, go by him. The primary defenders needed to do a better job than they did early on in the game.
  • There's a level of discipline this game requires that John Wall sometimes struggles to pick up. That was evident after he launched a long jumper that missed off the back rim. When that happens, it's his responsibility to drop back to prevent the transition the other way. Instead, he raced to Blake Griffin to try to make a really hard play intercepting the pass, and Chris Paul sped the other way. Paul got the long pass, found Griffin, who fed DeAndre Jordan for a slam dunk and a 17-10 Clippers lead. If Wall drops back as he's supposed to do to cover Paul, that play never happens.
  • Really bad start for Lewis. It just didn't feel like he had his legs. When Butler is beating you off the dribble, it usually means you don't have it.
  • Nick Young had it going early, but the Wizards' offense can't simply devolve into "ride the hot hand" so early in the game. Young needed to move the ball better and work to get it back in better scoring positions.
  • I liked Jan Vesely's pick and roll defense, but he really has to be more of a threat offensively. I'm not even talking about as a shooter. I'm talking about rolling to the basket faster, cutting into open space better, etc. To be fair, with this collection of players, there isn't a ton of open space on the court.
  • Kevin Seraphin regressed early in this game. Was bullied inside, slow on rotations, unable to hold passes, etc. He looked like the overwhelmed project he was earlier in the season.
  • Lots of fumbled passes by many different players in this one. I think there were lots of factors. Nerves were probably part of it, but oor passes had a lot to do with it as well. It seemed like players were spotting cutters an instant too late, and when that happens, you get lots of dropped passes in traffic.
  • You have to appreciate McGee going up and challenging Griffin at the rim, but he also has to realize he's needed to cut off the pick and roll before Griffin gets started rather than after.
  • The Wizards' defense really wasn't that bad for a decent part of the second quarter. It's just so tough when the Clippers have so many shotmakers. When you take the ball out of the basket so much, it's hard to get your offense going. That's just the reality the Wizards faced midway through the second quarter.
  • So yeah, about that defense. It really fell apart late in the second quarter. When you can't contain dribble penetration, you make life so much worse for your help defenders. How can a guy like Butler get by you to get to the basket?
  • Rashard Lewis running a fast break is horrible.
  • Rashard Lewis running a fast break is horrible.
  • I really don't understand how a coach can continue to play Lewis when he screws up two fast breaks that badly, waits a good five seconds to make his cut to the perimeter while everyone else does nothing, gets the chair pulled on him in the post and commits a technical foul in a three-minute sequence.
  • The construction of this roster was on full display in this third quarter. There's simply no room for anyone to do anything offensively without any deep shooters and anyone able to move into open space on offense. Nobody even bothered to cut with a purpose, but it's not as if it would have mattered. When teams can cheat off three different players because they can't beat you with a jump shot, you have no chance. All the ball movement in the world doesn't fix that. Wall driving into Griffin and falling down was horrible, but Wall has nowhere to go. You've taken a problem (Wall's shooting) and compounded it by not giving him any open space. It's amazing how that happens. Nothing is more important in today's NBA than having shooters. Nothing.
  • Every single ball-handler was swarmed by two defenders. You can do that when nobody can make you pay.
And ... that's it. The Wizards deserve no more pixels from anyone for tonight's performance.