Here are five take aways from the Clippers’ 102-91 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
1. Blake Griffin didn’t get to enjoy his moment
Blake Griffin scored 40 points for the sixth time in his career. He made 18 of his 23 shots, shooting a very impressive 78% from the field. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and made three assists. Griffin, however, said he wasn’t able to savor his performance.
Said Griffin: “I wouldn’t say you really enjoy any performance when you lose, because the whole point is to do that to help your team win.”
2. Putting things into perspective
The Clippers’ record has dropped to below .500 yet again at 7-8. That might not mean much, though, considering the Cleveland Cavaliers opened last season with a record of 6-7, yet they went on to reach the NBA Finals.
Said Chris Paul: “I do know that we have time. I know that for a fact.”
3. But what’s wrong?
The Clippers haven’t put together back-to-back victories since they opened the season with a 4-0 record. They’re struggling on the defensive end, and in Wednesday’s game allowed the Jazz to take a 17-point fourth-quarter lead after the score was tied at halftime. They’re not rebounding well, they’re not shooting well from beyond the three-point line, and sometimes it doesn’t seem as though the effort is there.
Said Clippers Coach Doc Rivers: “We’re just too inconsistent. We’re not a consistent basketball team, and we’ve got to become that.”
4. Where was the rest of the team?
Paul backed up Griffin on offense with 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting (66.6%) and eight assists. After the two of them, there was a mighty steep drop off. The rest of the team combined to shoot only 27% (10 of 37) from the field, with no one cracking double figures. It was a stark contrast from the Clippers’ win the night before against the Denver Nuggets, in which every Clippers starter scored 10 or more.
Said Jamal Crawford: “Obviously we’re at our best when we have a balanced attack, and tonight we didn’t do that.”
5. The home crowd will get more chances to see a ‘W’
The Clippers are now one game into a six-game homestand, a stretch they were hoping to use to reverse their mediocre start. There was one statistic in particular that stood out to Rivers as something the team needs to change if they’re going to win going forward: The Jazz had 23 second-chance points, while the Clippers had only 11.
Said Rivers: “That killed us. It’s been our issue all year.”