Five takeaways from the Clippers’ exhibition loss to the Warriors
Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ 125-107 exhibition loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena that dropped L.A. to 1-5 in the preseason:
1. Matt Barnes is still searching for his shot: The small forward admitted he was mentally pressing after making just one of seven shots and missing all three of his three-pointers. He’s made only three of 31 (9.7%) shots and one of 18 (5.6%) three-pointers. Two things working in Barnes’ favor: It’s just the preseason and he’s not relied on for scoring. “My thing on this team is to be able to play defense and rebound and make hustle plays,” he said. “My shot will eventually come and everything will be fine.”
2. Jared Cunningham looked like an NBA point guard: Getting a rare start on a night that Chris Paul was resting and backup Jordan Farmar was unavailable because of lower back tightness, the training camp invitee mostly impressed in his bid to snag the Clippers’ final roster spot. Playing in his native Oakland, Cunningham scored a team-high 23 points on six-for-15 shooting to go with three assists. He committed six turnovers and seemed to sag a bit in the fourth quarter. “I thought he played great,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “He threw some tough passes where you could see he just didn’t have command of the offense, which you expect. You could see when we struggled offensively he didn’t know what to call. He was looking for stuff. In his defense, when you have your two best offensive players sitting in the locker room, you’re probably looking around like, ‘I don’t know what to call.’ ”
3. Spencer Hawes and DeAndre Jordan are going to be a dynamic duo: Jordan twice gave the only player on the roster taller than him nice passes that resulted in baskets, a new wrinkle that is going to make the Clippers tougher to defend. Hawes also knocked down a three-pointer and continues to be the floor spacer the team needs.
4. Based on playing time, it looks like Chris Douglas-Roberts will be the second primary small forward: Douglas-Roberts returned from a sprained ankle that had sidelined him the last game to score six points and force six steals in 19 minutes. That’s more minutes than fellow small forwards Reggie Bullock and Joe Ingles received combined (11). Douglas-Roberts appears to be the player Rivers trusts in his rotation at the position alongside Barnes. The question remains: Which player will be the starter?
5. What’s up, Doc, with getting a second technical foul in the preseason?: Rivers said there was a misunderstanding in which official Mark Lindsay thought he was complaining about a non-call when Cunningham was smacked in the face on a drive to the basket in the second quarter. “That was an awful tech,” Rivers said. “Someone from our bench said something and it looked like Mark was going to give him a tech and then I said, ‘Come on, Mark.’ That was it, and I got a tech. At halftime, he said, ‘I thought that was you from the bench.’ I was like, ‘It wasn’t me.’ ”
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