The final score doesn't tell the full story as this game was over almost after it had started. When the Clippers were putting forth a solid effort, the Pelicans didn't have an answer. Los Angeles started off the game slamming it down (DeAndre Jordan had 5 in the 1st quarter), but after they got bored abusing the rim, they began raining treys from all over the court. By night's end, they totaled 48 points from beyond the arc (16-28) with Jamal Crawford's 7 of 12 leading the way.
Consequently, there isn't really much of a reason to go through each of the quarters so we'll just hit on some highlights and notes.
- Anthony Davis started off the game really well, looking very sharp and aggressive. Both he and Blake Griffin were trading points in the first quarter, but for much of the rest of the game, Griffin had the bigger impact. During a stretch early in the 3rd quarter, Griffin pinned AD twice for a couple of And-1 opportunities and then got Davis to commit an offensive foul shortly thereafter. However, this isn't to say Davis didn't play with vigor (26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks AND 12-13 from the line). Merely, Davis' offensive impact was limited mostly to catches on the perimeter, while Griffin continued to pound the paint or find several of his teammates wide open from behind the arc. We're more than halfway through the season, but the team is still under-utilizing Davis -- one only needs to look at how the Clippers feature Griffin to realize this.
- Tyreke Evans is ghastly right now (much like the Kingcake Baby that was spotted running around the arena). He's still driving into the paint area too many times without much hope of success. Without a doubt, Monty hasn't surrounded him with enough optimal lineups, but at some point, he's gotta reel it back a bit and start making better decisions.
- Austin Rivers played approximately 11 more minutes than Brian Roberts, yet before we all get excited, let's remember his dad was standing only feet away. Moreover, I'd be a bigger believer in the trend had Austin been playing really well. Sure, he had his moments, but he still made enough mistakes where we've seen Monty normally yank him. Now, if this timeshare were to happen next game, I'll change my tune...happily.
- Alexis Ajinca put up 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, restricting Greg Stiemsma to a cameo role. Although the numbers were nice, he still bobbles the ball too much for my liking. Further, he wasn't able to curb Jordan's enthusiasm in the least.
- Anthony Morrow started off hot but couldn't sustain it. Still, I like how the team operates better with him at SG than Eric Gordon. Without Anderson, our team needs a guy who the defense needs to watch 24/7. Although Gordon can make the long ball, defenses can give him more room because he needs more time putting up an attempt.
- Speaking of cameo appearances, Luke Babbitt and Jeff Withey combined for 20 minutes.
- The Pelicans had 9 more attempts from the line (35-26), committed 9 turnovers and out-rebounded LA by 10. But when you let the other team get any good look they want, this game proves it doesn't matter. Of course Monty attributed this loss to the other team making an inordinate number of shots in his post-game interview, but come on, it's our job to take some things away. CP3 driving all over the floor? Nope. DeAndre camping at the rim? Nope. Running Crawford off the line? Nope. Frustrating Griffin? You get my drift.