Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Celtics (12/27/12)
Lob City Highlight of the DayBlake Griffin’s alley oops are the really the best Christmas present that I can ask for.
The Clippers did not look lethargic at any point during the game Tuesday night and extended their win streak to 14 games with another double digit win (their sixth in a row). On paper, Denver did not play poorly. They did not get outrebounded by a large number and didn’t really get crushed in the turnover department either. They even actually shot better from the floor than the Clippers by 1.6 percent.
They completely fell asleep, however, in the second quarter, got outscored 42-22, and were never able to recover. While the Nuggets shot better, the slight edge could not make up for the fact that the Clippers took an extra 13 shots. As a result, the Clippers just kept on rolling and reclaimed the number one seed in the Western Conference.
Tonight, the 14-13 Celtics come to town to try and end the Clippers win streak. The Celtics have a defense that ranks 10th in efficiency while the offense is about average, ranking 17th.
To say that the Celtics’ season has been up and down so far would be an understatement. Their longest win streak of the season has been three games, and their scoring differential on the season is zero. They have the second-most experienced roster in the league behind the Heat. The problem, though, is that Miami’s experience is on the bench; the Celtics’ experience, on the other hand, is starting every night.
Every time the Celtics win it is going to be their experience, and every time they lose it’s going to be their age. They are like an experienced fighter that knows how to take a hit, waits for his shots, and does not waste any energy on being flashy. A fighter that does not back down from a fight. They beat the Thunder by eight in November and lost by 13 to the Heat on opening night. So expect them to play the Clippers tough and keep the game close. The key for the Clippers is going to be how they handle the game if the Celtics don’t go down in the first half and maybe even are protecting a lead into the fourth.
There is something special and pure about watching teams that do not rely on high flying dunks and alley oops and instead focus on fundamental basketball. Like that old-timer on the basketball court completely shutting down the young flashy teenager and frustrating him with good old-fashioned basic basketball. I am not saying that is going to happen tonight; I am still betting on a double digit victory for the Clippers. But this is first Clippers game I am excited for since they played the Thunder back in November.
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