Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Magic (2/6/13)
The Clippers don’t deserve a highlight at the moment, so here is John Wall throwing down…
Different night, same story: the Clippers could not buy a shot from three point range, just 23.5 percent on 4 of 17 shooting while Washington made 58.3 percent. The Clippers also turned the ball over 20 times compared to just 12 turnovers by the Wizards. Throw in no Chris Paul and Blake Griffin missing his first game in 197 games, and you have your third straight loss.
The Clippers’ poor performance as of late is sparking all sorts of trade rumors. The most prominent one at the moment is Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. The reason the trade makes sense is because the Clippers need help in the half-court offense, defense in the paint, and some veteran leadership. And if the trade goes through today, it will give them 32 to games to gel.
Kevin Garnett is playing his 18th season at 36 and has played 1302 games. He is still, however, above average in both offensive and defensive efficiency, even though those numbers have been in steady decline since the '07-08 season when he recorded his career highs. So to give up two young players for a seasoned veteran who may not be able to make the right adjustments in just 32 is risky.
Plus, the Clippers have Chris Paul, who can run the half-court offense just fine, and Mr. Big Shot who has plenty of experience in big moments himself. So if they make the trade now, it would be out of panic. The wiser choice (in my humble opinion) might be waiting till after the All-Star Break when everyone should be healthy and see if they are able to return to the dominance they have shown back in December.
Quick Look Ahead
Tonight, the Clippers travel to the Sunshine State to take on the 14-34 Magic. The Clippers lost to the Magic by three points about a month ago, and the way they have been playing, tonight might be a similar result. That's especially since Paul will mostly likely be out and Griffin is a game time decision.
The Clippers have six games before the All-Star Break, with three of those coming against likely playoff teams and another one against the Lakers, who look like they are finally starting to put it together. The Clippers are also out of first place by 4.5 games. So while the Clippers are much better at home than on the road, their main focus at this point should be on getting healthy. I would consider the rest of this road trip a success if they can finish it with a 3-3 mark.