5 takeaways from the Clippers’ 112-108 loss to Brooklyn, which was only their second loss this season when making more three-pointers than their opponent — the other occasion coming in opposition to Brooklyn as properly:
1. With three of the NBA’s best scorers, the problems that Brooklyn presents offensively are apparent. Its defense, in the meantime, has largely been derided since James Harden’s arrival. But in two losses to the Nets this season, the Clippers have been annoyed offensively to a degree few other opponents have. The Clippers knew precisely what was coming. Coach Tyronn Lue said earlier than tipoff that the Nets would change each defensive project, point guard by center, when Jeff Green performed small-ball center, and that they’d change their defenders from point guard to ahead when lumbering center DeAndre Jordan performed.
But simply as in Brooklyn’s win Feb. 3, the Clippers felt they’d performed stagnantly regardless of helping on 60% of their baskets. Even their league-best free-throw accuracy was off — the Clippers completed 13 of 18 en path to only their eighth recreation this season taking pictures worse than 80% from the road.
“We got 35 threes, which is way better than we’ve been getting, but I don’t think I liked the shots that we got by getting those threes,” Lue said. “We settled for a lot of jump shots, we didn’t get to the paint to make the next play or the next pass for another guy, and that hurt us. It made us stagnant. … A lot of times they gave us the matchups we wanted — Landry Shamet and Kyrie [Irving] on PG and Kawhi and our guys, and we just weren’t able to capitalize on it.”
George referred to as it “the only thing we got to improve on from an offensive standpoint. In games like this when we get these switches. But yet we still got to play our offense.”
2. Lue felt his team’s offense was more culpable for the loss than the defense, and the dearth of anybody exterior of George and Leonard to go away a mark as a scorer was a main motive.
Highlights from the Clippers’ 112-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Center Ivica Zubac (13 points) was the only other scorer in double figures. Marcus Morris, who had made 52% of his three-pointers over his final 13 video games, was held to 5 points. So was Lou Williams, who completed 2-for-11. Nicolas Batum scored three points and has made one in every of eight shots combined in his two video games since getting back from a concussion.
3. With a totally wholesome lineup, Lue said he’ll resolve whether or not to make use of Terance Mann or Luke Kennard because the second guard off the bench based on whether or not he feels the matchup requires Mann’s defense or Kennard’s taking pictures.
“Both of those guys understand that you can’t play 11 to 12 guys in this league,” Lue said.
Sunday was Mann night’s, and Kennard didn’t play for a second consecutive recreation by coach’s resolution.
Instantly after checking in in the course of the first quarter, Mann gave Harden an excessive amount of space to get off a shot — which is to say any space — and the Nets star made a three-pointer. However this wasn’t a night about only studying classes. Mann leaped to tip away an alley-oop from DeAndre Jordan on the top of the cross’ flight early within the second quarter, and later fought over the top of a screen to remain on Harden’s hip and bothered him sufficient to disclaim a clear shot attempt off the dribble. To say Mann’s worth hinges only on his effort devalues his enchancment as a mid-range shooter and passer, however that level of energy has turn out to be extraordinarily important to the Clippers’ second unit.
4. Simply 6-foot-4, Brooklyn’s Bruce Brown repeatedly gashed the Clippers’ defense near the rim as a result of it typically appeared his defenders — together with Clippers facilities — misplaced where he was. It led to simple cuts, back-door baskets and 13 important points because the Nets, just like the Clippers, desperately wanted scoring exterior of their two stars. It made him by far the night’s most respected player amongst these concerned in November’s three-team trade that despatched Shamet from L.A. to Brooklyn and introduced Kennard from Detroit to the Clippers.
As Kennard watched from the sideline, Shamet made simply one in every of his seven shots.
5. That two-handed transition slam by Nets guard Kyrie Irving? It was his first dunk because the 2018-19 season.