Bonus Coverage: Clippers 113 Grizzlies 110

As a closet Clippers fan, I was delighted with the opportunity to watch this game.

Since the Warriors handled the Grizzlies easily, but got blown off the court by the Clippers, it should have been easy to predict how the Clippers would fare against the Grizzlies at home, right?  Wrong.  This game was closely contested throughout, and was finally decided only as the final horn sounded, when Rudy Gay’s dead-on 3 point attempt hit the back rim.  How is this possible?

Some of you might point out that this was the back end of a home and away back-to-back for the Clippers. Too true. But you’re not going to win that argument. For the Grizzlies, this was also a back-to-back game. And it was the fifth game of a grueling 5 game in 7 night road trip. So what happened? Why was a team that was so clearly superior to the Warriors played so closely by a team that couldn’t hang with the Warriors?

The answer, as I watched this game, came easily to me.  The answer was Marc Gasol.  Marc Gasol didn’t shut down Chris Kaman.  Indeed, by the box score, Kaman had another superb game.  But what Marc Gasol did was play Chris Kaman man-to-man.  The Grizzlies never had to double team him.  And that left them able to stay at home on Baron Davis and Eric Gordon and Rasual Butler and Sebastian Telfair.  The result of that was huge: those four who combined to torch the Warriors for 25-52 shooting (60%) were only able to muster 20-46 (43%) in this game.

The significance of this to the Warriors fans who were stunned by their team’s colossal failure against the Clippers should be clear.  The absence of the two Warriors centers who could have played Kaman man-to-man, and who if they were both healthy, could even have combined to significantly slow him down, was absolutely fatal to the Warriors’ chances in that game.  While I’m not going to entirely dismiss the significant chemistry problems of the remainder of the Warriors team that suffered the Friday Night Massacre, I think it’s worth pointing out that that team was not the actual Warriors team.

It was something much, much less.  Let’s hope Beans and Rony Turiaf get well soon.

2 Responses to Bonus Coverage: Clippers 113 Grizzlies 110

  1. Feltbot, how many teams do you think win 42 or more games this season? From what I’m seeing in the early going, there is LOTS of mediocrity around the NBA. Warriors fans are upset about the Clippers game, but how about the Kings beating Utah last night on the road? Starting the 4th quarter the Jazz only had 68 points and trailed by 20. Hell, Sacto didn’t even have Kevin Martin, out 6-8 weeks with a fractured wrist. New Orleans, outside of Chris Paul, looks horrible. San Antonio already looks like a tired team. Phoenix has started fast but they’re no great shakes, and they beat the Celtics in Boston the other night. Houston? Well, at least they play hard. Denver looks great at times, but they barely beat Memphis at home, and now get blown out twice in a row on the road. Portland has young legs, but Andre Miller is unhappy and Greg Oden usually has 3 fouls before the end of the 1st quarter each game. Can you say “bust”? Orlando has “Superman”, but how can any team be taken seriously that loads up on former Warriors? LOL The Cavs have the King, and are screaming out of the gates on a pace to win 41 games. Oh, and let’s not forget the Knicks, losers of 6 of their first 7, and undoubtedly waiting breathlessly for the arrival of Stephen Jackson to team with his buddy Al “hang on the rim” Harrington to help turn their season around. LMAO Without doubt, GSW is going to have a rough season, and multiple trades are likely between now and February. Maybe even Nellie throws up his hands in I-can’t-take-it-anymore disgust? But after watching what’s going on around the league, at least the Warriors can find some comfort in the saying “misery loves company”.

  2. Steve, I think it’s going to be a lot easier to sneak into the eighth seed in the West than it has been in years past. There is a lot of parity after the top 5 seeds, and New Orleans has really fallen.

    The Warriors have started the season with all sorts of problems: injuries to their entire frontline, players in new roles, chemistry issues. They’ve looked terrible so far. And yet you could argue that their record at 1-3 is exactly what it should be at this point. The Warriors have played three playoff contenders and lost to all three, and they beat the team they were supposed to beat.

    The Warriors are a long way from looking like a playoff contender right now, but they will never be close to being a contender until, at the very least, they get healthy and stay healthy. Its a long season, and way too early to lose hope.