Clippers Vs. Blazers Preseason Game Thread 2013-10-07 (P. 6)

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cleepers
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The expectation of DJ has always been for him to anchor the defense and rebound, with any offense he can give being a bonus... even under Dunleavy.

Top-5 last year in offensive efficiency, effective FG%, true shooting% (even with our FT troubles) and assist ratio.

A lot of teams would kill for that lack of offense. Our defense was the problem... and our shooters not showing up in the playoffs.

jarca
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You don't bench your defensive anchor automatically in the fourth then expect him to be a monster all of the sudden in the playoff.

JahvonTheClip
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He was at training camp so I would guess so

cleepers
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You do if his 22% FT's and 111Drtg cost you possessions against a slow pace, low possession team like the Grizz.

TheDude
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I know some guys won't agree with this yet but we actually upgraded our back up PG position. He's just as fast with the ball, much more under control and more well rounded game overall. Dude is a proven starter, not top tier, but a starter. Bled has never proven to be of that level.

Pretty amazing that they were able to get Collison for under 2mil. Total steal.

ClipperRobbie
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I thought our defense was spectacular in this game. I really do feel like Doc coming in has shaken up the team in a good way. Even though it's a preseason game, there's not anyone loping or playing lazy because it's as if everyone is fighting for minutes. The motion offense was noticeable since the first minute of the game, but it is something that was a bit concerning for me at least. There was good ball movement, but it seemed like most of the offense led to pick-and-pops for our bigs. I'm not a big fan of anyone over 6'10 perched at the three point line, and I wouldn't want our team to start living and dying by the three ball and by whether or not Mullens and Jamison are hot or not.

Overall though, it was still a good performance and was very fun to watch. Last night was just the beginning of a great year for our team.

cleepers
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Here you go...

http://www.nba.com/video/games/blazers/ ... ef:nbahpts

TheDude
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Steve wrote an ode to Willie today, great read. But I have to quote FlybyKnight, first comment on the article.

"Have you ever seen Jesus and Willie Green at the same time? Exactly."

Classic. Gotta love Willie.

david
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Nice article on DeAndre Jordan's performance last night: "D.J. was the player we've been telling you he was," Rivers said after the game. "He controlled the game I thought single-handedly with his defense and his energy and his talk." In 21 minutes, Jordan finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals. He took nine shots from the field and afterwards said all of them came by virtue of energy and effort. "I scored but we didn't call one play for me," Jordan said. "I just wanted to be as active as possible, offensively and defensively." "He's just been awesome," Willie....

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Silasie
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^

If this is not just a pre season flash in the pan things could look very good for our team. I am not getting my hopes up just yet but I am a little bit tempted to.

david
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If we did downgrade, it wasn't by too much. Collison is a great value for sure. I did see some turnovers by him last night, but he certainly should have a better turnover rate than E-Bled.

Bledsoe never got the chance to be the designated starter for the Clippers, so it will be interesting now to see how he does in that role. Nice first game by him w/ 22 points.

tense2
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Bledsoe's always been more of a score 1st type guy then facilitator IMO. Not quite the mind set for a pg. He did have 22 pts against an inferior opponent, but only 4 assist and 3 TO's.

We gained more then we lost by trading Bled.

Jerediscool
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I was at the game last night. It was pretty amazing seeing DJ run around like he knew what he was doing and multiple times took the crowds breath away. blazer fans we talking about how much they wish they had him on their team. It was crazy, but after a game like that, yea, id rather have him than Lopez as well

jarca
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He was automatically benched throughout the season even though he has a double double by the end of the 3rd. That's a great confidence builder

Agent0
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Agreed, the better balance and getting players that fit makes more sense and make the team better since Bledsoe would still be a backup PG playing 13-14 MPG and that limits his impact.

cleepers
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He had 12 double-doubles in 82 games. He barely averaged a double-double in 36 minutes of action, so unless he was playing ALL of the first 3 quarters before being benched for the 4th, your memories are inaccurate.

And as for building his confidence, going to the 5th best offensive player to open the game early in the season was Vinny's attempt to do that. Unfortunately, when teams got wise to his jump hook, forced him out a couple of feet and he didn't have a counter move, those plays for DJ became wasted possessions and he hung his head on defense.

Time will tell if his newfound defensive intensity is here to stay, but one has only to read this thread to see that many people are skeptical as to whether it will. Legacies aren't built in exhibition games.

My guess is we'll know by Christmas and if he doesn't keep it up, he'll be shipped out.

Agent0
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DJ put up 13/10.6 per 36, his production when he was on the floor was pretty good. I don't like the blame being one sided on Vinny though. Yes, Vinny definitely takes part of the blame, he didn't handle it the best he could, but DJ has to be responsible for his own actions. It's not just okay to say "well because someone else didn't do this, or because of these circumstances, I reacted in this way". He still could have fought through all that and played as hard as possible whenever he was on the floor.

That still doesn't mean the coach couldn't have done a better job providing an environment that would be conducive to him having greater confidence, but it doesn't absolve the player from blame in how he reacted.

Voyeur
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Well we can't forget how much the hack-a-DJ hurt us. And we can't forget how he could not guard Randolph or Gasol in the First Round. And we can't forget one season DJ did lead the league in blocks before dropping off.

However, I'm encouraged by his play. His recent attitude thanks to the confidence given by Doc. The FT's!!! I'm gonna be cautiously optimistic about DJ, which is saying a lot considering how I felt after the playoffs.

cleepers
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A wise man once said...

"There's an old saying in Tennessee... I know it's in Texas, 's probably in Tennessee... that says: Fool me once... shame on... shame on you... (stares blankly) ...you fool me, you can't get fooled again!"

I have hope for DJ, but not faith. And we NEED him to step up if we're going to succeed. We're thinner up front than Donald Trump's hair.

Clippersfan86
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You guys are looking at the wrong things here. Hell I bashed DJ more than all of you last year, especially late in the season. It got so bad that if you all remember I was literally cussing him out in every game thread. That being said I saw something yesterday I had never seen. It wasn't the good stats or production because as said by all of you doubting... it has happened before and almost always happens in preseason and early season. What I saw that was different to me was his intangibles. His IQ, leadership, focus and overall mentality was just so freaking ridiculously good. I never thought I'd see the day where even for one game... Jordan was THE leader of our team.

Did you know that Doc told CP3, Blake and DJ to all walk center court to greet Lillard (Portland captain) before the game? He told them... I'm not going to pick a team captain, I'm going to let you guys sort that out and see what happens. Which was freaking BRILLIANT. It basically put all of the accountability on them and he continues to give DJ the confidence and fresh start he's never had.

cleepers
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A fresh start is great... and hopefully DJ grabs the opportunity with both hands because we badly need him to, but one half of one exhibition game does not make a season... let alone a career.

Doc seems to have him engaged, for now, and I applaud him for that. But so did Dunleavy and Vinny in training camps, and like Agent0 said, at some point he has to take responsibility for his own performances.

I'll be convinced when he faces tougher opposition - when his man is on fire - and still puts 100% effort into running the floor and anchoring the defense.

I don't expect him to be all-NBA, but with his supreme athleticism and lack of skill, he should play every game like it's a game 7.

Voyeur
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^^ I get that. I hope your right C86! There's no doubt DJ has the physical presence and the tools to be a top defensive guy. It's all about focus.

Voyeur
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I'm a little more concerned about Blake. It seems if anyone's been asked to change his game, it's Blake. And he missed a lot of shots. He seems willing to buy into the system, I just hope he becomes comfortable with it....and still able to be Blake, if you know what I mean.

letitbled
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All one has to do is use their eyes to understand what a talent DJ can be. You cannot dump a guy with that kind of upside without really giving it a chance to blossom. DJ has the talent to be an all star center and we finally have a coach who knows how to get the most out of his players. Thank God we didn't dump him for a one year rental like Garnett or a mediocre center like Lopez. Great job of showing some restraint by the front office.

Clippersfan86
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Cleepers Vinny and Dunleavy aren't exact known motivators. I agree that it SHOULD come from within but the bottom line is many pro athletes are pampered and mentally weak and rather than throwing them to the curb, it's better to learn how to push their buttons. I'd rather Doc lavish praise on DJ if it gets him focused and motivated like this, than destroy his confidence Vinny style. We need this guy and as I said earlier, given that we couldn't find a great backup big... everything rests on DJ and Blake.

Clippersfan86
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I agree Blake is my biggest concern. I'm having to temper my expectations on him a lot the last couple weeks. You look in his eyes and I'm not seeing a guy who wants to lead this team or make a big leap. I really hope he hasn't become content.

cleepers
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Key words: "can be".

He's had 5 years and 2 coaches. Now, with Doc here, he's out of excuses.

Maybe that's as much of a motivating factor as Doc actually being here. I don't mind... whatever makes him work.

But if he starts slacking when things don't go his way he'll be gone by all-star break and he'll never see another 7-figure contract in his life.

Voyeur
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Yeah, I'm not so worried about the leadership thing. I think he actually has to adjust first, then lead. I saw some leadership last year. I just hope he IS able to adjust to the new system...and soon. I hear he was hitting shots in practice. Plus he played well in the exhibition games this summer, so fingers crossed.

cleepers
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Blake doesn't concern me. He'll step up when the games matter. He might even start the season quietly if the jumpshot doesn't fall, but he still commands a double in the post and is an excellent passer.

Doc only wants to develop his face-up game to throw the opposition off. The CP3/Blake p'n'r will always be there... Doc just wants to make it one option of many so it becomes easier for them.

Voyeur
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Turns out JJ and Matt didn't practice today. What the heck, man? I hope they get to play some of these preseason games! It ain't like they looked hobbled over there on the bench!

Clipswhit
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Hacking DJ didn't even hurt us much. We didn't play him enough for it to. We May have lost a game or two because of it, but even then you can't blame a loss on a guy who missed a couple free throws with 8 minutes left in the game.

GRIFFINSANITY
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Kinda random but have you guys seen this tweet

Shut up RT @deandrejordan: less is more, it's plenty of us... (e-bled tweeted it)

SamMays
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DJ has a lot to prove... I hope he does so.

He needs to stay down and not jump for every shot fake.

He needs to leave his man to help much more judiciously than in the past.

He needs to be physical before his man gets the ball to deny position.

He needs to anticipate where the play is going, so that he can be in proper position.

These are the areas where he needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

On the offensive side, I don't care what he does. I don't think he'll ever develop go to post moves or a reliable shot. But if he does those things defensively, that will be more than enough.

Still, I want to see them over at least a third of the regular season before I pronounce him new and improved.Preseason success means next to nothing.

SamMays
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Oh yeah... And he needs to shoot 60% from the foul line or you can't play him in the last six minutes... And if you can't play a guy in the last six minutes, you have to wonder if there are better options for the first 42 minutes.

Clippersfan86
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What does that even mean lol?

ClipsGForce
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However, I don't really like much of Collison defense. He should also look to pass more. There's time during the game that he just ballhog his way in.

TheDude
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He single handedly cost us a few games with his FT shooting and was a contributing factor in quite a few. Rarely did he have a good game in a loss. If he showed up that night, usually we won the game.

When you leave 8-10 points on the board with missed FTs, even if they're in the first half, that's the difference in a lot of NBA games. It's also demoralizing to your teammates watching brick after brick and then some airballs. This is professional basketball!

Most games in this league are close, even worst against best matchups. DJ hurt us a lot last year. And that can be an encouraging thing right now...If he really has worked this summer and has improved defensively but more importantly from the line, that alone is a huge improvement of our team.

Voyeur
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Also, the hack-a-DJ hurt enough to basically convince Del Negro to keep DJ out of critical moments of other games. So it's not just the hack-a-DJ that hurt us, it was the threat of hack-a-DJ that hurt us. But, as I say, I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

tense2
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His biggest and most important contributions each game will come from his defensive and rebounding game. If he FT% gets to plus 50% (which I think it will) that will be an added plus.

TheDude
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I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on Collison. Probably only saw him play big minutes 5 times last year including a couple times they played us.

He's probably not as good as Bled defensively but he's also more disciplined. (This I know since most players are more disciplined than Bled.)

He may not have the potential to come in and take over like Bled did once a month but this guy is a front line player in the league. He's probably about 20th-25th best PG in the NBA and I think most analysts would put Bled just outside the top 30 at this point.

We could have done a lot worse. Especially for the cost. Bled was more valuable because he was still on his rookie deal...We got Collison for about 500K more. Absolute steal.

Either way, I'm going to give him a couple months before deciding how good I think he is.

tense2
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Actually, Collison (and Bled) ranked a little higher then that last year per this site:

http://www.thenbageek.com/players?positions%5B%5D=PG

And yes, he is a "steal" for the $....now for the back up big department, no "steals' there. cry

CP3Best
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Am I the only one who is excited to see DJ make 4-5 free throws? What concerns me was that Mullens couldn't make ****! Just kept jacking them!

tense2
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Yes that's great....but it is ONLY one pre-season game. Stay focused.

pageC4
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I know. I think DJ did this last year as well. started off pretty hot then cooled. I'm very happy with this start but also as you..focused.

david
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Hey guys- just added a box score feature to game day threads. If you are logged in, you should see the red box score button. If it doesn't work for you or looks way off, let me know and I'll check it out.

tense2
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Excellent David, thanks.

Clippersfan86
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David always working to make this place better, great addition!

Silasie
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Box score is great. Nice one.

CapsNClips
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I can't see it on my iPhone. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, but I can't find it.

Clipswhit
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^ download the nba game time app. It free and has reasonably complete box scores

Edit: just saw David's post. Disregard this.

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