Clippers vs Thunder Playoffs Gm. #2 Game Thread 2014-05-07

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clipper*joe
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Clippers Vs. Thunder Game 2

Lets hope our guys come out and continue the great team play! Here is a fun fact:

The trend in the second round seems to be that all winning teams have blown out the competition in game one. If that is any sign of things to come, I welcome it.

Clippers-Thunder Preview

By CLIFF BRUNT

Posted May 06 2014 8:28PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Chris Paul is usually about assists - he led the league in that category this season, and his popular television commercials focus on them.

He helped his team in a surprisingly different way Monday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The point guard made eight 3-pointers against the Oklahoma City Thunder - three more than he had ever made in an NBA game - to help the Clippers win 122-105.

Paul, who only missed one 3-pointer and finished with 32 points, said fans should not expect a similar explosion in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

"The next game, I might have 12 points, 10 points, maybe not even that many," he said Tuesday. "I think I'm one of those people - whatever it takes to win. I don't care. I'm never going to lead the league in scoring or anything like that. It's just whatever to try to win."

Paul, who finished seventh in the MVP voting despite missing nearly one-quarter of the season with a shoulder injury, has been a capable scorer throughout his career. He averaged 19.1 points this season, and has averaged 18.6 points over his nine NBA seasons. Clippers forward Blake Griffin believes Paul could be even more of a scorer.

"A night like last night shows what he can do offensively," Griffin said. "There's dialogue sometimes for him to get more aggressive like he was last night because he can do that almost every game. We tell him to be aggressive, but his whole thing is getting other guys the ball."

Paul's shooting leaves the Thunder with an unexpected problem. The Clippers have plenty of offensive weapons - Griffin, who finished third in the MVP balloting, and Jamal Crawford, the league's Sixth Man of the Year, immediately come to mind. Add perimeter players Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick and Darren Collison, the inside game of DeAndre Jordan and Paul as a more assertive threat from the outside, and the Clippers might be more dangerous than the team that led the NBA in scoring during the regular season.

"When he's hitting 3s like that, it's tough," Thunder forward Nick Collison said of Paul. "We can definitely make it more difficult on him than we did (Monday). I think that's where our focus is going to be, is how can we defend better?"

Paul scored 17 points and made five 3-pointers in the final 6:21 of the first quarter in Game 1, matching his career high for 3-pointers in a game in the first 12 minutes. By the end of the barrage, the Clippers had turned a 16-13 deficit into a 39-25 lead.

"When a guy hits five or six 3s in a row, you don't want to give him some more, and that is when they started to get some stuff in the paint," said Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who was named MVP on Tuesday.

Overall, the Clippers made 15 of 29 3-point attempts.

"The effort was there," Durant said. "We had good intentions, but they got hot. We have got to correct it. We have to make them miss next game and be a little bit more physical."

Paul said his shots came from good ball movement and good screens.

"It wasn't like I was making unbelievable shots, it was because the court was open," he said. "When I had two defenders I gave it to Blake, and that's what put so much pressure on the defense because BG (Griffin) is such a great passer."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said teamwork was the key to the offense's success Monday night. Los Angeles shot 55 percent and committed just nine turnovers.

"The ball didn't stick," he said. "The ball moved. Everything was quick. Quick decisions, quick drives, quick shots. There was not a lot of hesitation. If we play like that, we'll be good."

Though it was a good start, the Clippers say there's a long way to go if they are to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time.

"You don't read too much into it because it's still Game 1 of the series," Rivers said. "With us, I don't think you can get too high or too low. You've just got to keep coming out and playing. You might get those same shots tomorrow and they not go in."

--

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

http://www.nba.com/games/20140507/LACOKC/gameinfo.html

Notebook: Clippers 122, Thunder 105

Randy Renner, for NBA.com

Posted Tue May 06, 2014 1:27 AM - Updated Tue May 06, 2014 1:27 AM

THE FACT: Chris Paul had a career high eight 3-pointers against Oklahoma City.

THE LEAD: It took Clippers point guard Chris Paul just six minutes in the first quarter to tie his career high with five made 3-point baskets. He went on to splash eight long balls and score 32 points in leading his Clippers to a 122-105 blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Clippers were hot from everywhere, shooting 51.7 percent on 3s and 54.9 percent overall while turning the ball over only nine times and handing out 26 assists.

Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 29 points on 9-for-14 shooting and Kevin Durant added 25 on 9-for-19. Serge Ibaka dropped in 12 on 6-for-9 shooting but no one else for the Thunder did much on offense. Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson were a combined 2-for-15 for seven points and 1-for-6 on 3s.

Blake Griffin, coming back home to Oklahoma City where he grew up and played for the University of Oklahoma, ended up with 23 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 17 for the Clippers but it was Paul who dominated the game. He also handed out 10 assists and was flawless in his handling of the offense.

QUOTABLE: "C.P. really set the tone for us to start the game. His being aggressive at the start really helped us. Tonight he just looked great and we just had one of those nights when everything was going in."

-- Clippers head coach Doc Rivers

THE STAT: Interestingly on Paul's hot night his lowest shooting percentage came on the easiest shots. He was 66.7 percent from the free throw line but 85.7 percent on field goals and 88.9 percent on 3s.

TURNING POINT: After the Thunder had taken a 16-10 lead in the first quarter the Clippers went on a 24-6 run to give them a double-digit cushion. Playing with that lead the Clippers never let OKC get closer than 13 points the rest of the night.

QUOTABLE II: "We have to play better on defense. They were making shots, getting to the line and making 3s. Chris had an unbelievable night. We have to do a better job guarding the 3-point line."

-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks

QUOTABLE III: "I just tried to take what was given to me and just kept trying to be aggressive. I came over here (to the arena) early before the game today to get some shots up and try to get my body right."

-- Chris Paul

HOT: The Thunder started 7-for-10 (70 percent) and the Clippers started 5-for-8 (62.5 percent). ... OKC finished the quarter at 50 percent (10-for-20) and the Thunder finished at 66.7 percent (16-24). ... The Clippers were 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) on 3s in the first half. ... Paul was 6-for-6 from deep. ... Westbrook was 6-for-8 (16 points) in the first half. ... Paul finished 12-for-14 overall and 8-for-9 on 3s. ... The Clippers shot 51.7 percent from beyond the arc.

NOT: The Thunder were 2-for-9 on 3s in the first half. ... Butler was 0-for-3 in the first half and finished 1-for-7 (three points). Jackson was 1-for-8 (four points). ... DeAndre Jordan was 1-for-8 on free throws.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The 160th consecutive sellout inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein was among those sitting courtside.

GOOD MOVE: In the first quarter Ibaka got open in the lane for a slam then Thabo Sefolosha, whom Brooks inserted back into the starting lineup, stole the outlet pass and raced back the other way hitting a wide-open Durant with a pass and KD splashed a 3.

GOOD MOVE TOO: Rivers said "this series would take on a different identity" from the first round series each team played and it certainly did for OKC. The Thunder were coming off a slow down, grind-it-out series with Memphis and ran right into a buzz saw. The Clippers dominated in the paint and out on the perimeter with speed and precision.

BAD MOVE: The Thunder, knowing full well the Clippers love to shoot the 3-ball, were continually torched by the long ball in the first half and nothing changed in the second half. Brooks started Sefolosha for his perimeter defense but even he couldn't help. Defense was sloppy and late on closeouts.

ROOKIE WATCH: Thunder center Steven Adams, who had played well offensively against the Clippers in the regular season, didn't take a shot in the 19 minutes he played while pulling down four rebounds.

NOTABLE: The 69 points scored by the Clippers in the first half are the most the Thunder have given up by halftime in a playoff game.

UP NEXT: Game 2 Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Game 3 Friday @ Los Angeles, Game 4 Sunday @ Los Angeles.

http://www.nba.com/games/20140505/LACOK ... top:modtop

jarca
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Durant's MVP speech may have bought him a few more calls

JQuick32
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Breathing buys Durant more calls. roll

ClipTakeover
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Much respect to him though. It was a moving speech for sure. Go Clips, get that W. Show no mercy!

bk201
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Let's not get carried away just because we got homecourt from okc we need to be greedy and hungry to for a win.

fray_27
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I'm just scared that that speech might have sparked a fire under his ass

ClipperSean
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That was a great speech! I have a lot more respect for Durant after listening to that. Thanking everyone individually was a classy humble move. He seemed sincere, and I am sure Thunder will come out to play harder than ever today. We are going to have our hands full but we can do it. Go clipshow!!!

BaadMaster
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Great speech! It will motivate them. This should be a great game. But if we win, MVP speech or no, the Thunder will fold.

GO CLIPPERS!

toohipcliptoslip
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There was something weird about last game. It's not unusual for us to get a big lead and lose it. I felt that after our first big run the game was over. They were in Take No Prisoners mode.Buzzsaw was a good word, I've never seen this before. KEEP IT UP. OKC doesn't play with near the heart that GSW does. As far as heart give me Steph any day over Westbrook. How much does Durant have? Who knows when you have that much talent and you're a freak of nature (In a good way)

ClipperKyle32
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I said this before Game 1 and the Thunder came out and looked like they were tired. Sluggish. That previous series weared them down and we see it. I don't know how much they have left , but I am in no way writing them off as a team, but its just hard to imagine they have much left

FlyingLion
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Hi Guys,

Long time lurker first time poster. Boredom at work compelled me to post.

Anyway i found an interesting link on youtube and thought i would share it with you guys but realised the forum would not allow me to being a newbie and all Sad

It was a BBALLBREAKDOWN video with Coach Nick disecting the High-Low Blake to DJ Lob. Seeing the play in slowmo with the background commentary is eye opening. Seems unguardable (i don't believe the methods to defend it that he suggested would be effective as it leaves an open corner 3).

Funny how opposing fanbases say that in the playoffs defenses clamp down and the game is slowed to a point where lobs aren't possible. We've seen countless in the GS series and I'm sure there are more to come in the thunder series.

Power to the clips!

ClipperKyle32
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Best Offense In The League

ClipperKyle32
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Is anyone else watching this series more laid back? I felt as if the series against Golden State was a must win with everything that is going on. I feel I really want the Clippers to win , but I am not watching this series so tensely like the last one! I feel just as I am watching the series with less animosity the Clippers are playing looser and that is why they won so handily in Game 1, which I do believe this will continue! I am not calling a sweep considering that is remotely possible , but I do think the Clips win in 6 or 5!

FightOnRon
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It's the media and the approach taken by OKC. Their coach isn't spouting out crap every other minute, the don't have players (or fans) ragging on us or our team every dang day. The series (save for Ibaka) is pretty calm compared to GS. If we were playing Memphis it would still seem horrible because they approach the game the same way the Duds do. The media still wants to mouth off about us, but it isn't coming from OKC.

Icecoldclipper
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That Durant speech can either rally his guys or cause them to over play things for the leader. Hoping the team comes out with fire looking to end this as soon as possible.

Greenmonk94
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That's because we won this first one.. Don't put your guard down.. Oklahoma is a better team then golden state.. We got out rebounded but we just hit lots of shots .. But I think Oklahoma is a better match up for us then warriors so maybe that's where our beam of confidence is coming from

Silasie
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Yes less animosity, and I feel a little more relaxed only a very little I might add because losing in the 1st round would have been much more of a disaster than losing in the 2nd.

But weather we win or lose this series really does hang in the balance just like the last one.

cleepers
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I expect their defense to swarm CP and be a lot more physical this game, but as long as ours is the same we can keep it close and the pressure on them to win will be huge down the stretch... hopefully leading to mistakes.

Silasie
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Sounds like a plan. I'll text Doc Wink

jarca
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if they double CP then I expect to see DC play more minutes. The 2 PG line up won't hurt us in this series since Thabo isn't going to be posting anyone up

cleepers
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Yeah, I agree. If they load up on CP3, I'm pretty sure Doc will insert another ball handler... plus, we always have Blake as an inside-out playmaker.

Even if they don't double, I like the idea of Collison playing big minutes this series. Our constant ball pressure should create turnovers and force Brooks' hand into going small for offense, which means Durant and only one of their bigs guarding Blake and DJ. That leads to Durant foul trouble or lob-city all night long.

Of course, if JJ's getting free and raining 3's... we can live with that too. Very Happy

ClipperKyle32
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Lol I remembered when many of us , including myself , wanted this guy. Very Happy Very Happy Shocked

ClipperPostman
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ClipperKyle32 wrote:

Lol I remembered when many of us , including myself , wanted this guy. Very Happy Very Happy Shocked

That's def an understatement. I remember some posters bashing doc as a gm becuz he didn't get whinem

ClipperKyle32
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My fellow graphic designer posted this picture on Instagram , but I decided to share this with you guys

JQuick32
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I'm more laid back about this one too. It's a combination of barely anyone picking us to win before the series, players and coaches who don't spend every waking hour talking **** about us to the media, and a fanbase that isn't a bunch of obsessed Clipper haters.

CP3Heliflopter
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Man I really like that jersey. It would be cool if we had a black alternate jersey.

Silasie
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Agreed. Maybe it should be brought on the day Sterling is finally gone. Might be too long a wait though Sad

CapsNClips
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The difference between our team and their team is we don't need to hear a good speech from one of our players to feel like we can win, we just need a good day of practice.

uncool
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With all the MVP festivities yesterday, I'm wondering if the Thunder had adequate time to adjust their gameplan... If they don't overhaul their strategy, I don't want to be over-confident, but I don't see how they'd have a chance this game... KD & Russ had pretty good games in gm 1, it's not like they were ice-cold & that's why we won.

ClipperKyle32
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I believe the Thunder will come at Chris Paul hard tonight , but I believe having supernumerary ball handlers and play makers will be key. Blake , JJ , Jamal , and DC

tense2
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I think you are being a little over confident. The Thunder are tough team (despite their coach) and this, like last series will also be hard fought. One game no matter how it ended up, it's just one game.

This series IMO goes at least 6 games.

Clippers +5.5 tonight.

BaadMaster
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ClipperKyle32 wrote:

Lol I remembered when many of us , including myself , wanted this guy. Very Happy Very Happy Shocked

You can't spell Bynum without B U M.

jarca
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Agree. I expect a good defensive effort from Ibaka, Perkins, and Adams.

JahvonTheClip
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See a huge difference this year than any other year is that we have 2 dominant players now. If you double cp he can now defer to blake to make more plays and vice versa. You can't double them both...thats why our offense is unstoppable

uncool
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I never said they're not capable of defending us. Just said they need a new plan. They can't just roll the balls out.

Endless-Glory
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I think this calm relaxed feeling comes from us being underdogs. True fans like us know exactly how it feels and are used to it. The first round had a lot of pressure because we were the favorite. Imagine the headlines if we didn't win? 57 wins, first round bye bye! Same old Clippers with a racist on top!!!! Blah, Blah. I am so glad pressure is dying down and the focus is about winning basketball.

tense2
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Done think "they just roll the balls out". If with Brooks as their coach, they will make adjustments. Expect a different game tonight.

uncool
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My argument was that with the MVP festivities yesterday, they had less time to watch tape, gameplan, practice, etc...

ClipperDodger1214
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I think they will be motivated to play hard for Durant. Westbrook especially, he will have a big game to silence the critics ripping for walking away from that huddle. I expect to see a much different Thunder team tonight.

tense2
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Maybe, but even IF they did have less time, expect a different game tonight with adjustments. Will their adjustments (and ours) be enough to get them (or us) a victory, we'll find out tonight.

AirGriffin
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I give no damn about MVP festivities. That will light a fire under your ass at most to hustle harder, but it's not going to change that Brooks is a bad coach and that Westbrook is trigger happy. Even if Durant goes for 45+ points tonight we can still win. Just contain Westbrook, which shouldn't be hard with Paul on him to cause turnovers and make his life difficult. And Westbrook did shoot pretty efficiently Monday night, let's see if he can do it back to back games.

AND our starters got to rest for the second half of the game almost and we will come out just as strong again. We will weather any storm with "Thunder" and win this series. 4-1 Clippers or 4-2 Clippers. No Game 7 needed

CP3Best
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BTW can we wear the red jerseys tonight? I feel like we're dissing their fans cause we're wearing the EXACT same color. If I knew nothing about basketball, I'd be really conflicted Cheering the White but Repping the Blue, that's like a slap in the face to the Thunder fans. And I have respect for their fans, they got screwed almost as much as Clipper fans, first trading Harden for trash, and then Scot BROOKS??!!! At least we cleaned up our act.

JQuick32
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Hell no, if that franchise wants to be stupid enough to make their fans wear our colors, let them. Very Happy

JQuick32
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If it takes a lame, Hallmark-card-esque MVP speech and crocodile tears to get the Thunder to play hard, they have issues.

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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I hope that tonight Blake will have the mindset of "Durant's the MVP? Well, I'm a top 3-5 player too. Here's why." I predict he's going to have a huge game.

ClipperKyle32
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The franchise should have enough sense to pick a certain color. I would have given orange shirts just like Golden State gave out Yellow Shirts

ClipperPostman
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If Scott Brooks has an adjustment that can stop the Cp3 Pick N Roll at the 3 to the

DJ Lob he needs Coach of the year.

Not because it can't be done, but he just doesn't have the personnel to do it.

The reason this works to perfection is because Blake is such an incredible

passer for a PF. The only solution is to leave Matt Barnes open for Corner

3's all game.

And I guess you live and die with that. But even then it still requires

perfect rotations From Durant to box out DJ.

I don't think many of us understand how utterly genius of a gameplan

Doc and staff has drawn up offensively.

I have dissected it numerous times and there is nothing that

can be done about it unless you have 2 Superior defenders at

the 2-3 position that will rotate.

Which the warriors had in Klay and Iggy, and even then it was

damn near impossible to stop.

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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I think we should keep wearing the blue jerseys. If I'm not mistaken, we're 2-1 when wearing them in the playoffs. We're still winless in the reds. Not that I'm superstitious or anything, haha.

CP3Best
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roll We won the only game we wore the red, Game 7! roll

CP3Best
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BTW check out Doc, looks like we're looking good at shoot around cause he's in a good mood... http://www.nba.com/clippers/video/playlist/nba-playoffs-round-2-videos

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