Oct. 17, 2016
Takeaways From Clippers Defeat
First game of the season, well, pre-season, and the Clippers didn't show up. While these games mean very little outside of increasing chemistry, something the Clippers should be fine with, fine tuning positions and giving young guys a chance, to get obliterated at the hands of a perceived rival is just demoralizing and the absolute worst start one can come up with, outside of season ending injuries to top guys.
Even with the absolute whooping, there were some positives to look forward to before the Clippers face the Blazers on Thursday evening, a game which will be featured on TNT.
Xavier Munford belongs in the Association, and there isn't much question about it. Unfortunately, it's very unlikely that he remains in a Clippers uniform, as the roster is full. Going 3-4 from the field and hitting 8 points in 8 minutes, Munford also presented solid defense and was active throughout his time on the hardwood. Then again, Paul Pierce can decide to retire, or Doc Rivers will say goodbye to Brandon Bass.
Diamond Stone showed a lot of the potential that had numerous scouts high on him prior to his freshman, and lone, season at the University of Maryland. Like Munford, Stone played garbage time, tallying 9 minutes with a bucket. His effort on D and positioning on offense was years ahead of where I expected him to be, as he came in with so much raw talent. If Stone can continue such effort, I can see him take over Bass and possibly Marresse Speights as well.
Speaking of Speights, he wasn't shy during his return to the Oracle to face his old team, leading the Clippers with 14 points on 4-8 shooting, hitting two from range while grabbing five boards in just 17 minutes of action. Speights was most productive spending time on the hardwood alongside Blake Griffin, a rotation in which I hope Rivers decides to stick with.
Alan Anderson should be the starting small forward from now on. While MBah A Moute is a better defender, Anderson isn't too shabby himself but isn't quite an offensive liability, showing the confidence to step behind the arc and take the jumper along with attack the rim. Injuries are a major concern for Anderson, as he battled ankle surgery during the 2015-16 campaign.
And finally, JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford combined for 1-14 from the field, while Griffin and Bass were 4-14 themselves.