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Late-Game Execution Dooms Clippers In Game 4


The Los Angeles Clippers appeared to have issues underneath management with 7:37 left within the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 towards the Utah Jazz.

It was solely a seven-point recreation (87-80), however the recreation appeared to be shaking out of their favor. Chris Paul was Point God-ing once more, boasting a 20-9-11 line at that time. Jamal Crawford was having probably the most environment friendly, high-volume playoff recreation of his life, main all scorers with 25 factors on 9-of-12 capturing. They had overcome the return of Rudy Gobert (15 factors, 12 rebounds), and Gordon Hayward was so sick he couldn’t play the second half. All issues pointed to the Clippers taking a commanding Three-1 collection lead.

Maybe that’s why the collapse didn’t make sense. Maybe that’s precisely why the collapse made sense.

From that time on, the Clippers have been outscored 25-11. The Jazz shot 9-of-10 from the sector and nailed all 4 of their Three-pointers. The Clippers shot Three-of-11 from the sector and missed all 5 of their makes an attempt from downtown. They have been finally finished in by questionable lineups, poor shot choice, and a few schematic ineptitude on protection. Let’s take a look at the movie to really perceive myriad methods the Clippers blew this recreation.


The mixture of Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles proved to be an excessive amount of for the Clippers to deal with, which…come on. That has to harm, proper? Ingles seems to be like a disgruntled substitute fitness center instructor who hasn’t had his morning espresso but. A Joe Johnson possession is a real-life model of a flip guide; it takes a variety of paper (we all know Johnson has that, phrase to the Atlanta Hawks), and even when the story is sweet, it takes so darn lengthy that it’s onerous to take pleasure in.

Regardless, the Slo-Mo Joes carved up the Clippers, combining for 19 factors on 7-of-Eight capturing within the ultimate 7:37. Their subtlety confirmed within the three performs they attached. Here’s Johnson’s first bucket of the quarter:


Looks fairly routine, proper?


Ingles ran a pick-and-roll with Gobert on the wing. J.J. Redick anticipated the display coming and stepped as much as ICE it. Ingles acknowledged this and rejected the display. What he did subsequent is what made the play work. He began an easy drive, however then snaked out in the direction of the left elbow. Doing that put Redick instantly behind him as he tried to recuperate. Mo Speights, Gobert’s man, stepped up in containment whereas Redick was on his wild Aussie chase. That additionally pressured Raymond Felton to drop down to stop a possible move to a rolling Gobert. Felton shifting away to assist is what freed up Johnson for the floater.

A bit later, Johnson returned the favor:


Johnson began the play by posting up on the fitting block after a Clippers turnover, however a tough double-team pressured him to kick the ball out. The Clippers have been all out of types; there was cross-matching everywhere in the flooring resulting from how poorly they matched up in transition, and that threw off the rotations. George Hill promptly blew previous DeAndre Jordan, however what’s necessary is how Johnson arrange the Ingles Three.

As Hill was driving, Johnson flashed into the lane. There was clearly miscommunication between Redick and Jamal Crawford as each flew into the paint to chop off a possible move to Gobert. Johnson acknowledged this immediately, planted arduous, then retreated to the nook. Hill discovered Johnson, and Johnson swung it over to Ingles for the wide-open Three:

Johnson and Ingles attached as soon as extra to cap the sport:


Johnson was once more remoted on the suitable aspect with Crawford matched up on him. He lulled Crawford to sleep earlier than placing him on his hip. Johnson took his time like he usually does, nevertheless it wasn’t as a result of he was trying to rating; he was studying Redick all the time.

As Paul came to visit to assist, Johnson hopped and ripped via the double. Redick jumped to his proper, anticipating the move to Hill, however the miscalculation was two-fold. Not solely was Hill not there — he reduce to the basket — Hill’s motion gave Johnson the window he wanted to seek out Ingles within the left nook. Salt Lake City shortly became Splash Lake City.


While Johnson and Ingles have been slicing up the protection, the Clippers couldn’t get any kind of attractiveness on offense. The Jazz continuously shut down the Clippers’ main motion, and the offense slowed down due to it. The recreation was tied at this level, however take a look at the shot they ended up with:


Paul and Jordan went into some two-man motion, however Utah snuffed it proper out. Jordan set a strong display on Hill, however Derrick Favors did an exquisite job stopping a Paul drive. Hill recovered but in addition positioned himself in a approach that Paul couldn’t reverse path and drive to his proper. Paul was then pressured to take a closely contested Three.

The underrated star of that possession was Ingles. He stored his head on a swivel, toggling between Jordan and Raymond Felton above the break. As Jordan set his display, Ingles rotated over to maintain Jordan from barging down the lane. After tagging Jordan, he went again over to Felton to chop off any hope of a cross. Paul didn’t have time to make the cross anyway, however Ingles was there to select it off if he did.

A minute later, the Clippers went right into a double-hi look with Luc Ricard Mbah a Moute and Jordan appearing as screeners. Paul dribbled to the left to run Hill off a Mbah a Moute display, however there wasn’t a lot of a display there. Jordan then came to visit to the left wing to set a display for Paul. Favors stepped as much as hedge, however Paul cut up it earlier than almost tripping, then kicking it out to Crawford. Crawford gave the ball again to Paul with seven seconds left on the shot clock, leading to, properly, this:


But wait, there’s extra! (shout-out to Billy Mays):


The Clippers’ struggles to get any kind of good look continued. Redick’s poor defensive quarter was compounded by the very fact he couldn’t make a shot from outdoors. He went Zero-of-Three within the fourth, with this one being probably the most questionable. It wasn’t all his fault, although. Poor screens, good protection, and a poor Paul cross resulted in a shot try often reserved for MyPark gamers in NBA 2K17.

It was astonishing to observe a workforce with the collective IQ of the Clippers have so many brain-farts in a recreation that they had no enterprise dropping. The defensive lapses have been absurd. The half-court execution was so painfully inept, it felt borderline masochistic watching it. Even with Blake Griffin out for the collection, the Clippers caught breaks with no Hayward or Gobert down the stretch, they usually nonetheless blew it.

The collection is tied up heading again to Los Angeles, nevertheless it feels just like the Jazz have the momentum. The Clippers have their work reduce out for them. They’ll should execute a heck of quite a bit higher in the event that they need to win Game 5, or this collection as an entire.

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