This had been a very hyped up game ever since the schedules came out and it was no coincidence that it was a prime time game on Thursday night on TNT.
Mark Cuban, who usually does not go to away games unless its the playoffs, made the trip out to LA most-likely in order to intimidate Jordan. DeAndre Jordan finally had to face the team that he verbally agreed to sign with only to spurn them and sign back with the Los Angles Clippers. Personally based on the outcome of the game I think its clear he made the right choice with the outcome of a win for LAC 104-88.
I don’t agree with the way DeAndre handled it, but I love the way Doc cared enough to fly out to his house and convince him to stay. As a Celtic fan and Clippers fan I love to see that. The Mavs are a pretty good franchise, but in all honesty his reason for wanting to go there was stupid in the first place.
He supposedly wanted a bigger role in the offense. I mean give me a break! You make tens of millions of dollars, get to play on a winning franchise and get to experience weather that rarely dips below 75 degrees with no humidity and you're willing to push all that aside to have a bigger role in the offense?
I think that alone is complete insanity and its clear that Jordan realized that when he re-signed with LAC. I mean no knock on Dallas, its a great franchise and Dallas is a very nice city itself, but its clear to me that the Mavs are trending in the wrong direction. Even with DeAndre I think it would've been a challenge for them to make the playoffs. With teams like the Suns and Pelicans on the rise it makes it that much more difficult.
In a way I feel bad for Dirk because he took less money so they could bring in more talent and it has not worked. With the Rondo fiasco last year and now this, its safe to say they have had bad luck. Just to recap the game: the Clippers used their deep and versatile squad to overwhelm the Mavs on all fronts. Blake Griffin led the way with 26 points and DeAndre had 15 rebounds. The guards off the bench, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers (surprisingly) had 15 a piece. It was a kind of night similar to the Celtics game where not a ton of guys had very impressive stats, but everyone contributed to a solid victory.
Newcomer Lance Stephenson played 20 minutes and only scored three points and fellow Newcomer Josh Smith only had 5 points. And now, the one we’ve all been waiting for, The Truth had six points in somewhat limited action. Although a lot of the Clippers new guys were underwhelming in this first game, they really were not needed. I have not doubt that they will step up once they are called upon against tougher competition this season (The Warriors). I think Doc is trying to ease these new pieces into the rotation and find some lineups that work.
I think one interesting one that we did not see a lot of was Paul Pierce at the 4. I think that could be a very effective lineup for them in keeping up with the Warriors who also play small. Overall it was a solid opening game for the team in which I believe will take the Western Conference Crown and hopefully NBA title this year.
By Spencer Roush