Staff writer Adam Levine sums up the Clippers' opening night victory over the Warriors.
Despite the overwhelming win for the Clippers on opening night, the Christmas day game in Oakland did show a number of kinks that the team is still trying to work out. To open the game, the team showed little to no energy, essentially starting with a flat offense that didn’t have any of the pre-season flow until the fourth quarter. At one point, the team had missed 13 straight field goals, and was losing to the Warriors at halftime, 43-41. DeAndre Jordan was exposed on national television as a player to put on the foul line, going 4-12 from the charity stripe and having to be yanked by Coach Vinny Del Negro because, sadly, he’s a liability to the team in a close game. The Clippers also were out rebounded throughout the game. First-year coach Mark Jackson did a great job with his defensive scheme on Blake Griffin, making him labor for his 22 points. Chauncey Billups couldn’t buy an outside shot early and Chris Paul started the game 1-6. Sounds like a lot of off-putting factors during the first game. However, with all these seemingly fatal flaws, the Clippers came out in the third quarter and dominated (34-25), something they failed to do last season. In the third and fourth quarters, the shots began to fall, the rebounds were grabbed, and the fast-breaks started. In short, the Clippers won the game because they have more talent (CP3 to close out the game certainly helped) and are simply a better team, which is something I’m going to have to get use to saying this season.