Well, well, well… The shorthanded Clippers do it again. Just one week after acquiring Norman Powell, the news broke that he fractured his foot. On top of that, heading into the first night of a back-to-back against the Suns and Warriors, two of the most elite teams in the league, Kennard was sidelined due to an injured ankle. To make matters worse, Curry lit up the Clippers for 26 first half points, making all of his first 6 shots. Sadly, Curry torching the Clippers is nothing new. This season, Curry is averaging 22.3 points per game on 70% from 3 against the Clippers in the FIRST HALF. Yes, you read that correctly. And yet, the Clips were still in the game.
One of the biggest themes of Clippers basketball is to weather the storm. They did it against Luka on Saturday when he dropped 45 points, and they did it again with Curry last night. It’s extremely demoralizing to see the ball go in the basket as many times as it does for Steph and Luka, but if you can weather the storm, you can stay in the game. And weather the storm they did. Led by an extremely aggressive Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson, the injury-prone Clippers blew out the Warriors, leading by as many as 25 with 4 minutes left to go. The Clippers offense was fantastic! Their ball movement? Pristine. They were playing winning basketball.
T-Mann finished with a regular season career high 25 points, 7 reb, and 6 ast. After the Clippers traded away Eric Bledsoe, the backup point guard, the media began to question what the Clippers would do to fill this role. Enter Terance Mann. He was getting a lot of flack in the beginning of the season due to his indecisiveness, but with an increased role and a more confident swagger, he proved that he’s here to stay by scoring 20+ points in each of the last two games. He hadn’t eclipsed 20 points in any other game this entire season. Over the last 4 games, Mann is averaging 18.3 points per game, almost 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. If aggressive T-Mann continues showing up, it can only lead to good things for the Clippers. The addition of Robert Covington is looking like a perfect fit, and the chemistry on and off the court continues to skyrocket. Again, major credit to Ty Lue for keeping this injury-riddled team afloat, but now it’s back to business as the Clippers fly to Phoenix to see if they can get revenge against the best team in the league.
~Michael Bannerman (insta: @mab__44 // twitter: @mabannerman44)