The severely shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers (21-8) faced off against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat (11-16) Monday night at Staples Center and defeated them 125-118. In doing so they turned the Heat down to a simmer! The Clippers were down 4 starters tonight: Paul George (Toe), Kawhi Leonard (Leg Contusion), Patrick Beverley (Knee), and Nicolas Batum (Migraine). Being down that many of the starting five against last season’s Eastern Conference champion, you very well could have given them the L before the game. Instead LAC came to play tonight with a ‘next man up’ attitude.
They played their hearts out, despite being woefully undermanned. They played with a chip on their shoulder the whole night. The team never allowed the Heat to get more than a 7 point lead. It was a back and forth game throughout. The all around team effort up and down the lineup saw the Clips overcoming a 30 point triple double by Jimmy Butler, and claiming their most impressive win of the season thus far.
STAR OF THE GAME
Marcus Morris Sr and his 32 points. To get the W Monday night, the team was going to need multiple people to step up, and Morris led the way in the place of starter Nicolas Batum. Morris was the leading scorer for the New York Knicks last year before being traded to the Clippers, and he looked like that guy in this game. He was quite impressive hitting 6 out of 8 3’s to go along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. He has been feeling it lately, as he has been playing very well during this 4 game win streak.
The team played very well as a whole (Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac, Terance Mann all had good games). You could have really given the game ball to a number of them. I’m just giving to Morris really because he was the leading scorer in the game. Not diminishing his effort by any means, he really shone tonight. He was hitting tough turn-around jumpers out of double-teams and playing terrific defense. He has had his role lessened since coming to LA, having to take a back-seat to the team’s All-Stars, but Monday night it was him who played like one.
Once again-I know this is getting tiresome- it is the overall health of the team. The team was down a whopping 4 starters tonight. I won’t go into all the reasons the team’s health is so imperative for long-term success as to try and not be overly repetitious. I am getting really sick of the the team being so injury prone. Yes, they won Monday, but the team has got the club with the best record in the league coming into town for 2 games this week in the Utah Jazz. LAC is going to need all hands on deck if they want to climb in the standings. The depth of the team is really being tested right now. They got away with it Monday night, but I do not know how long the Basketball gods will have them in their favor. They are very fickle beings.
Amir Coffey. This guy had rode the bench all year, playing only really during garbage time. He was down in the G-League just a few days ago. But tonight the amount of injuries to the team saw to him getting called up and getting the opportunity to play a significant 32 minutes with the varsity club. He looked like he belonged up with the big boys as he scored 15 points, making 5 out of 6 3’s. The team needed every one of his 15 to get the win tonight, so his performance was commendable.
Once the the team gets backs to full strength (if they ever do **fingers crossed, knock on wood, shake a chicken**) he will be back on the end of the bench. Hopefully his play Monday night will go a ways in boosting his confidence. When the next time his number is called upon he will be ready to perform at that level once again. At the rate the team has been racking up injuries this season, it is sure to happen.
Vs Utah Jazz, Wednesday, February 17th at 7:00PM Pacific
Never miss your teams next game. Download thePeachBasket‘s Next Game widget available at the Google Play store.