Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.1: Chaos in Lob City
The assembled media at the Staples Center just wanted to do its job. The Clippers had just lost to a Phoenix Suns team playing without Steve Nash or Grant Hill. There were questions to ask.
But no one was there to answer them.
Half an hour after the game, Vinny Del Negro addressed the throng.
“We’re playing too much as individuals instead of as a team and you can’t win like that,” Del Negro said. “Our approach at times with the referees and letting one play effect another player. We compound our mistakes consistently and that makes it hard.
Half an hour after that, Blake Griffin emerged from the team meeting.
“It was very productive,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. “It wasn’t a point the finger at somebody meeting, it was good. We got veterans in this locker room. I can’t say that it would have gone the same way last year. It wasn’t about guys getting their feelings hurt or guys trying to hurt people’s feelings. This is real. We got a good team and we got to do better.”
The Clippers have fallen to 5th in the West. They've lost six of their last 10 games, nine of their last 14, and are a very pedestrian 12-12 since Feburary 1 with losses to Cleveland, New Jersey and Golden State (twice). Something's got to change in LA. If it doesn't after this meeting, then we might as well start the countdown clock on when Vinny Del Negro gets in line behind Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan.2: The re-birth of John Wall?
Well, a 21 year-old second year player doesn't exactly need a "re-birth." But a lot of people expected John Wall to make more of a leap this year than we've seen. His numbers suggest some improvement, but not the significant improvement many people expected a player with such physcial gifts to have.
So without the perpetually bumbling JaVale McGee and the perpetually gunning Nick Young, Wall is once again charged with running a team rather than baby sitting on the court or feeding a shot-chucking monster. Wall had 26 points and 12 assists last night in a win over New Orleans. We'll see where it goes from here, but if the Wiz opened things up for Wall again, then maybe they can actually start moving in a positive direction.3: HIGHLIGHTS!!!
Kenyon Martin still has hops
John Wall likes to dunk too
D.J. Augestin beats the buzzer
4: Line of the Night: Paul Millsap - 16 points, 11 rebounds, 8 steals, 4 assits, 2 blocks
That was almost one hell of a triple-double for Millsap, whose defense held the Timberwolves off in OT last night. He had to do something to make up for flat out blowing the game-winning layup after a beautifully drawn up out of bounds play.
How clutch was Millsap's defense? Six of his steals came after the 7:26 mark in the fourth quarter. Three of those were in OT. Two were the final minute of play. That, folks, is clutch defense.
5: You can quote me on that
"I'm glad this is finally over... It's not as easy as some people think. It's been very hard. We're talking a career-changing event. Most people don't see that.
"I'm very loyal and I've always put loyalty above anything."
-Dwight Howard, on staying in Orlando for at least one more year
"Looking back on it, I would still draft Greg. [With] hindsight, it's easy to make an assumption [now]. ... You can't predict the injuries that would come. Going back on it, I wouldn't have changed anything in drafting Greg."
-Portland Trailblazers interim GM Chad Buchanan, on Greg Oden after Oden was waived
"We were close to a handful of different trades. They just couldn't be resolved, and that happens often."
-Celtics GM Danny Ainge, on the trade deadline which almost resulted in trades for Paul Pierce and Ray Allen
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