This is the Paul George the Clippers traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and 5,000 choices for last summertime, and it’s simple to see why. If he can keep this up, the Clippers may simply be unequalled.
Inexplicably sluggish Pelicans
The Pelicans remain in a heated fight for a playoff berth, so it’s tough to understand how they came out so flat on Saturday. Yes, the Clippers are an exceptional group, however New Orleans’ energy was off from the very start. They were slow with rotations, leading to large open Clippers 3-pointers, and they sometimes failed to return in basic transition defense. With the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Spurs and Kings all defending the final Western Conference playoff spot, the Pelicans simply can’t pay for poor efforts like this in the bubble.
Zion remains on burst plan
Williamson was underwhelming in 14 minutes– as was pretty much everybody on the Pelicans– though he installed decent numbers with 7 points and five rebounds. Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin stated during the video game that Williamson would continue to play short bursts of three-to-four minutes for a minimum of the next video game, potentially longer. It makes you question whether, if New Orleans loses a couple more video games, they might just shut Zion down completely and prepare for next season.
What was expected to be among the very best matches of the early bubble schedule quickly devolved into a laugher, as the Los Angeles Clippers took apart the New Orleans Pelicans, 126-103, on Saturday. Things left hand early as the Clippers made 16 3-pointers in the first half en route to a franchise-record 25 for the video game, and the Pelicans never ever even got close.
Paul George led the Clippers with a game-high 28 points, consisting of 8-for-11 3-point shooting, while Kawhi Leonard chipped in 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 helps. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 14 points and Zion Williamson added 7 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes.
Here are a couple of crucial takeaways from the blowout.
Clippers show supreme capacity
We understood the Clippers were great, however this video game offered us a glimpse of just how great they can in fact be when they’re clicking on all cylinders. Sure they got red-hot from 3-point variety, but that’s mostly since of open looks created by penetration and ball movement (plus some remarkable specific moves from George). They also got after it on the defensive end, smothering the Pelicans from the beginning and limiting typically high-volume scorers Ingram and Williamson.
Keep in mind that the Clippers were missing Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, their 2 finest bench players. Reggie Jackson stepped up in their lack, however when those 2 return the Clippers will be even more hazardous.
P.G. is back
After four-plus months of rest, George looks like the MVP candidate we saw in 2015 in Oklahoma City. He was incredible on re-opening night against the Lakers, and was even much better on Saturday, showcasing his extraordinary shot creation and scoring capability while likewise controling on the protective end.
Paul George led the Clippers with a game-high 28 points, including 8-for-11 3-point shooting, while Kawhi Leonard cracked in 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. We understood the Clippers were excellent, however this video game provided us a look of just how good they can in fact be when they’re clicking on all cylinders. Keep in mind that the Clippers were missing Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, their 2 best bench gamers. They were slow with rotations, leading to wide open Clippers 3-pointers, and they sometimes failed to get back in basic shift defense.