Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford realize defense must improve

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers have not played well on defense in their first two exhibition games – both losses – but they know it. And that’s the first step toward doing something about it.

After his team allowed Portland to shoot 53.9 percent from the field, 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range on Sunday in a 119-114 Trail Blazers victory, Clippers forward Blake Griffin spelled it out.

“Our whole thing is that we need to defend the 3 better,” he said. “They got some good looks. But, really, it was defense. We didn’t play well offensively, but it was really more defense than it was offense.”

The Clippers shot well from 3-point range as well, making 19 of 39 for 48.7 percent. But they shot just 43.6 percent overall.

Jamal Crawford, who scored a game-high 23 points Sunday, agreed with Griffin.

“… We’re still figuring things out,” he said. “It’s our second preseason game. I think offensively, we’re good. Defensively, we have to continue to get better. I think we’ll do that each time and then we’ll really hit our stride.”

The Clippers (0-2) play again tonight (Monday) at 6 at Utah (on Prime Ticket)

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Clippers drop to 0-2 in exhibition play with 119-114 loss at Portland

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers are now 0-2 in exhibition play after losing 119-114 Sunday at Portland.

Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford led everyone with 23  points. He made 8 of 13 from the field, 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

The Clippers shot a respectable 43.6 percent as a team, 48.7 percent (19 of 39) from beyond the 3-point line. But Blake Griffin had an off night. He shot just 4 of 16 (25 percent) and scored only nine points in 25 minutes. He also only grabbed two rebounds.

Chris Paul scored 15 points and doled out six assists, but he was just 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Spencer Hawes had a solid game off the bench, scoring 15 points with six rebounds and three assists. J.J. Redick scored 14 points and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and eight rebounds, but continued to struggle at the free-throw line, where he made just 3 of 9.

Reggie Bullock started at small forward instead of Matt Barnes, who told reporters not long ago he would rather come off the bench. Bullock played 19 minutes and scored six points on 2 of 4 shooting. Barnes was just 1 of 7 from the field and scored just three points in 26 minutes off the bench.

Newly acquired Jordan Farmar had 13 points for the Clippers, on 5 of 10 shooting.

Wesley Matthews led Portand (1-2) with 22 points C.J. McCollum had 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 16.

Portland shot 53.9 percent from the field, 68 percent (17 of 25) from beyond the arc. You can bet Clippers coach Doc Rivers isn’t happy about that.

The Trail Blazers out-rebounded the Clippers 49-35.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was in the crowd.

The Clippers play Monday night at 6 at Utah (on Prime Ticket).

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Tonight’s probable starting lineups for Clippers at Trail Blazers

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J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers tonight (Sunday) will play their second exhibition game of the season. They lost their opener 112-94 to Golden State on Tuesday at Staples Center. In this one they’ll play at Portland at 6 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).

Here are the probable starting lineups: CLIPPERS: PG Chris Paul, SG J.J. Redick, SF Matt Barnes, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan

TRAIL BLAZERS: PG Damian Lillard, SG Wes Matthews, SF Nicolas Batum, PF LaMarcus Aldridge, C Robin Lopez.

 

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Blake Griffin likes that owner Steve Ballmer will be into the games

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer figures to be at a lot of games this season. With his rather wild and crazy enthusiasm, it makes sense that the television cameras will pan to him as much as possible during breaks in the action or directly after a big play.

As much as Blake Griffin has already said he loves Ballmer’s enthusiasm, he said he doesn’t expect to look in Ballmer’s direction that much. But  he’ll still appreciate him.

“Honestly, I probably won’t pay a whole lot of attention to it,” Griffin said Friday ahead of practice. “But it’s great if you do look over and see your owner there really into it, really supporting you. As opposed to maybe not being there, or looking like he didn’t care.”

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Blake Griffin’s showing in exhibition opener could be a good sign

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Tuesday lost their exhibition opener 112-94 to the Golden State Warriors, the team that took Los Angeles to seven games in the first round of the playoffs this past season.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin was one of those who took the loss to Oklahoma City in the next round very hard. It was therefore good to see Griffin on Tuesday play like the season was in mid-swing.

Griffin scored a game-high 24 points on 9 of 17 shooting – 1 of 1 from 3-point range. He was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line and he pulled down 12 rebounds, doled out three assists and made three steals. Indeed, Griffin is ready to roll.

For that, Clippers fans should be stoked because early season hustle can be contagious.

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Clippers to host open scrimmage at USC’s Galen Center

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. will host a scrimmage at USC’s Galen Center that will be open to the public.

The Galen Center is located at 3400 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles.

The evening will include player introductions and performances by the Clippers’ spirit squad.

Admission is free.

The Clippers on Tuesday opened their exhibition season with a 112-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors before 13,958 at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists and newly acquired reserve post Spencer Hawes scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds. Also, Jamal Crawford scored 14 points off the bench.

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Blake Griffin to be featured in October issue of GQ magazine

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

All-Star forward Blake Griffin will be featured as the cover story in the October issue of GQ magazine, which will hit newsstands Tuesday in Los Angeles and New York; it will hit the rest of the country on Sept. 30.

Griffin will discuss a variety of issues. Included therein are Donald Sterling, religion, dating in Los Angeles and life after basketball.

Griffin and the Clippers open the 2014-15 regular season on Oct. 30 when they play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Report: Blake Griffin was advised to let small fracture in back heal

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Remember last week when we reported that Blake Griffin removed himself from Team USA’s national team that was to compete in the FIBA World Cup? At the time, Griffin said he wanted to focus on the upcoming season with the Clippers.

Well, ESPN.com – citing sources – on Monday reported that Griffin was actually advised by doctors to avoid international competition during the summer so he can give a small fracture in his back more time to heal ahead of the 2014-15 NBA campaign.

 

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Blake Griffin pulls himself off Team USA to concentrate on upcoming season

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Power forward Blake Griffin on Thursday announced he is pulling himself off Team USA and will not play with the national team this summer. He was one of 19 players selected to the roster; the USA World Cup team will be chosen from that roster.

“I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer,” Griffin said. “It is a special opportunity any time you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers.”

 

 

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Chris Paul selected first-team All-NBA, Blake Griffin is on the second team

Point guard Chris Paul was selected first-team All-NBA and power forward Blake Griffin made the second team, the NBA announced Wednesday. It was the fourth first-team selection of Paul’s career.

Joining Paul on the first team are forward Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, forward LeBron James of the Miami Heat, center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

Durant was the only player to be selected to the first team on all 125 ballots; James was first-team on 124.

Joining Griffin on the second team are guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, forward Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and center Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets.

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