Blake Griffin is certainly one reason why road crowds come to see the Clippers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats has released its annual home and road NBA ticket price report, and it shows the Clippers drawing plenty of road interest.
The Clippers have the eighth-highest median ticket price in the league at $115. On the road, the Clippers are the fifth-most coveted team, increasing median ticket prices by 31.6 percent as the visiting team.
The Lakers come in second in both categories with a median ticket price of $165 and road value of plus-60.1 percent.
The Cleveland Cavaliers – with LeBron James again in the fold, as well as newly acquired Kevin Love – are first. They have a median ticket price of $216 and a road value of plus-138.6 percent.
Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
We wrote Monday about how newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes likes playing alongside fellow Seattle native and sixth-man Jamal Crawford.
Safe to say, the feeling is mutual.
“I’ve know Spence since he was 17,” Crawford said. “Every summer, when we play pick-up, we play together. We’ve always been on the same team, even when he was with Philadelphia and I was with New York. For us, we have a great synergy. But we’re just trying to complement the guys that are out there.”
Crawford is 34, Hawes 26.
Crawford is averaging 21.3 points through five exhibition games. Only teammate Blake Griffin and Golden State’s Klay Thompson are averaging more and they are both at 21.6 points per game. Crawford is shooting 60.7 (17 of 28) percent from 3-point range.
Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Even though newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes and sixth-man Jamal Crawford are eight years apart – Hawes is 26, Crawford 34 – they are both from Seattle, so they know each other well.
Hawes believes that is helping him get acclimated to his new team.
“I’m becoming more comfortable with the first unit, more comfortable with the second unit,” Hawes said. “It’s fun playing with Jamal. We’ve been playing every summer for the last decade, and now I’m finally on his actual team. So it’s fun developing that chemistry and actually getting to put it to use in real games.
“It makes you more comfortable all-around coming to a new situation, on the court, off the court. (Jamal) is a guy that’s been one of my mentors and looked out for me since I was in high school. So it definitely makes things easier.”
Hawes is averaging 12 points and 5.6 rebounds off the bench in five exhibition games He has a high point total of 24 and a high in rebounds of eight.
Chris Douglas-Roberts/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Douglas-Roberts sat out Saturday’s 104-93 loss to Denver at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with an ankle sprain, according to a report on Clippers.com. Douglas-Roberts is vying for the starting spot at small forward.
Also, backup guard Jordan Farmar had some back issues during the game and played only seven minutes.
And, backup post Glen “Big Baby” Davis missed his second consecutive game with a right groin strain. Coach Doc Rivers isn’t sure of the timetable for his return. He said Friday that Davis may be OK by the beginning of the regular season Oct. 30, but that he may not be in playing shape.
The Clippers, now 1-4, play their next exhibition game Tuesday at Golden State.(4-1).
Matt Barnes is 2 of 24 from the field/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
- Jamal Crawford started in place of J.J. Redick, who was given the night off by coach Doc Rivers. Crawford has been a real bright spot on the offense thus far, and he was again with 23 points on 6 of 12 shooting. He made 4 of 7 from 3-point range as well as all seven of his free throws in 36 minutes. Crawford has played in four of the five exhibition games (the Clippers are 1-4). He has scored 14, 23, 25 and 23 points while making 27 of 48 (56.2 percent) from the field.
- Rivers started Australian Joe Ingles at small forward like he said he would. With Rivers still trying to confirm the starter there, Ingles did nothing eye-popping. He played 19 minutes, missed both of his field goal attempts and made 3 of 4 from the free-throw line for three points. He also had three rebounds, an assist and four personal fouls.
- What in the heck is going on with Matt Barnes? He missed all nine of his field-goal attempts, and was 0-for-6 from three-point range in 28 minutes off the bench. In playing four of the five games, Barnes is 2-for-24 from the field. Seriously. That is 8.3 percent.
- As a unit, Los Angeles shot just 37 percent (27 of 73), 24 percent (6 of 25) from 3-point range. Much of that damage was done by Barnes. Blake Griffin shot 9 of 19 and had 27 points, Chris Paul shot 5 of 13 for 13 points. Spencer Hawes, who has been real good, had an off night. He made just 1 of 4 from the field for six points. DeAndre Jordan was 4 of 4 from the field, but he missed both of his free-throw attempts.
- The Clippers had their highest free-throw percentage of the exhibition season. They made 33 of 45 for 73.3 percent. Their other percentages were 71, 59.1, 72.7 and 59.3. Besides Crawford’s 7-for-7 night, Griffin made 9 of 13. Ingles, Chris Paul and Hawes all made 3 of 4 and Jared Cunningham 7 of 9 in just eight minutes of action.
Here are the probable starting lineups for tonight’s (Saturday) game between the Clippers (1-3) and Denver Nuggets (1-4) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Clippers: PG Chris Paul, SG J.J. Redick, SF Matt Barnes, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan.
Nuggets: PG Ty Lawson, SG Arron Afflalo, SF Danilo Gallinari, PF Kenneth Faried, C Timofey Mozgov.
DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Coach Doc Rivers on Wednesday at practice told reporters that often times as soon as a shot goes up, only post DeAndre Jordan remains in the area for the rebound. Since the Clippers have been outrebounded 148-104 collectively in losses to Golden State, Portland and Utah, rebounding has become a hot topic here in the exhibition season.
Jordan led the league in 2013-14 with a 13.6 rebounding average. He touched on the subject Thursday before practice.
“It’s not like a one-person job, it’s everybody’s,” Jordan said. “It’s all the bigs, it’s the forwards, it’s the guards. Rebounding is a team effort, especially on the defensive end. Offensive rebounds, you can kind of pick and choose when you go. I like to go a lot to the offensive glass, just try to keep it alive; tip-backs and things like that. But defensively, we should definitely be one of the top teams, if not the top defensive rebounding team in this league just with the size and athleticism that we do have.”
The Clippers on Friday will try for their first exhibition victory when they play host to Utan at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center (on Prime Ticket).
Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
We’re only three games into the exhibition season, yet the defensive woes of the Clippers are already a hot topic. In losing to Golden State, Portland and Utah, the Clippers allowed those teams to shoot 48.6 percent, 53.9 percent and 50.6 percent from the field.
Even worse, Portland shot 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range and Utah shot 46.7 percent (14 of 30) from there.
Point guard Chris Paul was asked Wednesday at practice what his team needs to do to shore things up in this regard. He said part of the problem was that the second unit has so many new faces.
“I think we all know what to do,” said Paul, whose 0-3 team will take on Utah on Friday at Staples Center. “Just right now, part of it is being the preseason. Everybody’s a step slow, second-guessing and stuff like that. We’ll get it there. You know, our first unit, we’ve been together. Our second unit, guys haven’t really played together yet.”
The Clippers allowed an average of 101 points per game, 14th best in the NBA. Through three exhibition games, they are allowing an average of 111 points.
Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Matt Barnes told reporters Wednesday at the team’s training facility in Playa Vista that he believes the Clippers are, perhaps, trying too hard to get off on the right foot after such an emotional 2013-14 campaign. That’s why they are 0-3 in exhibition play ahead of Friday’s game against Utah at Staples Center.
“I think everyone’s pressing a little bit,” Barnes said before practice. “I think on paper we have the team to beat, I personally think, and I think we feel that way. And after everything that happened last year, you know, we want to come out and have it so bad. And I think everyone’s just overthinking the game a little bit. And we’ve been talking to ourselves a little bit about this lately and everything seems to come down to playing basketball.”
His advice to himself and his teammates?
“Relax, relax,” Barnes said. “I mean, I found myself overthinking. I’m talking to Chris (Paul) and J.J. (Redick) and some of these guys, and we’re pressing a little too much. Like I said, we want this so bad and want this to be such a magical season that our foot’s all the way on the gas right now. We have to realize that, like Doc (Rivers) said, ‘You have to appreciate the process, enjoy the process and continue to get better.’ “
DeAndre Jordan had four blocks Monday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
- After the game, coach Doc Rivers intimated his 0-3 team is not yet in the shape he’d like it to be in. “Conditioning. That’s about it right now,” he said, when asked what he took from the game. “We’re not playing great. We’re having spurts here and there, but it’s still games. I think (exhibition) games help get you ready for the real thing.”
- Perhaps that is why the Clippers are not doing well on defense. They have allowed 112, 119 and 102 points in their three exhibition losses. And they are awful at guarding the 3-point shot. In their past two losses, Portland shot 68 percent from there, Utah shot 46.7 percent.
- The good news is, power forward Blake Griffin tried everything he could to will his team to victory. He scored 31 points to lead all scorers, making 14 of 22 shots with two steals and five rebounds. That was coming off of a poor outing a night earlier in Portland, where Griffin scored just nine points on 4 of 16 shooting.
- After getting just one block on Sunday night in Portland, it was good to see DeAndre Jordan get back on track there with four against Utah; he had three in the exhibition opener Oct. 7 against Golden State.
- The bench made just 6 of 26 shots (23 percent) from the field, and that won’t cut it most nights. Struggling mightily were Reggie Bullock (0-for-4) and rookie C.J. Wilcox (0-for-3). Spencer Hawes was just 2 of 7, Jordan Farmar 2 of 6.