Jamal Crawford, on film session: ‘You have to see and hear the truth’

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Sunday talked about the tough film session they had the day after they lost 96-88 at Moda Center on Saturday in Portland in their first-round playoff series with the Trail Blazers.

Blake Griffin said, “It was a pretty awful film session.” Chris Paul referred to it as “very emotional.”

But they both agreed it was a good thing, at the end of the day. Jamal Crawford concurred at the morning shootaround ahead of Game 4 on Monday night at Moda Center.

“You have to see and hear the truth,” Crawford said. “The camera doesn’t lie, obviously. You have to see the truth.”

Is it tough to take?

“At times,” he said. “But, I mean, it’s the truth, so it’s better for us. As a competitor, you’re line, ‘Dang.’ But it’s much better for us to watch it.”

The Clippers, who lead the series 2-1, led 85-81 with 3:52 to play Saturday before being outscored 15-3.

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Doc Rivers not sure if DeAndre Jordan’s poor free-throw shooting is in the front of Jordan’s mind

DeAndre Jordan/AP file photo by Jae C. Hong

 

DeAndre Jordan made only 35.2 percent (12 of 34) of his free throws during the first three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against Portland, which continues Monday night at Moda Center in Portland; the Clippers lead 2-1.

The poor free-throw shooting Jordan has admitted in the past that sometimes it gets in his head. Considering he shot just 43 percent this season and has shot 42.1 percent over his seven-year career, that’s understandable.

Coach Doc Rivers said at the morning shootaround he isn’t sure if that’s happening now.

“I don’t know if it’s in his head or not,” he said. “But I keep saying for him, every game is individual. You’ve seen games down the stretch he’ll make four in a row, where he’s missed nine straight. I wish I had a crystal ball because I literally don’t know going into the game. One thing I do like, he’s still working on them, he’s watching film of his free throws. I mean, he’s doing all the preparation that a good free-throw shooter would do – actually, a good free-throw shooter wouldn’t do because you wouldn’t have to, you know, when you think about it.

“But he’s doing all the right stuff and for me that’s all I can ask as a coach is that he prepares and (does) the right thing.”

Jordan said this is not in the front of his mind.

“No, I mean, I’m fine. It was only tough because we lost,  you know what I mean?” he said of the Clippers’  96-88 Game 3 loss in which he shot just 3 of 10 from the line. “If we would have won, it wouldn’t have been a problem.”

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Warriors’ Steph Curry has Grade 1 MCL sprain and will be re-evaluated in two weeks

Stephen Curry

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors is helped off the court after sustaining a knee sprain Sunday during the second quarter of the Warriors’  121-94 victory over the Houston Rockets/AP photo by David Phillip

 

If the Clippers get past Portland in their first-round playoff series, they would likely play the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals. Some of that series could be played without reigning MVP Steph Curry. The Warriors’ guard on Monday was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, an injury sustained Sunday during the second quarter of Golden State’s 121-94 victory at Houston in Game 4 of their series; the Warriors lead 3-1.

This is the release posted on Golden State’s website: Warriors guard Stephen Curry underwent an MRI this morning that revealed a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Curry suffered the injury on the last play of the first half of Game 4 last night at Houston and was diagnosed with a sprained right knee by the team’s medical staff on site.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters at the morning shootaround ahead of Monday night’s Game 4 at Portland that he didn’t realize Curry could be seriously injured; this was before news came of the diagnosis.

“I don’t want anyone to get injured, ever, so I hope he’s healthy,” Rivers said.

The Clippers lead their series with Portland 2-1.

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VIDEO: Check out sweet reverse layup by Portland guard Damian Lillard in traffic in Game 3

Portland guard Damian Lillard, the team’s best player, did not play very well in Games 1 and 2 against the Clippers in their first-round playoff series – both Clippers victories at Staples Center. Lillard was really off in Game 2, shooting just 6 of 22 from the field. Lillard was a different player Saturday in Game 3, a 96-88 Portland victory at Moda Center in Portland. Lillard scored a game-high 32 points and shot 10 of 20 – 3 of 8 from 3-point range. The long baskets notwithstanding, this might have been his prettiest piece of work on the night. Check it out:

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Mason Plumlee was a rebounding, assist machine for Trail Blazers in Game 3 win over Clippers

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Mason Plumlee of the Portland Trail Blazers is guarded by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory over the Clippers in Game 3 on Saturday in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

 

Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee had a combined 15 rebounds and seven assists in the first two games of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers – both Clippers victories at Staples Center.

Then, almost out of the blue, he came through with a whopping 21 rebounds and nine assists in his team’s 96-88 Game 3 victory over the Clippers on Saturday at Moda Center in Portland.

Plumlee was asked post-game to talk about what it was like having more rebounds than Clippers center DeAndre Jordan – he had 16 – and as many assists as Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

“Probably an awkward stat line,” Plumlee said. “The guys on the bench were giving me a hard time for not getting 10 points. The game is different through adjustments and stuff; they leave certain things open and they take other things away. So, really, they (the Clippers) put me in a good position by them trapping the guards; really, I have an advantage every time I touch the ball, so then it’s just making the right play.”

Plumlee, who scored just six points in the game, averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the regular season.

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Blake Griffin wants to be more aggressive against Blazers in Game 4 on Monday night

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Blake Griffin of the Clippers is guarded by Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory Saturday over the Clippers in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

 

Blake Griffin played very well in Game 1 of the Clippers’ first-round series against Portland. He scored 19 points on 5 of 10 shooting and also grabbed 12 rebounds and doled out six assists in his team’s 115-95 victory. He wasn’t as good in the Clippers’ 102-81 Game 2 victory, scoring 12 points on 4 of 12 from the field; he also had nine rebounds and four assists.

Then came Saturday’s Game 3 in Portland, when he really struggled with his shot. He scored 12 points while shooting just 5 of 16. He had seven rebounds, but none on the offensive end. He had four assists and two steals, but he also had a crucial turnover down the stretch, when the Clippers were outscored 15-3 over the final three minutes, 52 seconds of Portland’s 96-88 win.

If the Clippers are to have any chance of advancing deep into the playoffs, it figures Griffin will have to be at least close to being himself on a consistent basis. Having missed 45 consecutive games before playing five of the final seven in the regular season, that won’t be easy.

Griffin on Sunday afternoon talked about what he needs to do when the Clippers play the Trail Blazers in Game 4 on Monday night, again at Moda Center in Portland.

“I watched the game last night and again this morning in film, so I have several things that I want to change and do a better job at,” he said at the team’s hotel. “But a lot of it’s just aggressiveness, you know, not settling – taking open shots, but not settling.”

The Clippers lead the series 2-1. After Game 4, Game 5 will be back at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

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