Playoffs: Clippers @ Suns Tuesday game thread 4-18-2023 - Game 2

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Mainstreet

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Did anyone get anxious last night while Okogie was guarding Kahwi? I know I did and I was curious to see the outcome. Okogie seemed a little shell shocked or maybe not prepared for the bright lights. Kahwi is just so good he made Okogie look slow and small on two occasions I believe. I think Okogie becomes more comfortable as we move along and as he gets more minutes (hopefully) that he'll show how effective he can truly be.

The suns did a nice job of doubling Kahwi, but Kahwi has that little step through between defenders to make the pass. That's also another note, is that the clippers are very good at creating passing lanes to bail out Kahwi on those double teams. This is something we are not good at.

Kahwi also has that extra one leg hop move that looks a lot like a travel.

Hopefully Okogie will get better as the playoffs progress.
 

DJ Tabooh

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Lol. But Finito will defend Ayton with his dying breath (just messing with you, Finito).

Personally, KDs passing has been most impressive to me. The gravity he creates as soon as his shots start falling has a big positive impact trickling down to everyone else on the court. That said, I still don’t think he’s playing his top ball. He’s had a lot of starts and stops with playing ball over the past few months. I’m not even certain he’s fully in rhythm yet. Not to mention I don’t think monty does him any favors in designing anything to maximize him.
Is it just me or does KD not look as fluid handling the ball as he normally does? The Clippers are definitely crowding him but when he gets to his spot, he’s automatic.

Kawhi has done a really good job 1 on 1 but as you said, we don’t really maximize all he can do off the ball.
 
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Chris Paul is asked about a Scott Foster interaction after a foul.

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Bufalay

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He is a better shooter I’ll definitely give you that but he would be targeted nonstop defensively.

I know we thought Shamet would provide shooting but him and Jevon Carter had essentially the same stats this season but Carter is getting paid significantly less and we gave up a first round pick to acquire Landry.
No I meant Duncan Robinson on the bench, as in he sucks so bad that he'd never play which would be better than Shamet playing.
 

Covert Rain

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Dude...Durant is one of the main reasons why we closed in the 2nd. Plus, you think if we didn't have Durant people wouldn't be doubling Book more and taking the ball out of CP3's hands like last playoffs?

I swear, if Durant doesn't score 40...it's not good enough.
 

DJ Tabooh

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Dude...Durant is one of the main reasons why we closed in the 2nd. Plus, you think if we didn't have Durant people wouldn't be doubling Book more and taking the ball out of CP3's hands like last playoffs?

I swear, if Durant doesn't score 40...it's not good enough.
KD’s gravity alone creates a lot of opportunities for other guys to get going and he’s a willing passer, sometimes too unselfish.

He hasn’t played “great” by his standards but he’s shooting 50% for the series. Just has to get his 3 ball going, which hopefully he finds in LA.
 

Chris_Sanders

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Lol. But Finito will defend Ayton with his dying breath (just messing with you, Finito).

Personally, KDs passing has been most impressive to me. The gravity he creates as soon as his shots start falling has a big positive impact trickling down to everyone else on the court. That said, I still don’t think he’s playing his top ball. He’s had a lot of starts and stops with playing ball over the past few months. I’m not even certain he’s fully in rhythm yet. Not to mention I don’t think monty does him any favors in designing anything to maximize him.

If I am openly defending Ayton you know the criticism has reached a point of silly.
 

Hoop Head

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Dude...Durant is one of the main reasons why we closed in the 2nd. Plus, you think if we didn't have Durant people wouldn't be doubling Book more and taking the ball out of CP3's hands like last playoffs?

I swear, if Durant doesn't score 40...it's not good enough.

He doesn't need to score 40 but he does need to look like the best player on the floor. He hasn't been that yet this series. It has only been 2 games but we don't look like we're cruising towards a title either. Isn't that why this deal was made, to increase our odds at winning a title?
 

Covert Rain

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Lol. But Finito will defend Ayton with his dying breath (just messing with you, Finito).

Personally, KDs passing has been most impressive to me. The gravity he creates as soon as his shots start falling has a big positive impact trickling down to everyone else on the court. That said, I still don’t think he’s playing his top ball. He’s had a lot of starts and stops with playing ball over the past few months. I’m not even certain he’s fully in rhythm yet. Not to mention I don’t think monty does him any favors in designing anything to maximize him.
Which makes his stats all that more amazing. If he is putting up 25 per game and doing what he is doing and we all think that's not the best KD!? Watch out if that KD ever shows up. He doesn't need to be the best player on the floor. He needs to be a big enough threat to allow Book and others to do their thing then pick his spots to take over.
 

nashman

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He doesn't need to score 40 but he does need to look like the best player on the floor. He hasn't been that yet this series. It has only been 2 games but we don't look like we're cruising towards a title either. Isn't that why this deal was made, to increase our odds at winning a title?
Disagree he doesn’t need to look like the best player in the floor, the Clips know he is which is why they are defending him like no other! If Book can go off like last night as they focus their D on KD then he is doing a great job. Depends on the matchup imo as Clips are focusing hard on KD then it’s Books time to shine against another team it could and probably will be different. Any smart coach, which I think Lue is will try to take away the HOF scorer And make others best you. We should be doing the same to Lenard, they have to feel a bit nervous that Westbrook had a great offensive game and they still lost. I’d be willing to bet that’s his highest scoring game of the series, he shot well above his normal game.
 

Hoop Head

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Disagree he doesn’t need to look like the best player in the floor, the Clips know he is which is why they are defending him like no other! If Book can go off like last night as they focus their D on KD then he is doing a great job. Depends on the matchup imo as Clips are focusing hard on KD then it’s Books time to shine against another team it could and probably will be different. Any smart coach, which I think Lue is will try to take away the HOF scorer And make others best you. We should be doing the same to Lenard, they have to feel a bit nervous that Westbrook had a great offensive game and they still lost. I’d be willing to bet that’s his highest scoring game of the series, he shot well above his normal game.

The best player on the floor has been Kawhi, he's been more impactful offensively and defensively. We can argue who is and who isn't but that isn't the real point. KD had a decent game, he wasn't exceptional and did nothing to really impress. If this is all we get from him then this team isn't going to go very far. He needs to do more if this team is going to win a championship or make it far enough to play for one.
 

Covert Rain

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The best player on the floor has been Kawhi, he's been more impactful offensively and defensively. We can argue who is and who isn't but that isn't the real point. KD had a decent game, he wasn't exceptional and did nothing to really impress. If this is all we get from him then this team isn't going to go very far. He needs to do more if this team is going to win a championship or make it far enough to play for one.
I am not sure anybody is arguing what Kawhi is doing. The point is, KD doesn't have to be the best player on the court. He just has to be a major threat to take pressure off of Book, CP3 and Ayton. His numbers stack up against some of the best players so far in the playoffs. He just needs to pick his spots to takeover when needed. Plus, the fact we have not seen the best of him yet maybe is a good thing. Either that or it's like Ouchie and other's have said. This team has not had a chance to completely gel yet.
 

Chaplin

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The best player on the floor has been Kawhi, he's been more impactful offensively and defensively. We can argue who is and who isn't but that isn't the real point. KD had a decent game, he wasn't exceptional and did nothing to really impress. If this is all we get from him then this team isn't going to go very far. He needs to do more if this team is going to win a championship or make it far enough to play for one.
Best player on the floor in game 1 was Kawhi. Best player on the floor in game 2 was Book. Plain and simple. Who knows? Maybe the best player on the floor in game 3 will be KD. The beauty of having him is that we have 2 players that can be the best player on the floor. Maybe even at the same time, and that's a big advantage to have.
 

Finito

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Dude...Durant is one of the main reasons why we closed in the 2nd. Plus, you think if we didn't have Durant people wouldn't be doubling Book more and taking the ball out of CP3's hands like last playoffs?

I swear, if Durant doesn't score 40...it's not good enough.

Eh IDK
 

SeattleCardinal

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If you watch the video, he is messing with his hand the whole time.

It looks like only his pinky was bugging him. He did drill a long jumper a few plays after the pass deflection.
Hopefully his shoulder is OK too.

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Joe Mama

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Regarding officiating I would say overall the first two games the clippers are probably benefiting a little but not enough to make a big deal over. I think it's the same thing I see watching Boston Celtics games. Clippers are playing more physically and aggressively overall, and the referees are just not going to stop the game every time. Someone pointed out in the Game thread last night but they are reminded of the Seattle Seahawks defense . I believe I made the same comparison to either in the first game thread or with one of my friends during game one.

I do believe Leonard has at least 10 points over the first two games after he reestablishes his pivot foot without the whistle blowing. I also thought we were in real trouble last night when on one of the first possessions of the game Chris Paul was fronting him and he put two hands in Paul's back and pushed him to the ground right in front of the referee with no call. I should probably go back and watch again to see if it was actually is obvious as I thought live. Chris Paul has a history of overemphasizing contact, but at the time I thought it was an easy call.

DA looked better last night. I still think his hands are even more numb than my own and he's basically afraid to make contact with another human being but at least he didn't look as frequently lost/ disinterested in game 2.
 

Covert Rain

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Hopefully his shoulder is OK too.

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I just had seen this not even 10 minutes ago. Didn't notice it post game. DAMN! That's ice cold. They both clearly could see each other. Didn't even attempt to approach one another, shoulder bumped and didn't look back.

No love lost there evidently or just competitive spirit?
 

clyde2tw

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I dunno, kahwi was picking apart our double teams with pinpoint passes last night. It seemed his passes always lead to a wide open 3 or a layup. When we pass it out if doubleteams it is always 5 feet behind the arc with a defender in close proximity. We almost never make the defense pay for doubling. Book did last night but only because he would drive immediately at the closeout player, not because the spacing allowed Durant to find the wide open player for an easy bucket.
Kawhi finds the gaps in the double teaming. We could do better jobs at sealing the paths and angles. But he also travels a lot by dragging his pivot foot before releasing the pass. He also has this odd-looking travel jump-layup shot from standing still, without being called in G1, which he didn't do in G2 probably after being warned the refs.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Did anyone get anxious last night while Okogie was guarding Kahwi? I know I did and I was curious to see the outcome. Okogie seemed a little shell shocked or maybe not prepared for the bright lights. Kahwi is just so good he made Okogie look slow and small on two occasions I believe. I think Okogie becomes more comfortable as we move along and as he gets more minutes (hopefully) that he'll show how effective he can truly be.

The suns did a nice job of doubling Kahwi, but Kahwi has that little step through between defenders to make the pass. That's also another note, is that the clippers are very good at creating passing lanes to bail out Kahwi on those double teams. This is something we are not good at.
I agree with all of this. Okogie seemed uncharacteristically cautious instead of playing with his usual abandon. I get that the stakes are higher than he’s ever had riding on his play, but what’s made him effective is when he plays on the razors edge of wild. Playing on instinct and reaction instead of overthinking. Hopefully the stage shrinks a little for him and we can get some good scrap back from him.

And you hit the nail on the head in regards to my observations about double teams. I’ve been railing about the suns lack of preparedness to attack double teams for two seasons now. They don’t recognize the traps and move to areas of the court to create a scenario where the defense has to give up a slasher to the hoop or an open 3. We always send the ball five feet beyond the arc, which gets outta the double but it’s a win for the defense. The clips attack the double and get wide open shots.
 
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