Blogtable: Clippers-Thunder lessons

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Sold on Heat? | Unrest in coaching ranks | Clippers-Thunder lessons

VIDEO: Clippers-Thunder Game 5 recap

> What have you learned so far from watching the Clippers and Thunder bang heads (and other body parts)?

Steve Aschburner, Frankly, I assumed that OKC was a more fully formed team and less dependent on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for so much of its scoring and mojo. It’s a little disappointing, frankly, to not see more reliable help, night in and night out, from the Thunder’s other guys. As for the Clippers, coach Doc Rivers seems to have a knack for this insta-contender stuff, after what he did with the Celtics in 2007-08. Also, I think Jamal Crawford will be able to step onto a court and drain 3-pointers 10 or 15 years from now.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comNothing at all that I didn’t already know. They are both emotional, both flawed and can both be very painful and very fun to watch. All in the same game.

Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin (Richard Rowe/NBAE)

Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin (Richard Rowe/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comI don’t think there’s been a “wild card” in terms of a player or a theme that’s jumped out in this series. Doc Rivers sort of a tore a page from the Memphis playbook in the fourth quarter of Game 4 by putting Chris Paul in sort of a Tony Allen role (and Paul’s even four inches shorter than Allen) on Kevin Durant and then using double-teams to confound the MVP. It helped L.A. rally from 16 down to win and tie the series instead of going down 3-1. Right now it’s the only reason the Clips are still alive.

Scott Howard-Cooper, I learned that Serge Ibaka has not come close to peaking. We sort of knew that already, the way his mid-range jumper has become so dependable and has turned into more of a two-way player than a lot of people would have imagined three years ago, but there is still room for growth. He has 3-point range and a work ethic that means he will put in the time to improve. The Thunder are OK with Ibaka shooting from there now. In time, they may encourage it.

John Schuhmann, It’s a confirmation of what we learned in last year’s Finals. A full season, 1,230 games total, can come down to just a few seconds. These are two teams with legit dreams of winning a championship. And one of them is going to lose this series because of one or two mistakes made at the end of Game 4 (if the Thunder lose) or Game 5 (if the Clips lose). It can’t be as painful as what the Spurs went through last June, but it will be close.

Sekou Smith, I’ve learned that true vitriol for one’s opponent has been reborn in this league, courtesy of guys like Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. I don’t mind guys playing with that extra competitive edge that both sides have shown in this series. I think players on both sides have skirted the lne between being Bad Boys dirty and being extra physical, which is wholly appropriate in a playoff atmosphere, in my opinion. The physicality on both sides has been refreshing to watch in a league where guys from one team routinely extend a hand to help up a guy from the other team (a gesture that was forbidden during past eras in the league). The guys who can continue to produce through all of the trials and tribulations of a series like this are the ones who truly impress. I have a revised level of respect for both Griffin and Russell Westbrook, who remain in the crosshairs on a nightly basis based on how they perform.

Lang Whitaker, All Ball Blog: Two things, both about the Thunder: 1. What a thin margin of error they live with. Considering they have the MVP and the uber-talented Russell Westbrook, it’s always surprising to see them struggle to score points. And even though they won 59 games this season, they have a short bench and have to get very good performances from all of their rotation players in order to have a chance to win against high-level teams. 2. How much I enjoy watching Steven Adams play. I’m sure I’d hate playing against him, as everyone seems to do, but he’s a classic agitator/instigator, of which there aren’t many left these days.


  1. BJ says:

    Crawford shooting a 3 was completely unnecessary, then CP3 loses the ball twice? how do you lose a game with a 13 point lead with 3 1/2 mins left? they all need to study the games of the Lakers back in the day when they used to manage and milk the clock when you have the lead and the game is almost over. just several dumb plays at the end of that game is why they lost. that’s where all these teams are inexperienced. MILK THE CLOCK AND END THE GAME WHEN YOU HAVE THE LEAD!
    Crawfords 3 pointer basically left the door open for OKC to get back in the game. along with all the other dumb dumb errors they made. I hope they learned from those mistakes.

  2. Blog-So-Hard-2014 says:

    Thunder can go on a 7-0 run in under 2 minutes
    Clippers take a whole quarter to go on a 7-0 run
    Outcome: Duh! do the math!!!

  3. Klydux says:

    HAHAH Clips fans? how about CP3 fouled Steph curry during the Game 5 of the 1st round? but it was no call. Thats what we call KARMA!! Cry clip fans!!!!! watch CP3’s comments during the press con! CP3 can’t match RW! Zbo was suspended because he intentionally punched adams and theres no flop, where zbo can just past by why he extend his arms over another player??? eventhough he played in game 7 Memp will lose… COZ they are struggling if zbo is on the curt.. Watch Baketball CLIP fans before you cry our loud! LOL

  4. kevbo0 says:

    Waahhhh waaaaahhh waaaaaaaaahhhh…cry me a Doc Rivers…The more I read the more I’m convinced most of these whining fans are Lakers fans jumping on the bandwagon….cuz you sound just like THEM when you cry…

  5. Tom says:

    Clipers will always play at the mercy of refs just because of the way they play. There are so many little things they do, moving screens, sneaky push/tap on shooters, acting… How do you think they run those tight screen that defenders cannot even fight half through. If refs want, they all would have been fouled out long ago.

    • OKC To Finals says:

      seriously, NBA should just hand OKC the ticket to the Finals. lets just skip the formality,
      1. ZBo was suspended for “punching” that Adam kid. if there was a punch, then Adam should be laying on the court and sprinting back.
      2. Ibaka did not get suspended for “punching” Griffin in the groins. OUCH! Griffin got punched in the balls TWICE by the same dude. and had to take a timeout for that. NOT EVEN A FOUL
      3. Everyone who saw the replays knows it was out of bounce on Jackson. ARE YOU BLIND, Refs?
      4. We know you are blind on the clippers, Refs. cuz clearly CP3 was fouled on the last play, and you did not call it, instead, you called a foul on him for fouling a 3 pt shooter.


      • okckd35 says:

        Haha. So u want the foul on CP3 on the last play. The ball to the clippers and no foul on Barnes for hacking Jackson. Very nice clipper fan

      • kevbo0 says:

        Waaaaahhhh waaahhhh waaaaaaaaaaahhhh…cry me a Doc Rivers….The more I read the more I’m convinced that these whining fans are nothing but a bunch of Laker fans jumping on the Clipper bandwagon…cuz that’s how THEY sound when they cry….

    • Nick says:

      Randolph did punch Adams in the face and Adams just kept running therefore suspension and Ibaka didn’t hit griffin the nba reviews all these plays which is why Randolph was suspended I am off day so if there was a suspension worthy play the nba would’ve acted and Chris Paul did foul Westbrook on the elbow on the 3 and also made the bad decision on the last play he admitted both of these in post game conference if you guys watch those

    • BT says:

      I have to say that this is true of just about every team in the NBA-Clippers, Thunder, Warriors, etc…. It seems like too many players are just trying to get fouls on the opponents rather than just trying to play. Westbrook almost never takes a shot or goes to the basket without falling down trying to get a call. Chris Paul does similar things. Durant got so spoiled by the refs giving him every single call on every play a couple of years ago that he now complains about everything (at least they don’t make calls for him as badly anymore). Tired of fans of one team complaining that the other team is doing what their own team does too. TOO MUCH HYPOCRACY!

  6. vic0707vic0707 says:

    Seriously the only leason is how the league s making sure the thunder make it to the finals… ridiclous… the take zbo out of the game 7 for nothing, the dont suspend ibaka for kicking someone in the nuts, they give a present to westbroek on the foul on the three but they dont give the foul to cp3.. and then they give them the ball to finish it off.. I am going to stop watching this..

    • Chris says:

      Agreed.. I’m still confused as to why Ibaka wasn’t suspended..

      • Scmoney says:

        Ibaka obviously didnt do that on purpose.. Cmon you guys are so blind to the truth

      • okckd35 says:

        Right. The 1st time ibaka did it was intentional. This time was not. Where as zbo elbowed and punched adams in the face…. just another reason to cry I guess. Dont worry u should get used to being the 3rd best in the west

    • okckd35 says:

      Haha clipper fans are so butt hurt. But would be fine with no foul on barnes. Out of bounds to clippers and no foul 9n westbrooks 3. But I bet u are wanting a foul for CP3 with 2 secs left. Just face it CP3 collapsed under westbrooks pressure and lost the game for his team

  7. thespectator says:

    at this point i have no idea whose gonna win this series..

  8. mee(a)t says:

    I’ve learned how desperate OKC can get when they’re on the brink. I’ve seen Westbrrok and Durant force shots but wowww….Also for some reason i always find myself staring at Crawford’s rainbow jumper either bounce off the rim of sink into that net.

    • Scmoney says:

      Lol crawfords rainbow blows my mind, shooting 3s is my thing and i cant even throw the ball that high and get it in, hes crazy