The Jeremy Lin jeers continue. The rising tide of Linsanity crested two season’s ago, and now pseudo-analysts (aka anyone with a Twitter account) can’t wait to churn flotsam all over his game. Chris Paul made that an easy task last night, juking and stuttering as he generally bamboozled the Taiwanese-born Lin. The Rockets didn’t recover from the Clippers’ backcourt onslaught during Dwight Howard‘s return to Staples Center.
Heading into last night, the Rockets were one of four undefeated teams in the season’s first week. Two others lost earlier in the night, and after a first quarter where the Clippers scored 42 points, it appeared the NBA’s new onus is on parity because there is only one undefeated team remaining among all 30 teams, less than 5 games into the season (the Pacers!).
The Sixers got steamrolled by a returning Andre Iguodala, and the ‘Wolves â€” more on them later â€” lost to a Cavs team with a mobile Andrew Bynum.
But the Clippers really stamped on the Rockets. Paul, a hot J.J. Redick, and the smooth, elongated sweep of Jamal Crawford rode roughshod over a Rockets backcourt still missing Patrick Beverley.
The three Rockets players all scored over 20 points during a 137-118 win that probably still had coach Doc Rivers catatonic from all the missed defensive rotations.
But, sweet lord, was CP3 on fire, particularly when matched against Lin. Paul would finish with 23 points (7-of-13 from the field and 8-for-8 from the line) and 17 dimes, but it was a pair of ankle-breakers on Jeremy that had people talking.
Paul also showed off his trademark â€” and some would say, paradoxical â€” feistiness on the court, pissing off Francisco Garcia on this play with his pesky play and leading to the “Death Stare” from Garcia.
As D-12 returned to the scene of the crime from last season, he was booed by the crowd every time he touched the ball, and only put up a pedestrian (for him) 13 points and 9 boards. James Harden also struggled from the field, going 0-for-7 from beyond the arc for 15 largely inefficient points on the night.
The Clippers are going to be one of the most talked-about teams this season with all the new additions on the court and the big one on the sideline, but they’ll only go as far as their 6-0 leader takes them. He was up to the task last night against intra-conference rival Houston.
What do you think?
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