Zion destroys the Clippers: "This is very worrying"

The Pelicans ran over the Los Angeles team and provoked the anger of Kawhi, who left a message at the end of the duel. Zion, Ingram and Lonzo, 70 points.


Regularity and consistency are always necessary to reach the playoffs, at least in certain doses. And, with obvious differences, two qualities that still need to be developed in the bosom of Pelicans and Clippers, the two protagonists of a night marked by a confrontation between rivals who are very far in the classification, but share more things than they would like. And it is that innate ability to develop a spectacular game one day, and a very poor one the next, to win with its stars and without them or that it does not matter when it comes to scoring defeats in a shameless way. Obviously, the Clippers have more of the former than the latter, unlike Stan Van Gundy's team. For that reason, of course, some are fourth in the West and the others in eleventh position. But, basically, there is something that both franchises share and that prevents them, or being favorites for the ring (the Angelenos remain in candidates) or accessing the playoffs (if we talk about the Pelicans, who are still in a fight that they have very difficult win) with a roster that is talented enough to do so.

The Clippers started out rough, improved slightly and sank definitively after the break. It was the summary of a game in which they scored 24 and 26 points in the first and third periods respectively, two quarters in which they received the ignominious figure of 36 and 43 points. In the opening match, they lost nine balls and scored only 2 3-pointers of 8 attempts, while allowing their rivals to shoot over 60% on field goals and 50% on triples, in addition to distributing 12 assists and displaying a spectacular collective game. The third was even worse for the Angelenos: 31.8% in shots from the field, 30.8% in triples, three losses and a combined -17 of all their players. In those 12 minutes, the locals scored 17 of their 22 shooting attempts, a figure that gave a good example of the sterile Los Angeles defense and the apathy with which they jumped onto the track.

In total, the Pelicans delivered 38 assists, had five players with five or more, and shot over 65% on field goals and 46% on 3s. And yes, they lost 18 balls to 12 for the Angelenos, but they made up for it with a well-coordinated counterattack and a formidable performance of what should be a big three but is, still and for now, a project for the future. Brandon Ingram (23), Lonzo Ball (20) and Zion Williamson (27) combined to score 70 points and leave their opponents shivering. Zion in particular shot 13-of-16 from the field, representing the good work of his team from the launch throughout the game. While Kira Lewis Jr. and Jaxson Hayes also passed the ten. The Pelicans practiced a basketball that their coach, Stan Van Gundy, likes a lot, a man with a lot of class but who has not yet been able to develop his team's game to the maximum: rebounds, counterattack, minimization of shooting errors, triples released and excellent defensive moments, especially in the odd-numbered quarters, where the match was sentenced.

And in the meantime, the Clippers have to get better. Kawhi Leonard, who has little to show off or to exercise leadership in a way other than quietly, has said in the conclusion that he is "very concerned." "If we want to have a chance we have to be consistent. Great teams are consistent." The forward finished with a very good shooting series (9 of 13) and 23 points, but he could do nothing against an opponent who was the whole game ahead and touched the thirty advantage at the beginning of the last quarter (110-83). Kawhi had a -26 on the court to Paul George's -24, again missing and with just 15 points, thanks to a 5 of 14 in field goals and a worse 1 of 8 in triples. And Serge Ibaka, in just eight minutes, didn't even score. Only Reggie Jackson (18) and Luke Kennard (15) brought some light to a team that has had four losses in the last five games and that had just beaten the Warriors in the post All Star debut. But the one that, like Last year, it does not finish convincing at this point, when we approach the final stretch of the regular phase and they have not advanced from the vitola of candidates to favorites, with a game that has convinced only at times and inexplicable defeats, like this . The Clippers are still there, yes. But if they want to win, they need more. Much more.

Photos from as.com
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