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Clippers have no trouble blowing out your defending champion Miami Heat

Nov 15, 2012, 1:54 AM EDT

Chris Paul AP

The Clippers can make a legitimate claim to the title of the league’s top team, or at the very least, the best in the Western Conference. Their record now stands at 6-2 after an impressive routing of the Heat on Wednesday 107-100, and the teams ahead of them in the standings — the Spurs and the Grizzlies — have already fallen to L.A. this season.

Perhaps it’s a little early to get into all of that, so let’s focus on the way the Clippers had little issue with dismantling the defending champs. It started with really off nights from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and it ended with Chris Paul.

Wade was a game-time decision coming into this one, after twisting his ankle in Monday’s win over Houston. It was evident that he was not himself; Wade finished with just six points on 2-of-10 shooting, and suffered this humiliation at the hands of Eric Bledsoe.

Bosh wasn’t hampered by injury, but the team defense of the Clippers’ bigs down low made it tough for him to get clean looks. He finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, but was a miserable 3-of-13 from the field himself.

Given the rough night from two of the Heat’s main men offensively, it was a bit of a surprise to see Miami leading at the half, and still within just two at 72-70 with 3:22 to play in the third quarter.

Chris Paul decided he’d had enough, apparently, because he went on a personal scoring tear to finish the third quarter which put the game permanently out of reach.

Paul started with a couple of free throws, then drained a long three-pointer from almost 10 feet behind the arc. The next trip down, Paul hit another three in rhythm, and the Clipper lead was now eight. He was feeling it, and drove to the hoop on the next possession, but was fouled. He hit two more free throws, then two more, then converted the technical free throw after Wade got tangled up with Ryan Hollins and shoved him with two hands to get free.

When it was all said and done, it was 13 straight points from Paul to end the period that began to put this game away for the Clippers. And to start the fourth, the bench unit finished the job.

Bledsoe picked up right where Paul left off, and scored eight straight Clippers points of his own to push the lead to 17. This, by the way, came while the Heat had their starters in to try and close the gap.

LeBron James finished with 30 points for Miami on better than 50 percent shooting, but he got virtually no help from anyone else. Midway through the fourth he could be seen yelling to the bench, “Don’t take me out, man. Don’t take me out.” He remained in and helped cut into the lead that reached as many as 20, but once it was still at 14 with about two and a half minutes to play, Spoelstra waived the white flag and James went to the bench.

Really solid win for the Clippers, one of many early in the season. L.A. has size, depth, and most importantly, a superstar who’s as competitive as they come, and who is capable of completely dominating the game in stretches when his team needs him the most.

For the Heat, there’s far from anything to worry about, and you wonder if the team is still in “whatever” mode a little bit and experiencing the effects of a championship hangover; it’s rare that you would see Miami get blown out like they did in L.A. and like they did in Memphis a couple of games ago, and the Heat (save for James) didn’t seem all that interested in clawing their way back once the lead reached the mid-double digits early in the fourth.

That’ll likely change as the season rolls on. But for now, teams like Memphis and the Clippers are more dialed in, more hungry, and are happy to flex their muscle like this to get big, confidence-fueling wins over the defending NBA champs.

  1. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    The West will have 5 legit title contenders, the East 1.

  2. rocirius - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I count four: Spurs, Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder.

    • Zammael - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:24 AM

      I see what u did there.

  3. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    If you really think the LAKERS won’t be a contender by the playoffs you don’t know basketball.

    • slowclyde86 - Nov 15, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Says the clearly unbiased moniker…Sure, that young, balanced, defensive-minded roster will have no problems in the play-offs. None what-so-ever.

  4. dgbk - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    the heat will be fine but bosh is not a 5… i understand they won the title while playin their small ball lineup.. remember he played center against garnett similar build and a hurt perkins.. a hurt perkins is like playin a statue wrapped in chains…. the heat lost to the knicks clippers and griz…three teams with bigs that can over power and move with bosh.

    i think playin joell anthony at the 5 and mixin in the small ball line up, dependin on match ups will help.. there has been several games where anthony has played less than 10 mins. i dont see the reason lewis is gettin 20 plus mins a game.anthony stinks on offense but makes up for it with grit and energy. everyone on the floor being able to shoot the 3, is not needed all the time.

    bosh is underated on defense but no one is losing sleep because bosh is in the paint…. there was play with battier on griffin and bosh on jordan,that is asking for trouble… if the heat arent on fire from down town, the small ball line up is too much of a risk imo.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 15, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Last year, I would have been upset after last night’s game. This year, not at all. Won’t be upset after losing tonight at Denver either (teams are like 0-40 on the 2nd night of L.A./Den back to back).

    By playoffs, would like to see a little more Mike Miller and Joel Anthony and a little less Rashard & Ray. The Heats identity is to get down and dirty, and thhough R&R can shoot and they’re fun to watch, they’re not nasty enough to win come playoff time. For now though, doesn’t matter.

    • abchome - Nov 15, 2012 at 6:35 AM

      Playing the “regular season doesn’t matter” card this early?

      • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:15 AM

        It really DOESNT matter in the east. who should the heat REALLY be afraid of?

        He was right, the regular season doesnt matter right now. we could get into the playoffs with a losing record in the east (which wont happen by the way)

        so why sweat EVERY single game (I say this as a fan of course; the players need to give 100% bc its what they get paid to do)

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:25 AM

        Not saying it doesn’t matter. Just not upset after a loss. Not even upset about the headline calling a 7 point loss a “blowout”.

        Heat are going to lose 18-22 times this year. Last night and tonight are 2 of them. Last year, I lived and died with every game. This year, I’m not.

      • chrisppers - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        @1972wasalongtimeago actually it was basically a blowout when both teams were actually trying (14-20pts), which in my book is what counts, garbage time with the clippers third unit allowing the gap to close to 7 isn’t the true story. If you’re going to comment, at least actually watch the game and not just highlights or box score

    • passerby23 - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      There is a problem though for the Heat. Mike Miller seems to have dropped off. There aren’t minutes for him. Playing him means not playing Lebron, Battier, or Allen which isn’t gonna happen. Joel Anthony is a bit of an enigma. I think they would benefit by signing Kenyon Martin, the kind of down and dirty guy you describe as the Heat identity.

      I don’t ever remember the Heat’s defense being this porous, and I do question the long-term health of Wade. The guy always seems to be banged up these days. They’ve committed to small ball. If they run into the wrong matchup, it could hurt them in the playoffs.

  6. paulhargis53 - Nov 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    lakerluver is the expert on knowing nothing.

    8 year old dude.

  7. diablito0402 - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Excuses, excuses, excuses, if wade played, its because he was ready and he was himself, they just got beat, plain and simple.

  8. carpediaz - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    LOL this was HARDLY a blowout. Y’all hate on every Miami team.

    • raidmagic - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      dude they were down 20 in the fourth, the final score is closer than the game.

      • zerole00 - Nov 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        Yeah when I saw the final score after clicking this article I didn’t think it was a blowout either, then I read that the Clippers took out their starters in the 4th quarter. It was already over.

  9. BigBeachBall - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Miami won’t make it out of the first round….

  10. miamatt - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Hat tip to the Clippers, they took this game over with a devastating run to end the 3rd, and continued it through the 4th.

    That being said, no need to panic. This is the time of the year to “see what ya got” with newcomers Allen and Lewis, and to get Norris Cole on the court so he can continue to develop. I agree with the prior comment that we most likely see more Miller and Anthony come playoffs. There are also matchup moves, such as James guarding bigs in the post, that we won’t see until it really matters. Even so, it was the complete absence of Wade and Bosh offensively, as much as anything else, that killed Miami in the end.

    None of the above is intended to be an excuse or to take anything away from the Clippers, who earned this win. But Miami has always taken a long-view towards the regular season; they will easily cruise to a top 3 seed, and being healthy come late April is the priority above all else. It’s a loooooong way to get there, and every season has its ups and downs.

    • passerby23 - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      All valid points. You’ve got to assume their defensive intensity will pick up when it matters too in the playoffs. Their porous defense is a bit of a concern though. Lewis and Allen don’t have that sort of physicality and grit they got last year from Miller and Turiaf. Small ball comes with a price. The teams who have not only beaten, but handled the Heat this year, are teams with athletic bigs who can cover the floor and score.

      Now that the Knicks have some quality point guards, they will give the Heat all they can handle this year and Boston has the type of team to bother the Heat too.

  11. edwardsro - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Too bad Stern screwed the Lakers by giving Paul to the Clippers

  12. paulhargis53 - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    rocirus: Don’t pay attention to lakerslurper.
    He thinks ths Spurs last title was in 05, when everyone else knows it was 07.

    He is the LAST person to be telling people they don’t know basketball.

    He also makes ignorant statements like there are no other contenders besides the heat from the east. He’s already said he picked the Celtics for the finals….he’s a hypocrite, a liar a dumba**, and a sh**weasel.

    • BigBeachBall - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      sounds like someone from the internet is in your head…

  13. eflem80 - Nov 15, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    They were just taking it easy on them because of hurricane Sandy…..wait….was that excuse used already???

  14. mat9844 - Nov 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    It’s interesting to note that a lot of teams have “off” nights when they play the Clippers. Could it be that the Clips are just that good? or to quote Rodney Dangerfield ‘We get no respect’ . Gonna be a great year for the Clips and us fans!

    • blueintown - Nov 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      The opening sentence of the article is “The Clippers can make a legitimate claim to the title of the league’s top team, or at the very least, the best in the Western Conference”. That doesn’t sound like a lack of respect to me.

  15. jerdogthompson - Nov 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Miamatt

    Good to see you taking the loss in stride.

    It’s one game, however, it speaks measures as to the depth of this team. With a returning Billups & Hill the challenge of the year is keeping the players happy with reduced minutes. But as they say winning cures everything.

    • miamatt - Nov 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Agreed. The Clippers bring a virtual army to bear upon their opponents. Still early, but they are being overlooked, along with Memphis as potential juggernaughts come playoffs. Actually, I think being overlooked will serve them well.

  16. dannymac17 - Nov 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    I know its early, but the Clippers are the best team in LA and are just so deep their second unit could form their own team and have a decent record.

    They really have put together a fantastic squad. Sure they will have their slumps like every other team, but int he end i do have them winning the Pacific.

  17. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Yeah, “initially” I picked the C’s for the Finals. Aren’t I allowed to change my mind? Until D. Rose gets back to 100% the East only has one true title contender. Boston could make the Conf finals. But, according to Lil Paulie, that’s a successful season in Beantown. My how the mighty have fallen….I stand corrected. Some how I missed the Spurs 07 title. They’re such a boring, irrelevant franchise my mistake should be understandable. Plus, I’m so accustomed to the LAKERS winning the title I get a little discombobulated when they don’t. One thing I was NOT confused about though is the LAKERS have 5 titles to the Spurs 4 in the Duncan era…you happy now, “deadman walking”?

  18. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    If you’re talking about highlight reel plays, yeah the Clips are the best team in L.A. We will see how it plays out in May/June.

  19. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    @paulhargis5ft3inches
    I’m wondering which one of your other usernames you’re going to use after you lose our bet. Or, perhaps you’ll just get a new one altogether. From now on I’ll just refer to you as “the artist formerly known as paulhargis53″.

    • badintent - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      We’ll just call you “Obama’s scandal coverup “,a.k.a JillKelleyBroadwellAllenFBIhoesareus.

      I’m Prince and I approved this message. And I’m washed up like T-Mac

  20. dysraw1 - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Im rolling with the Nuggets, for some strange reason this is the crew i believe will win the second season.

  21. paulhargis53 - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Lakerluver:
    Wow. You lasted a whole 2 days that time in ignoring me.
    Your post is just another in the long line of nonsense from you.
    You picked a Celtics / Lakers finals.
    Now you’re saying that they aren’t a contender.You’re reasoning is because when Rose is back for the Bulls, they are the only contender? What? You have zero sense.
    I NEVER said that losing the ECF meant anything other than they did better than the lakers- who are 1-8 in the 2nd round the last 2 years.

    The Spurs are “boring”, that’s the excuse youre rolling with for making yourself look like a complete idiot? That’s laughable ay best and pathetic at worst.

    I have on screen name, slurper. You really don’t have an original thought in yiour head do you, lakerluver/bozosforall/madddogg911?
    I guess I don’t blame you for stealing my stuff when all you can come up with is :
    5’3″, 53 iq, 53 years old, 530#.
    Oh and let’s not forget a 16 year old movie, and a prince reference, Uff.

    You really have no clue how dumb you are or how dumb you come across on here. That is the sad part of it.

    Your fan club is growing. More and more posters are seeing you for the nitwit you are.
    I will be.messaging Kurt. I want to make sure when you lose the bet, you are blocked from getting back on.
    You know what I’m going to do when I know you’re gone? Quit posting. My work will be done. I will have eradicated the dumbest sob on this site.
    Ok squish mitten, dazzle us with your next pile of crap of a post. It should be as stunning as always…..

  22. reupjosh - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    All you Heat band wagoners should be a little worried! True, it’s early in the season, but the fact that they’re getting blown out by teams with bigs is starting to become a trend, is a little alarming.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      Really? What if I told you that last season the Heat lost by double digits 10 times. One of those times was to Denver (by 13) on the 2nd night of a back to back with LAC being the first game (which the Heat lost by 6). Sound familiar?

      Last year, the Heat lost by:
      13 to Denver (see above)
      13 to Orlando
      10 to Lakers
      16 to OKC
      12 to Toronto
      19 to Boston
      15 to Memphis
      10 to Chicago
      12 to Boston
      and 34 to Washington

      plus, they lost a bunch of one-digit games too (see the LA Clipper score)

      None of that meant diddly-squat. The Heat are going to lose tonight also. Probably pretty big. PBT will go bonkers. Hate Nation will make their declarations. Miamatt, Southbeachtalent, and rodge will be with the Heat no matter what.

      And you know what? None of it matters. The Heat will win 58-62 and lose 20-24. If they’re healthy in May and June, I kind of like their chances.

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