Two weeks after Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan dunked all over the Bucks in Los Angeles, the Clippers finish the season series with a trip to the Bradley Center.
Put up or shut up. Do we even need to point it out anymore? In case you haven't been paying attention, it's serious gut-check time for the Bucks, who have fallen flat on their faces when they were supposed to be finally getting healthy and taking advantage of a favorable schedule. Though the Bucks still get 13 of their next 17 at home, it's hard to tell if the current squad can pull itself out of the death spiral it's fallen into. John Hammond doesn't have much flexibility to make a big deal--unlike last year, he doesn't have a bunch of expiring deals to play with--but it seems like he has to do something to shake up a team that appears to have completely lost its confidence.
Maggette's back...might be injured. No word yet on Corey Maggette's availability after leaving Saturday's game with tweaked back, though Carlos Delfino would presumably slide back into the starting lineup should Maggette miss out. Scott Skiles should also have Chris Douglas-Roberts and Garrett Temple available to fill in, though on Saturday he showed a preference for going smaller, with Keyon Dooling getting some solid run at SG and Earl Boykins seeing some time at PG after a number of recent DNP-CDs.
Clip Roadshow. The Clippers had the unfortunate honor of snapping the Cavaliers' NBA record 26-game losing streak last weekend, falling in OT despite another 32/13 from Blake Griffin. Given the Clippers' tremendous road struggles (4-20), it probably shouldn't have been too shocking, especially since the Cavs were, you know, kind of due. But the Clippers didn't offer much of a bounce-back Sunday night in Toronto either, dropping a 98-93 decision against the Raps despite another 21/15 from their star rookie.
Mr. Consistency. Don't talk to Griffin about rookie walls--aside from the three games in October, Griffin has averaged at least 20.9 ppg and 11.7 rpg every month of his rookie season, which is why he'll be the first rookie to play in all-star game since Yao Ming was voted in back in 2003 (feel free to throw an asterisk on there). Only Kevin Love has more double-doubles than Griffin (44 in 53 games) and he's one of just four guys averaging at least 20/10.
Dunked. Griffin is also second in the league in dunks (125) behind Dwight Howard with teammate DeAndre Jordan third with 106 dunks. Both Clips have more dunks individually than the Bucks have as a team (99), which isn't that surprising if you saw what they did against Scott Skiles' bunch in L.A. Andrew Bogut leads the Bucks with 44 throwdowns.
Jordan rules. Jordan is one of the league's more interesting bigs, as the Bucks saw firsthand when he dropped 16/7 on them in L.A. Over two-thirds of his field goals this year are dunks (106/155), which is a big reason why he's shooting a ridiculous 68.6% from the floor. He's taken only six shots outside 10 feet all year and missed all of them, so he certainly knows how to play to his strength. Interestingly, because he's such a terrible free throw shooter (46%), his true shooting percentage (65.4%) is actually lower than his fg%, though both figures are outstanding. One of the few other players who can claim a lower TS% than fg% is Andrew Bogut, but unfortunately his fg% is a career-low 49% and only a hair above his extremely poor 48.9% true shooting figure.