Best and Worst of Phoenix-Clippers: In addition to PG and the Suns star, Ayton and Jackson are also featured
Phoenix begins his adventure in the Western Conference Finals beautifully, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 in Game 1 in front of a spectacular crowd. Chris Paul was missing on one side and Kawhi Leonard on the other, but the game was illuminated by a fabulous Devin Booker, the absolute protagonist with a legendary triple double and a performance with high technical and narrative content. In the Suns, excellent performance also for Deandre Ayton. Los Angeles with an exciting Paul George. Here are the tops and flops of the match.
devin booker: top
The basketball legacy of the Black Mamba is burned into his soul and burns within him. Legendary Devin Booker, following in the footsteps of his master Kobe. The first triple double of his career in his first appearance at the Western Conference Finals. For Book 40 points (15/29, 3/7 from three and 7/7 from the line), 13 rebounds, 11 assists (only 2 turnovers) in 44 ‘on the parquet. Unmarkable, lethal, with the ice running through his veins. The champion from Phoenix entered the game forcefully in the 3rd quarter, in the most difficult moment for Phoenix, which ended up under 6 points and with Los Angeles growing exponentially on both sides of the field, and has never stopped since. Booker scored 18 points in the 3rd, of which 16 in a row, and shifted the inertia of the race in his favor. An extraordinary performance for technical quality and offensive readings. Booker played with incredible emotional control, always finding the right space for the shot thanks to his ball handling combined with a champion’s mental clarity. In the absence of Chris Paul, he was also instrumental as a facilitator. A decidedly “for the ages” competition.
paul george: top
The elegance and class of PG characterized Game 1 and gave continuity to the resounding performance exhibited by the native of Palmdale in the series against Utah. In addition to the individual numbers, excellent in every nuance (34 points with 10/26 shooting, 7/15 for threes and 7/8 for free throws), George proved to be perfectly at ease within the “new” system of Clips, deprived of Kawhi Leonard’s talent. Los Angeles played a very good game overall and the ease in generating offensive basketball also depended on the newfound serenity of its number 13. Paul George is mentally inside this series.
deandre ayton: top
Punctual in punishing mismatches, efficient in pick and roll and in percentages from the field. Deandre Ayton was a factor in Game 1, brilliantly overcoming even the quintet lowerings operated by the Clippers. For the University of Arizona product center, 20 points with 10/14 from the field and 9 rebounds. A more than positive impact also from the competitive point of view. Really not bad for a rookie at this level of the Playoffs.
reggie jackson: top
Jackson continues to be one of the best in the Clippers and once again he has shown that he can easily withstand the pressure and complexity of a game of this magnitude. He certainly does not lack personality and not even the ability to affect one-on-one. Reggie Jackson finished with 24 points (10/19 shooting), 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 39 ‘. More scorer than game creator but fundamental in this moment of the season for the balances of Los Angeles.
cameron payne: top
Starter in the quintet replacing Chris Paul, Cameron Payne fought, elbowed and ran like a madman without ever stopping. Even if he sometimes struggles to control the excesses of his generosity, one cannot fail to underline his commitment and desire to determine. Payne signed 11 points (5/10 shooting), 9 assists (1 turnover), 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in 29 ‘. For him also a plus / minus of +14 to further testify the positivity of his contribution. Called upon by Coach Monty Williams, he responded present.
rajon rondo: flop
A small reaction in the 4th period was not enough to revive a dull performance. The Clippers signed Rajon Rondo to make a difference when it really matters. In this game 1 (and in general this postseason), the “Playoff Rondo” has never been seen except in the final minutes (8 points, 7 assists and -14 plus / minus). Too little for someone like him. One that really is special.
terance mann: flop
The premise is a must: ungenerous to put Terance Mann among the flops. He slammed like a damn in the defensive half and even scored a brave triple in the 4th period but didn’t even come close to the superlative performance exhibited in the decisive game 6 of the series against the Utah Jazz. The strong-willed Mann ends up among the “flops” because now it is reasonable to expect something more from him in attack, especially in the game creation phase.
June 21 – 00:47
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