If there was any takeaway from tonight, it's that Griffin's post game is still a work in progress. When matched up with the longer Darko Milicic, Griffin struggled to get off quality looks. Defensively, he stuck with Kevin Love and impressively disrupted his offensive flow (discounting the last shot). The silver lining was his free throw shooting -- he actually shot a respectable percentage.
With Caron Butler nursing a slightly hyperextended knee, the Clippers' depth was put to the test with Mo Williams and rookies Courtney Fortson and Travis Leslie as the only perimeter options off the bench. The Clippers visibly miss Paul's offensive creativity and passing accuracy, as those lobs aren't quite the same without him (Griffin missed three off of bad passes).
It didn't seem possible for the early Sixth Man of the Year candidate to play better than he did Wednesday night against Dallas, but he outdid himself again. Minnesota decided to go under the pick-and-roll and he made them pay with jumper after jumper. Unfortunately, he picked up two technical fouls and was ejected with 6:21 left to play.
For the second game in a row, the Clippers gave up an open 3-pointer in the game's final seconds. Only this time, the clock ran out before Chauncey Billups could work his "Mr. Big Shot" magic. Love's 3-pointer was a microcosm of the Clippers' team defense -- inconsistent and incoherent. It may not cost them many games in January, but it'll undoubtedly cost them in April and May.
It wasn't pretty, and it took them a while to settle in, but the Wolves gave the Clippers a run for their money. Capitalizing on L.A.'s injury-riddled roster, Minnesota used proper ball movement and spacing to dissect the Clippers' defense in the second half. Milicic and Nikola Pekovic combined to pound the Clippers inside, providing an unusual source of offense. Whole lotta Love, too.