Vinny Del Negro doesn’t start Eric Bledsoe, Clippers lose to Spurs 105-88
Eric Bledsoe and the Clippers couldn’t overcome the horrible play of their starting point guard Chris Paul, and lost to the Spurs 105-88 in Game 2 of the Western Conference semi-finals. Paul was awful throughout the game, committing 8 turnovers and just generally sucking. Eric Bledsoe on the other hand, had another solid game. He only finished with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, but it was his defense and energy that made the biggest difference. At the end of the first half, the Clippers were +10 when Bledsoe was on the court and -12 with Chris Paul. Bledsoe’s plus/minus during the postseason is an impressive +46. Yet Vinny Del Negro stubbornly refuses to make lineup changes.
There had been some talk yesterday that Bledsoe should start Game 2, but Del Negro wasn’t listening. Not only did he not start Bledsoe, he didn’t even put him in until late in the first quarter. He played just 9 minutes in the first half and 14 minutes in the second half.
Bledsoe had a few good moments in the game, including a nice alley-oop pass to DeAndre Jordan (who played for Billy Gillespie at Texas A&M). As always, he was a pest on defense and on several occasions was able to get back on defense to stop a Tony Parker fast break layup attempt.
Whether it’s the injury or not, Chris Paul just isn’t playing with that extra gear. Del Negro needs to seriously consider starting Bledsoe in Game 3. For real this time. I don’t know if he’s stupid, or dating Chris Paul or something, but he needs to give his team a chance to win.
The Spurs have now won 16 games in a row going back to the regular season and now lead the series 2-0.
The next game will be played Saturday in Los Angeles.