NEWARK, Del. — The Delaware 87ers (10-23) dropped the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (17-19) 123-89 in what was the team’s most complete performance of the year. The 89 points the Sevens allowed was the fewest they’ve given up this season, while the team also shot an astounding 59.5 percent from the field (47-79). Delaware never trailed in this game and the outcome was decided long before 48 minutes had been played.
Here are three takeaways from the 87ers’ matchup with Agua Caliente:
Shawn Long set the tone early
A byproduct of Emeka Okafor getting a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans is that Shawn Long and Christian Wood have even more of an opportunity to play, especially Long. The big man played like last year’s version of Shawn Long, a terror on both ends and a nightly 20 and 10 threat. Long finished with 22 points and nine rebounds (five offensive) in a brisk 24 minutes of burn. His intensity rubbed off on his teammates, who played hard until the final whistle and showed that this team is better than its record.
The Sevens’ defense was as good as it has been all year
Not only did the 87ers allow the fewest points they have all year, they collected 12 steals and converted 19 Agua Caliente turnovers into 26 points. Askia Booker had four swipes and all five reserves had at least one steal. The players were active on the perimeter, with seemingly every pass and shot contested. Additionally, the Clippers only shot 23-43 from the paint, a testament to Long and company altering and sometimes outright blocking everything in sight. This team always plays hard for Coach Burroughs and tonight the execution matched the effort.
Cameron Oliver is an intriguing player
Oliver apparently comes from the Russell Westbrook lineage of dunkers who try to break the rim all the time. The 6-8 Oliver is sturdy and bouncy and had a number of dunks which should be plastered on highlight reels across the Internet. The Nevada product also dropped two of his three three-point attempts and that combination of fearless jamming and three-point shooting should put him on NBA radars.