There aren’t a lot of positives to be highlighted when you are on a four game losing streak. There are even less when you are on a four game losing streak against teams you should be beating. Fewer still, when you are on a four game losing streak against teams you should be beating after being called a contender. But if there's one positive, it's this BOOMSHAKALAKA dunk from Griffin that deserves another look and maybe even a few replays.
And yes, he takes off from about 10 feet out.
“Hallelujah, it’s raining threes” is really the only accurate way to describe the game. It wasn’t one sided either; both teams shot a staggering amount of threes and made a phenomenal percentage. Both teams, combined, attempted 62 threes or 46.8% of the total shots. For comparison, the average percentage of shots that were threes for the previous 13 Clipper games is 23.2%. The Clippers are only slightly above average (14th) at the three-ball, so shooting 37 of them in a game is slightly questionable. They did, however, make 48.7% for the game, so I guess if you are making them, then keep taking them.
The Hornets in comparison are one of the best three point shooting teams (third) and connected on 15 out 25, or 60%, threes. It actually is the second time that they shot 60% for the game; the first time happened against the Pacers (six for ten). Overall the teams played statistically even, except that the Hornets took an extra 12 free throws. That is the second biggest differential for the Clippers this year, and when you can’t get the other team to miss, it is more than enough to cost you the game.
Tonight the Clippers take on the 5 - 7 Timberwolves, who are ranked eighth in defensive efficiency. Their offense is completely on the other spectrum and ranks 25th in efficiency. Even the defensive ranking should be taken with a grain of salt, however, since the Wolves have had the fourth easiest schedule so far.
Both the Clippers and the Wolves are bringing losing streaks, four games and five games respectively, into tonight’s game, and fortunately one of those losing streaks will end tonight. The Clippers should be the ones that snap their streak, but the way they have been playing this past week… let’s just say I wouldn’t bet on it.
Is it time to panic?
This past week has been subpar to say the least for the Clippers. They went from being ranked in the top five for both offense and defense to being ranked 8th and 10th, respectively. They also aren’t exactly losing to contenders, OKC excluded. The season is still young, however, and there have been teams that struggled early and went on to play for the title, most recently Miami during the 2010-11 season. So as hard as it is to watch a team that is supposed to be in it in July struggle, I wouldn’t be panicking just yet.
Just because I wouldn’t bet on the Clippers tonight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, so check out our official NBA predictions to get the best gambling edge in the business.