Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Thunder (11/21/12)
Editor's Note: Want to check out the Thunder side of the story and how they look to take down the Clippers? Click here!
The Clippers just keep on rolling with another solid win over the Spurs. There weren't any alley-oops that were highlight-worthy, but this gem from Chris Paul is worth another look.
To quote the NBA Jams announcers, it’s not exactly "Boomshakalaka" worthy, more of a "Kumbayaga”.
The Clippers beingable to grind out a close game where they didn't shoot the lights out (only 47% from the field) and didn't rely on the three-ball (only one of 12) is a welcome change from last season where they struggled in close games against the top teams. It still might be too early to tell, but through ten games the Clippers are on top of the western conference and have played the second toughest schedule thus far (Memphis has had the toughest). Their several impressive wins certainly make them look like a legitimate contender at the moment.
Tonight, the road does not get any easier for the Clippers as they travel to OKC to take on the 8-3 Thunder. The Thunder rank fourth in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency, and they have the best scorer in the league in Kevin Durant. Tonight’s game, however, is going to come down to the erratic Russell Westbrook. His game score, which approximately measures a player’s productivity for a particular game, can be 24.3 one game and 7.0 the next. For comparison, the charts below illustrate the distribution of game scores for Durant and Westbrook.
As you can see, Westbrook is all over the place, and without Harden to provide consistency off the bench, the Thunder will have an erratic season. If the Clippers continue playing with the same efficiency on both ends of the floor, they should be able to grind out another tough win tonight just like they did against the Spurs.
While I can throw a lot more numbers about the game tonight, I am afraid it will not do it justice. No statistic can convey the wide ranging arsenal of Kevin Durant or the leadership and control that Chris Paul has over a game. Those things you can only comprehend and appreciate by watching two masters go to work and hopefully witness them create another masterpiece like they have done numerous times before. My recommendation is you make some popcorn, get your favorite beverage, glue yourself to a TV, and get ready to yell “Boomshakalaka!" every time Griffin takes off.
Instead of my amateur predictions please check out our official NBA predictions from numberFire’s analytics that guarantee a correct pick or your money back for this article.