Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Nets (11/23/12)
Lob City Highlight of the Day
I know I'm supposed to focus on Clippers' top plays, but I am a sucker for any highlight that features the words “block party”.
The Clippers trailed for 44 minutes on Tuesday night and were down 10 at the half after a buzzer beater three from Ibaka (yes, you read that correctly). Apparently that is his second made three on the season and fourth for his career. He has actually already attempted nine threes this season; his previous high for the season was three. It may be just me, but I would yell at him any time I saw him more than 15 feet away from the basketball looking for the ball. Either way, the Clippers finally managed to tie the game with 30 seconds left, and after a great defensive effort, Paul had a chance to end it in regulation. It clanked off the rim, however, just like every other shot but two that he took. In overtime, Westbrook and Durant kicked it into the next gear, and there was just no stopping them and Thunder pulled away.
The Clippers actually took 14 more shots than the Thunder and grabbed five more offensive rebounds. But the poor shooting, their second worst of the season, coupled with the Thunder making an extra 10 free throws made it nearly impossible to win. But just coming back and giving themselves the chance to win speaks volumes to how far this team has improved from last season.
L.A. travels to Brooklyn tonight to take on the 6-4 Nets. The Nets' record is a tad misleading since they haven’t beat a single quality team; the combined record of the five teams they beat (including Orlando twice) is 19-38. The Nets do rank sixth overall in offensive efficiency, but remember this is the same offense that Miami held to 73 points. On the defensive side, the Nets rank 21st in defensive efficiency, and since Joe Johnson is not exactly known for his defense, I don’t see that improving any time soon. The Clippers should be able to cruise to an easy win unless they are comatose from Thanksgiving.
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