Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Jazz (12/3/12)
Lob City Highlight of the Night
DeAndre Jordan throwing this puppy down is a thing of beauty and deserves another look.
The most impressive thing might be however is that Chris Paul, who is six foot tall, outrebounded two Kings’ players who have significant size on him before feeding Jordan for that monster slam.
The Clippers shot lights out; they made 54.7% of their field goals (their second highest of the season) and 50% of their threes (the highest of the season). The Clippers were also +12 for turnovers and took 10 more shots than the Kings. While the Clippers deserve a lot of credit for putting together their first complete all-around game in a while, some of the blame needs to be placed on the Kings for the 35 point blowout.
At one point, the Clippers inbounded the ball to Chris Paul who then threw the ball down about 75% of the court to Jamal Crawford who then proceeded to nail a wide open three. As that play unfolds, I don’t think a single Kings’ player moves the entire time. There was a complete lack of fight, emotion, or sense of urgency from them the entire night and it looked like they already started to mail in the season. The only questions that remain are when do they start resting their starters to save them for next season, and how much does David Stern fine them for it? Yup, I worked that in there.
Tonight the Clippers begin and end their one game road trip that has them taking on the 9-9 Utah Jazz. The Jazz just ended a three game road trip during which they went 1-2 with losses to the Thunder and the Rockets. The Jazz are ranked 10th in offensive efficiency and are ninth in points per game without having a premier superstar on their roster. Even without a superstar the Jazz should be able to challenge the Clippers defense, which is currently ranked ninth in efficiency. On the other end of the floor the Jazz rank 23rd for efficiency and should not be a tough test for the Clippers high octane offense which is ranked fourth in efficiency without having a premier scorer (Jamal Crawford leads the Clippers in scoring with 17.5 ppg coming off the bench). That of course all depends on which Clipper team travels to Utah, the contenders who ran the Kings out of the building or the pretenders who lost to the Hornets.
One thing to pay attention to over the course of the next month is if the Clippers are going to be able to develop the type on consistency that is required to win a Championship. Over the course of their next 17 games, the Clippers only play one team that ranks in top ten in either defense or offense, the Bulls on December 11th. It is the Lakers, however, who will provide their next true test but that is not until January 4th, 2013. So if the Clippers really want to establish themselves as contenders then look for them to win somewhere between 13 and 15 of those 17 games. Otherwise the questions will continue to persist if this team has what it takes to contend.
Hopefully you listened to our official NBA predictions and not my advice about the Kings game, and you should check them out again for tonight’s game to make the smart best.