Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Kings (12/21/12)
Lob City Highlight of the Night
This one is for the little guys, relatively speaking, who dream of flying highâ€¦
The Clippers have tied their franchise record for most consecutive wins by beating the Hornets on Wednesday night. During the win streak, the Clippers have made everything look easy... well, except three point shooting.
The only issue with their win streak is that they have beaten just one team that would make the playoffs if the season ended today. Before their win streak started, the Clippersâ€™ strength of schedule (SOS) ranked first with a score of 2.02 according to basketball-reference.com. Since then, their SOS score has fallen to 0.17 and currently ranks 10th. So while everyone else is back on bandwagon and calling the Clippers contenders, I am going to wait before they beat some other playoff bound teams.
The Sports Tsar (Bill Simmons) said that this roster makes no sense. They rank 20th in offensive efficiency, 28th in defensive efficiency, and have a 0.2% of making the playoffs. They are 8-17 and have already been blown out by 35 by the Clippers during their current win streak. Ladies and gentleman, your 2012 Sacramento Kings.
I expect only two things from this game. First, the Clippers will set the franchise record for the longest win streak. Second, Clippers SOS will plummet even further.
A lot of credit has to be given to the Clippers bench for their improvement from last season. Their second unit of Matt Barnes, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, and Ronny Turiaf has been outscoring their opponents by an average of 22.5 points per 100 possessions. In addition, both Bledsoe and Barnes are posting the best ratings of their careers on defense and offense, while Crawford in his 13th season is posting his second best offensive rating.
As a whole, the benchâ€™s offensive rating is just two points behind the starting unit. On the other side, however, they are ahead by a blistering 21 points in defense rating. It is a much deeper bench this season; as you can see, none of the second most used line up uses players from the starting unit. It takes eight or nine guys to win a championship, and the Clippers definitely have that this year.
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