Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Jazz (12/30/12)
Lob City Highlight of the Night
Will I ever get tired of the dunk contests during the Clipper games? Nope…
I may have been slightly mistaken in my game preview with predicting that the three point shooting wouldn’t be in favor of the Jazz as much this time around. The Jazz shot 60 percent from beyond the arc while the Clippers shot just 30.4 percent, their lowest in four games. Combine that with the Jazz shooting 92.5 percent (37 for 40) from the free throw line, and you had the Clippers down 19 about half way through the third quarter. Luckily, the Clippers have Chris Paul, who poured it on with a season high 29 points and brought them back to extend their win streak to 16 games.
Speaking of Chris Paul, we have ranked him third by nERD this season, and he is averaging 16.2 points and 9.4 assists per game. Neither one of those are near his career high; he averaged 22.8 points per game in the '08 season and 11.6 assists during the '07 season. If you look at his advanced metrics, however, they tell a different story. His offensive rating is 126, which is tied for the highest of his career. It also ranks second in the league for players who have played more than 900 minutes. The more impressive thing may be that his defensive rating is 99; it is below 100 for the first time in his career.
While the Clippers are talented and have the best depth in the league, they are going to go as far as Chris Paul takes them this season. Watching what the Clippers run late in a close game was the most interesting thing about Friday’s game, because we haven’t really seen that in about a month.
It is pretty much the same game as Friday because the Clippers take on the Jazz again. There are four differences: Clippers’ win streak is now 16, the Jazz are 15-16, the game is in L.A., and the Clippers got a night off. I believe that the night off will make a huge difference, and the chances of the Jazz going lights out from beyond the arc again are slim, so I don’t expect this game to be nearly as close.
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