Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: LAC vs. Lakers and Warriors (1/3-4/13)
Lob City Highlight of the Night
There were many highlights to pick from in the two games; just none of them were by the Clippers. Just so you know, a close second was the McGee buzzer beater three (first one of his career) that was just a dagger. If you can have a dagger at the end of the third quarter that isâ€¦
While most of us were saying good bye to the old and welcoming in the new with positive New Year's resolutions, the Clippers were bringing their winning streak to a screeching halt. In the look ahead, I wrote that the hardest part about stringing that many wins together was avoiding a night off. Well, the Clippers had a hell of a night off, and then another one.
The first one was against Denver with the following shooting splits: .385/.172/.448 (FG/3PT/FT). That was followed by .363/.276/.718 against the Warriors. The Clippers have been so bad offensively this year that they dropped two spots in the offensive efficiency rankings to number five.
On defense, it wasnâ€™t much better against the Warriors. The Clippers allowed them to shoot 50 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from the beyond the arc. The only positive news to come out of the Clippers camp so far this year is that Chris Paul was named the Western Conference Player of the Month.
Quick Look Ahead
Tonight, the Clippers kick off their third back-to-back set of games in 10 days by taking on the 15-16 Lakers. The other L.A. team is 7-2 in their last nine games, and even flirted with the .500 mark before losing to the Sixers. The Lakers are probably, I have no way of confirming this, the most talented, highly paid, and underachieving teams ever. Based on their stats, Basketball-Reference.com predicts that the Lakers should be 18-13. numberFire ranks them sixth and 17th in offensive and defensive efficiency, respectively. Then on Saturday, the Clippers face the Warriors again.
The Lakers game features four incredible match ups between the two starting line ups (I am not counting World Peace vs. Green), each of which deserves its own article. The Clippers bench, however, has a significant edge over the Lakers bench and is going to be key for the Clippers if they want to turn this losing streak around. Then on Saturday, the Clippers canâ€™t allow the Warriors to shoot anywhere near 50 percent from the field or from beyond the arc if they want to avoid being 0-3 against them.
Those two atrocious shooting nights were statistical anomalies (about a 2.5 percent chance of happening) and should not happen again. Look for the Clippers to regress back to the mean these next two games.
The real key to watch for, however, is going to be how the Clippers respond after getting blown out twice. My bet is that they come out looking for a little payback. And the big brother Lakers who have been the team in LA forever are the perfect ones to get it against. Then on Saturday the Clippers will need to avenge that blow out from Wednesday.
These two games are not going to make or break the Clippersâ€™ season, but they will go a long way in either gaining support for their title bid or raising serious doubts about it.
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