Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Wizards (2/4/13)
Kevin Garnett, welcome to your worst nightmare…
The Clippers played phenomenal basketball for three of the four quarters. In the second quarter, though, they managed to dig themselves in a hole they could not dig themselves out of. For three quarters the Clippers shot 59.0 percent from the floor, 56.3 percent from long range, and outscored the Celtics 94 to 80. In that second quarter, however, they shot just 22.2 percent from the floor and went 0-5 from beyond the arc. Just like that, one quarter cost them the game and extended their losing streak to two.
To add insult to injury, the Clippers travel to Washington to take on the 11-35 Wizards with no rest. On one hand, the Wizards rank in the bottom three in three of four key offensive categories. Overall, they rank dead last in offensive efficiency and are scoring only 90.8 points per game. On the other hand, the Wizards rank in the top 10 in three of the four key defensive categories and are only giving up 95.9 points per game. They actually have the sixth-most efficient defense in the league.
Normally, I would say that the Clippers have the fourth and fifth most efficient offense and defense, respectively. I would also mention that even though the Clippers are playing yet another back-to-back set, their bench should be able to put the Wizards away. I would also probably make a snarky comment about how this game should be over by halftime.
Then again, the Clippers are 2-6 in their last eight games. Yes, losing to the Thunder and the Warriors is somewhat understandable, as much as losing can be understandable. The other losses are against teams that will not make the playoffs or will most likely not make it out of the first round. The Wizards are not even expected to make the playoffs according to our algorithm. So while this game should be over half time, the way the Clippers have been playing these last few weeks, this game can go either way.