Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Spurs (2/21/13)
(Not) Lob City Dunk of the Night
What ever happened to dunks like this in the dunk contest?
The Fight for Home Court
Coming out of the All-Star Break with just 26 games left until the real season begins, the Clippers look poised to finish the season strong and make a run at the second, if not the first, seed in the West. To be able to do that they are going to need to keep playing like the team that won four straight, all by double digits, right before the break.
The main thing is going to be balancing staying healthy and trying to get home court advantage for round two. The Clippers average almost six more points and give up two less points a game at home, which would be a nice advantage against the Thunder in the second round. Injuries never fully heal, however, during the season so the Clippers need to decide what will be more important, home court or being healthy for the playoffs. Since the Clippers were 10-11 while recovering from injuries, I vote for healthy.
The Clippers take on the 43-12 Spurs, who have been the NBA’s version of the Patriots as of late: scarily efficient in the regular season but not nearly as scary in the playoffs. Speaking of efficiency, the Spurs are the only team who rank in the top 5 for both offensive (fourth) and defensive (third) efficiency. The Clippers used to be able to say that….
San Antonio is lights out from the floor and are averaging 54.0 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) this season. They are also the fourth-best from long range with 38.3 percent. This is the key to tonight’s matchup, since defending the 3 ball has been the Clippers' Achilles heel, with teams shooting 37.2 percent against them.
The Clippers have already beaten the Spurs twice this season by an average 13.5 points. The biggest advantage for the Clippers during those two games was rebounding, +27 over the two games. Those two games, however, were a long time ago, and the Spurs were enjoying a 19-3 stretch before the break.
Unfortunately, one of these teams will lose, but you know who can’t lose during this game? The fans. So cancel whatever you have planned, glue yourself to the TV, and enjoy some great basketball. As a bonus you also get some Kenny, Chuck, and Shaq….. wait, never mind….