Los Angeles Clippers Stat Brief: Clippers vs. Pacers and Cavs
Lob City Highlight of the Night
Dunks like this are about 38 percent of why I watch basketball.
A Look Back
The Clippers didn’t start well defensively and allowed the Bobcats to shoot 59.1 percent from the floor in the first quarter, which resulted in the Clippers being outscored by six. But then, they decided to play defense and held the Bobcats to just 33.8 percent for the rest of the game.
On the other side of the ball the Clippers looked sharp for the first three quarters while their starters were playing. Overall, they shot 57.6 percent from the floor, including 53.3 from long range. Put the offensive and defensive effort, together and you have a game that was well over by the fourth quarter. This is was also the Clippers 11th 20+ point win of the season.
Quick Look Ahead
Tonight, the Clippers kick off a two game road trip out east that will last just two days. The first opponent is the 36-21 Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are not an offensive powerhouse and have no player that averages over 20 points. They score just 94.0 (25th in league) points per game and play at one of the slowest paces, just 89.8 possessions per 48 minutes. Some people may prefer to watch paint dry than watch the Pacers offense, but it is just as effective as it needs to be and will be dangerous in the playoffs.
On defense, it is a completely different story for the Pacers; they rank No. 1 in defensive efficiency and give up just 89.6 points a game. Their opponents' effective field goal shooting is just 44.5 percent. There is nothing flashy about their defense: they focus on keeping opponents out of the paint and force them to take bad shots late in the shot clock.
This is going be a great test for the Clippers, especially when you consider that they score almost 6.5 points less per game against the Eastern Conference and 5.4 less points on the road. Unfortunately the Pacers' best defensive player (Roy Hibbert) is suspended for this game, which will make it easier for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to operate down and allow the Clippers’ shooters to get better looks at the basket.
Then, the Clippers travel to Cleveland to face the 19-38 Cavs. The key to this game is very similar to the Bobcats game; all the Clippers have to do is slow down Kyrie Irving, who may not play due to soreness in his knee, and not look past this game to the Battle of Titans with the Thunder on Sunday.