Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Thunder (3/3/13)

When two top five teams face off, we all win.

Lob City Highlight of the Night

Today, we are going to appreciate the hustle plays that don’t make it onto the stat sheet. Let’s give it up for Blake Griffin.

Looking Back

The Clippers have extended their current win streak to four games with two solid wins over the Pacers and Cavaliers. Granted, each team wasn’t at full strength, but we are going to look past that. The Clippers were very efficient from inside the arc and shot above 61.4 percent in each of the games. From beyond the arc, however, the Clippers could not buy a shot. They made just 11 three pointers on 48 attempts, shooting just 22.9 percent from long range.

It is great to see that the Clippers do not live and die by the long ball and that they can win despite horrible shooting. You do have to wonder, though, why they are putting up 48 three pointers when they are shooting 61.4 percent from two point range and 22.9 from long range. Sometimes the shots aren’t falling and you need to walk away. Sort of like blackjack, sometimes the table is cold and there is nothing you can do about it.

Quick Look Ahead<.h3>

Today is the game that everyone has had circled on their calendars for weeks: the 42-16 Thunder are rolling through town. The Clippers are oh-and-two on the season against the Thunder and lost by 12 the last time they played against each other. This game is probably a preview of the second round, and while regular season results have little implication on the playoffs, it will be a huge confidence boost for the Clippers to be able to come away with the win.

The Thunder are ranked second and eighth in offensive and defensive efficiency, respectively. They are ranked number one by our nERD ratings as well as being the only team to have two players in our top 10. So for the Clippers to pull this out, they need to keep Kevin Durant in check and make Russell Westbrook to have a type of night where he is in a shooting slump and tries to shoot his way out of it… kind of like the Clippers with three pointers.

Unfortunately, this game will be played at 4 AM for me since I am currently in Korea, which might make this the first international article written for numberFire (Editor's Note: Yup). But you should cancel your plans and glue yourself to the TV, because when two top five teams square off, we all win.