Los Angeles Clippers Stat Monkey Brief: Clippers/Hornets (12/19/12)

The Clippers have been red-hot as of late, but that last loss did come against these Hornets...

Lob City Highlight of the Night

You have to appreciate when a player makes a defensive play, and his point guard rewards him for it on the other end…

While the above play is the most worthy of another look, my favorite play was Griffin’s last dunk. Specifically, the reluctant look on his face to dunk it after catching the ball and realizing he could not pass it again because everyone has already touched it.

Quick Recap

The Clippers have the fourth-most efficient offense in the league. So efficient, in fact, that in 24 games this season, they have only been held under 100 points seven times, and only three times under 90 points. The three teams above them in efficiency are the Thunder, the Knicks, and the Heat. Both the Thunder and the Knicks have been held under 100 points six times in 24 games and the Heat seven times in 21 games. Those three teams also rank first, second, and third in three points shooting while the Clippers rank 16th. Now, I know that I am starting to sound like a broken record, but the Clippers went five for 22 (22.7%) on Monday night from beyond the arc.

However, while the Thunder, the Heat, and the Knicks rank 12th, 18th, and 19th in defensive efficiency respectively, the Clippers rank fourth. This allows them to win games were they are ice cold from downtown, and ice cold may be understating the five for 22 just a tad.

Tonight’s Game

It seems like it was yesterday that the Clippers just lost four in a row and dropped to 8-6 after a blistering start. Since that losing streak almost a month ago, the Clippers have won 10 straight and have climbed back up into the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Their average margin of victory during the stretch has been 15 points. The reason I am bringing this is up is that their last loss came at home to the Hornets. In that loss, the Clippers allowed the Hornets to shoot a blistering 60% from long range.

On paper this looks like another gutterball match for the Clippers since the Hornets are 30th in defensive efficiency and 17th in offensive efficiency, are 1-9 since they beat the Clippers, and have lost seven straight. I said the same thing, however, about the last game, and the Hornets refused to miss the entire game. So I am going to be careful here and say that as long as the Clippers shoot better than 35% from three point range and hold the Hornets below 50% shooting overall, they should be able to extend their win streak to 11.

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