As the Clippers prepare for Friday’s game with the Lakers, we take a look at some telling numbers.
Last season the Clippers ranked 18th in defensive efficiency. This year, they have skyrocketed to third in defensive rating, at 97.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.
L.A.’s strength is wreaking havoc through ball pressure and forcing opponents into poor passes, which helps fuel their transition offense. The Clippers force a league-leading 17.4 turnovers per game, block a lot of shots (seventh in the NBA), and lead the league in steals by almost two per game (10.8), ranking first in points off turnovers and third in fastbreak points.
While the up-and-down style of the second unit and highlight reel dunks of the starting unit might lead you to think otherwise, the Clippers are actually not a fast team.
They rank fifth in offensive efficiency, at 106.9 points per 100 possessions, but just 13th in pace factor (estimate of the number of possessions a team generates per 48 minutes).
Chris Paul prefers a measured approach, a tendency that may serve the Clippers well in the more deliberate pace of playoff basketball.
The Clippers rank second in the league in bench scoring at 41.7 points per game.
They also rank in the top-five in rebounds (fourth), assists (third), steals (first), blocks (second) and field goal percentage (fifth).
Over the last 15 games, Matt Barnes has averaged 13.7 points on 55.2 percent shooting and 42.4 percent from 3-point territory. Jamal Crawford averages 16.5 points and led the team in scoring to start the season. Eric Bledsoe has been the Clippers’ third-most productive player, with a 19.7 PER and per-36 minutes he’s a borderline All Star, averaging 16.9 points, 5.3 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.3 blocks.
The Clippers have played the eighth-toughest schedule in the league thus far, including games with Oklahoma City, San Antonio (twice), Miami, Memphis and the Lakers.
The Clippers have posted a gaudy 131.4 offensive rating in crunch time, which leads the NBA by over six points. They have an 8-4 record in games that have featured crunch time situations, and have a 5-1 record in games decided by five points or less.
Stats from ESPN.com and NBA.com