Prevention Thoughts: LAC 137, HOU 118

Your recap is above, and the Preventions will follow…

Talk about a shootout! The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets spent four quarters playing basketball Battleship. Teams were taking turns firing missile after missile after missile. Every time the Clippers hit their target, Houston responded back with a rocket launcher of their own, culminating in a see-saw affair that saw both teams hungry for the W like Duck Dodgers and Marvin The Martian attempting to claim the mountainous baron Planet X in the name of their planet Earth (or Mars). With both the duck (Clippers) and the alien (Rockets) trading disintegrating pistol shots, ultimatum explosives and Final Atomic Busters, after all the offensive execution was carried out, Duck Dodgers was the last being standing – literally, having already thrashed, trashed and terminated Planet X to kingdom come. Marvin, pushed off of Earth’s newest possession, clings onto the left leg of Porky Pig, who is clinging onto what appears to be root strings belonging to the presumed dead planet. If defense was to be found anywhere in today’s article, Porky would be the pig to tell you the honest truth…

"Eh, b-b-b-b-big deal."

“Eh, b-b-b-b-big deal.”

Clippers 137, Rockets 118. This had Phoenix Suns written all over it: Seven Seconds Or Less, shoot lots of 3’s, transition scoring, highlight reels galore, and by God, there were many. 176 field goals were attempted in this game. 63 of these shots were 3-pointers. The Rockets tested 25 3’s, while the Clippers tested out 38. Basketball analysts have dubbed this the quintessential no-defense game. Or was there? Maybe this chart below could tell us more about the Clipper defense, or lack thereof.

Presented by Infogram

“I hope she’s not on her pyramid” – Colin Mochrie

My Preventions system credits shot stops by the following – contesting, blocking, stealing, drawing charges (offensive fouls), and drawing violations – if and only if the defensive team claims possession of the ball in the form of a defensive rebound or a team rebound by drawing a turnover which nullifies the offensive team’s possession (Steals and blocks are exempted as they are tangible numbers). The Preventions Box Score lists a variety of assignments the Clippers had at their disposal to prevent points, assists, possessions and turnovers. The contested columns featured a startling 11 to 9 in favor of contested 3-pointers – startling in the notion that the Clippers are currently last in defensive efficiency and 29th in 3-pointers allowed.

There was closing in on shooters, but the way Los Angeles played their defense looked lost and at often times desperate. There was one play where Matt Barnes had a Rocket shooter on the weak side of the court (Jeremy Lin or Francisco Garcia) and DeAndre Jordan leaped into the air with a quick wave of his hand as his way of contesting the shot. One Clipper did collect the rebound to complete the defensive assignment. As long as a defensive rebound is collected by the defensive team, the Prevention credit stands.

Should the defensive team fumble the rebound to the offensive team following a contested shot, the Prevention is incomplete and discredited, and the contested shot is reconsidered as an open shot. The Clippers allowed 13 offensive rebounds to the Rockets, two of which came from missed 3’s that were quickly converted into 2-pointers. Since the Clippers allowed seven open 3’s, we can conclude that the Clippers traded a pair of 3’s for a pair of 2’s. If the Clippers are unwilling to play complete defense, the least they could do, they thought, was force the offense into making 2-pointers as a way of softening the blow. Defense by tradeoffs is not going to cut it – had Dwight Howard collected the board and passed it to James Harden to shoot another 3, and a Clipper were to contest the shot only to find himself fouled with the shot made, that would have been a 4-point play and an extra point allowed as opposed to prevented.

Being first place in offense saved their butts tremendously. Their 137 point victory is the highest in regulation for this season. Their made and missed 3’s, combined with the number of 3’s they challenged to the Rockets, were the top factors for their win. Albeit a broken defensive effort, they did manage to contest eleven 3’s (44%), while keeping the Rocket’s made 3’s (28%) and open 3’s (38.9%) to levels way below Game 3’s results. But the Clippers have a lot of work to do on the defensive end. They can’t keep being last in defense forever.

Total Points Prevented: 69 PTS
Possessions Lost: 17
Preventions Box Score

CLIPPER PREVENTION LOGS (November 4)

Players
-------
CP - Chris Paul
JR - J.J. Redick
JD - Jared Dudley
BG - Blake Griffin
DJ - DeAndre Jordan
DC - Darren Collison
JC - Jamal Crawford
MB - Matt Barnes
AJ - Antawn Jamison
BM - Byron Mullens
MW - Maalik Wayns
WG - Willie Green
RB - Reggie Bullock
RH - Ryan Hollins

Abbreviations
-------------
PTS - Points
ORB - Offensive Rebound
AST - Assist
BLK - Block
STL - Steal
CON - Contested
SCR - Screen/Pick
OFF - Offensive Foul
FTO - Forced Turnover
DELAY - Dead ball situation
DEF - Deflected out-of-bounds
POS - Possession
(H) - Help

All events are written in order.

1st Quarter
-----------
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ,JD(H)
1 POS - 1 ORB - JR
1 AST - 1 STL - JR
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - JD
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 POS - 1 CLK - CP,JR,JD,BG,DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - BG
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
2 PTS - 1 FTO - JR,BG(H)
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG,CP
1 AST - 1 STL - CP
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
1 POS - 1 FTO - DJ
1 POS - 1 SAVE - DJ
1 POS - 1 FTO - BG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BM
3 PTS - 1 CON - BM

2nd Quarter
-----------
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DC
3 PTS - 1 CON - MB
1 POS - 1 TIP - JD
3 PTS - 1 CON - JC
2 PTS - 1 OFF - BG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
2 PTS - 1 BLK - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ,CP(H)
3 PTS - 1 CON - JC
1 TOV - 1 HAS - CP
1 POS - 1 STL - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - MB
3 PTS - 1 CON - MB

3rd Quarter
-----------
1 POS - 1 TIP - BG
1 POS - 1 STL - BG,JR(H)
1 TOV - 1 HAS - CP
1 POS - 1 SAVE - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - BG,BM(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - JR
2 PTS - 1 BLK - BM
1 POS - 1 STL - BM
1 POS - 1 ORB - JR
1 TOV - 1 HAS - CP
3 PTS - 1 CON - JD
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BM
1 AST - 1 STL - BM
1 TOV - 1 HAS - JD
3 PTS - 1 CON - JD,MB(H)

Final Quarter
-------------
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DC
1 POS - 1 ORB - BG
3 PTS - 1 CON - JC
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
1 DELAY - DEF - DJ
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
1 AST - 1 FTO - JD
1 POS - 1 ORB - JC
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 POS - 1 STL - CP
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DC
--END--

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