Prevention Thoughts: OKC 105, LAC 91

Clippers at Thunder – Novermber 21 (YouTube Link Coming Soon)

Your recap is above, and the Preventions will follow…

The Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to claim the first game of the season series on November 13. November 21 was all Thunder as the capital city of Oklahoma led the entire game from tip off to the final seconds of the fourth quarter, exacting some needed revenge for what the Clippers did in ejecting their shot-blocker Serge Ibaka.

I spent the whole day wondering how Los Angeles lost to Oklahoma City in defiance to their much improved 3-point defense. The Thunder took nineteen 3’s and were only able to drain four of them, leaving fifteen 3’s on the table. Within the fifteen missed 3’s, eight of them were properly defended by the Clippers. With a true contested percentage of 42.1% against the Thunder’s 21.1% of 3-pointers made (currently, their second lowest percent of the toddling season), you have to call it as it is. The Clipper’s 3-point defense has gone from 26th last season to 11th. Credit Doc Rivers for finally repairing their perimeter woes.

“We’re number 11!! We’re number 11!!”

Then why the loss? The 2-pointers. The Thunder, as a unit, made 41 of 79 field goals. If you filter the statistic to just 2-point shots, you get 37 of 60. That’s 61.6% of shots made inside the perimeter, in the paint, and in the restricted area combined.

The statistical ability to count the number of ways the defense stops the offense from making a shot, completing a pass, or making the best out of a possession is what makes Preventions a unique tool in the field of basketball defense. Pictured above is the results of the Clipper’s 2-point defense against the Thunder. As a unit, Los Angeles challenged and negated seventeen 2-pointers using all five defensive tools: man-to-man defense and shot alterations (CON), blocks (BLK), steals (STL), drawing charges (OFF), and forcing turnovers (TOV). With 37 makes and 17 defended, only six of the remaining shots were either open or second chance opportunities. The location of these shots – mid-range, restricted area, painted area – are not covered here. Frankly, it isn’t necessary since their focal weakness is in defending the restricted area: 4th worst with an opposing field goal percentage of 66.8% per NBA Stats.

Like a children’s pop-up book, something else captures your attention. DeAndre Jordan, the Clipper’s designated defensive anchor, did not prevent a lot of shots this time. His only contributions to defense were a blocked shot and forcing one turnover. He was plagued with foul trouble for the entire game, going up against the Thunder’s Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. Backup big man Ryan Hollins did marginally better than Jordan with one blocked shot and two directly contested shots, and when I say marginally, I mean three challenged shots versus two by DJ.

Their other reserve Byron Mullens had NONE – he even ruined a couple Prevention credits in his limited playing time. There was one play in the fourth quarter where rookie Reggie Bullock prevented a 3-ball. Mullens was supposed to collect the defensive rebound to secure Bullock’s prevention credit, but he was too slow to react, which led to an offensive rebound for the Thunder. That offensive rebound 1) prevented a Clipper possession and 2) turned Bullock’s 3-point CON credit into an Open 3 credit. Hollins was also guilty of ruining Bullock’s promise as a defender in the first quarter of the game, when the scrawny Bruin big committed a loose ball foul following Oklahoma City’s missed 3. Let us accept the dreary reality we call Restricted Area: the Clippers allowed more made 2-pointers (37) than they did in defending them (17), most of which coming from inside the circle.

Fully Clips editor Trisity Miller exposes the Clipper’s issues at defending this particular area in her playbook article. Your summary of Trisity’s expose can be summed up in one sentence of seven words: they need a true defensive big man.

Total Points Prevented: 58 PTS
Possessions Lost: 9
Preventions Box Score

CLIPPER PREVENTION LOGS (November 21)

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
TOV - Turnover
DELAY - Dead ball situation
DEF - Deflected out-of-bounds
JMP - Jump ball
POS - Possession
(H) - Help

All events are written in order.

1st Quarter
-----------
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 AST - 1 FTO - CP
3 PTS - 1 STL - JD
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
2 PTS - 1 OFF - BG
1 POS - 1 SAVE - BG
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ,JC(H)
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 AST - 1 STL - BG
3 PTS - 1 CON - JD
1 TOV - 1 HAS - CP
2 PTS - 1 CON - RH
3 PTS - 1 CON - RB
2 PTS - 1 CON - DC

2nd Quarter
-----------
1 TOV - 1 SCR - JD
1 POS - 1 FTO - DC
1 TOV - 1 SCR - JD
1 POS - 1 TIP - DJ
2 PTS - 1 STL - DC
1 DELAY - DEF - JR
1 POS - 1 STL - DC
1 POS - 1 ORB - DJ
2 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
2 PTS - 1 FTO - DJ
1 POS - 1 SAVE - BG
1 AST - 1 STL - BG,CP(H)
3 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 AST - 1 FTO - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP

MISSED CREDITS
--------------
1 AST - 1 STL - JR (countersteal)

3rd Quarter
--------------
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD
1 AST - 1 STL - JR,BG(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD
2 PTS - 1 CON - RB

Final Quarter
-------------
1 POS - 1 ORB - RH
2 PTS - 1 BLK - RH,BM(H)
1 TOV - 1 SCR - RH
2 PTS - 1 CON - RH
1 POS - 1 TIP - RB
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD,JR(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
2 PTS - 1 FTO - JR
2 PTS - 1 STL - JD
-- SCORPION FATALITY --
1 POS - 1 STL - DC
-- END --

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