Prevention Thoughts: LAC 110, SAC 101

Your recap is above, and the Preventions will follow…

Before I immersed myself into the nerdy nether lands of basketball statistics, I was an average basketball Joe filled with curiosity and concern of the basketball world since the faithful day former commissioner David Stern vetoed the Chris Paul trade that would have had their present day Clipper savoir don the Laker jersey. In the second season I was following Lob City, the topic of 3-point defense became a fascinating and apparent topic of discussion amongst other Clipper fans and analysts. Besides video game “hacking”, promoting music, Worldwinner skill gaming, and discovering new works of “art” found in DeviantArt, FurAffinity and other famous fanart sites, I found Basketball Reference to be a welcomed neighbor into my house of daily past times.

Two key stats were ingrained into my growing memory of basketball: seven 3-pointers made per game against the Clippers, and the NBA league average of 3-pointers made in 35.8%. They weren’t just key stats, but vital clues as to how opposing teams in the NBA could win a game against the Clippers if they made more than seven 3’s in a game, or surpassed the 3-point league average, and out of 30 teams, eleven have figured it out. Three games into the new season, and the entire league is starting to catch on to the Clipper’s blatant weakness.

Over the years since the creation of Player Efficiency Rating (PER), the statistics of John Hollinger have been criticized for emphasizing shot value and discrediting contested shots. I don’t blame him; dissecting defense is a very difficult skill to master unless one dedicated person were to take notes live in the same manner as NBA box scores. Any chance of determining a true defensive rating for a team can only be theorized using play-by-play logs, final box scores, and conditional formulas. Though the equations are real and support their results, they are not proven equations. Basketball-Reference has an entire section devoted into explaining Defensive Rating, and just by reading these formulas, you will have already lost your mind.

Let’s look at the Clipper’s current defensive rating. Where do they stand in Hollinger stats following three games:


That’s right: DEAD LAST. The bottom of the well, the far end of the stick, six feet underground, the Pluto in the Milky Way. But thanks to my new defensive metric called Preventions, we finally have a way to prove why John Hollinger’s mathematics might have been right all along.

“Here he comes to save the DAY!!!”


This chart describes how pervious the Clipper’s 3-point defense really is. The data is divided into three categories: 3-pointers made by the Clippers and their opponent to determine if Seven Seconds Or Less was required to win a game, and the Clippers 3-point defense based on my Prevention logs.

Review the Open, Made and True percentages in the 3-point defense category. Last night against the Kings, Sacramento missed eleven shots in total, but only three of those 3’s were truly contested and prevented. The Open percentage for the Kings (translated as “the percentage of missed shots the Clippers allowed”) was a staggering 72.7%! That’s nothing compared to the Made percentage, which combines the number of opponent 3-point field goals made with the uncontested 3-pointers that were ultimately missed to propose a logical 3-point percentage of 82.4%. The remainder, the disappointing 17.6% of 3-pointers that were challenged by the Clippers, becomes your True Prevention percentage. Doc Rivers knew this was coming the instant he coached the Clipper’s first regular season game, but he didn’t expect THIS. Causes of putrid 3-point defense include over-fouling, neglecting rebounds, bad defensive rotations, an over-reliance of Chris Paul, and letting Lady Luck decide games for them.

– When you have bad bigs who are either on the verge of fouling out of a game or at the brink of elimination, you are expected to witness a foul prone pro basketball team.

– When there are players who want to get in a highlight reel play in just to feel good about themselves instead of securing a rebound to prevent an extra play for the opponent, that’s a focus problem.

– Bad rotations such as darting from one designated assignment to another as a means of surprising the shooter only turns a contested shot into an automatic made shot.

– Letting Chris Paul do all the work for you instead of protecting him from becoming a Kobe Bryant victim is not only a callback to Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni and the Phoenix Sun’s Seven Seconds offense, it’s a death certificate.

All these problems need to be fixed. Fast. As of now, only a trade can save them.

Total Points Prevented: 57 PTS
Possessions Lost: 12
Preventions Box Score


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

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 FTO - DJ
1 POS - 1 ORB - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
2 PTS - 1 CON - CP
3 PTS - 1 CON - JD
1 POS - 1 STL - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 TOV - 1 HAS - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 POS - 1 TIP - BG
2 PTS - 1 BLK - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - DC
2 PTS - 1 CON - RH

2nd Quarter
1 AST - 1 STL - MB,BM(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - RH
2 PTS - 1 CON - MB
2 PTS - 1 CON - RH
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ,MB(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 POS - 1 ORB - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - BG
1 POS - 1 SAVE - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JR
2 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 POS - 1 ORB - DJ

3rd Quarter
2 PTS - 1 CON - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JR
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
1 TOV - 1 HAS - JR
1 TOV - 1 HAS - CP
1 POS - 1 ORB - BG
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 POS - 1 ORB - CP
1 POS - 1 FTO - MB
2 PTS - 1 BLK - RH
1 TOV - 1 HAS - JC

Final Quarter
1 AST - 1 STL - MB
1 POS - 1 OFF - CP
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ,JD(H)
1 POS - 1 CLK - CP,BG,DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
1 AST - 1 STL - DJ,CP(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
-- END --


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