Prevention Thoughts: LAC 107, HOU 94

Your recap is above, and the Preventions will follow…

The Clippers flew from Florida winless to Texas where Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets were waiting for some serious retribution. They haven’t forgotten about how the Clipper’s Seven Seconds Or Less system throbbed Houston to a 137-118 shootout rout in the first game, and a 99-98 heart breaker at the feet of the Clipper’s Big Brother Los Angeles Lakers, currently awaiting for the return of one Black Mamba Kobe Bryant.

It seemed as if the red, white and blue were about to return home under .500 for the first time in the Chris Paul era. The same ailing characteristics which described Los Angeles for the first six games were prevalent: a high octane offense that featured no defense and a diseased second unit. In the first quarter, the starters alone managed to accomplish 16 defensive assignments. But the instant Byron Mullens came into the game, signaling the coming of the second unit, the Rockets laid the Clippers on the back burner as they enjoyed an 11 to 13 point lead up to halftime. It took a buzzer beating tip from Jamal Crawford at the end of the third to resuscitate the team back to life, regain the lead, and ultimately win the game on a Sub-Zero FATALITY.

The Clippers finally salvaged a road trip with defense, particularly speaking, on the Delays. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan drew six Delays against the Rockets. A Delay can either be a deflection (they had four) or a jump ball (two of those), as long as the action results in a dead ball.

Delays are not your average Preventions in that the possession that is momentarily seized by the defense is almost always given back to the offensive team. The beauty of Delays can be found in dead ball situations, where the coach can substitute players for defensive purposes or call a timeout, or allow the team to devise a defensive strategy by themselves as the offense regroups. The Random House Dictionary defines the word delay as “to impede the process or progress of,” which is translated as “allowing the defense extra time to come up with a true stop.”

In the case of a jump ball, another type of Delay, it is possible for the offensive team to lose the current possession to the defensive team. Whenever the defense regains control of a ball via jump ball (not counting tip off), the result of the possession Prevention is known as a Save. This is why the Preventions Box Score has a Save column. Paul had two Saves, one of which was off a jump ball. In the third quarter, the officials were unsure if DeAndre Jordan or Patrick Beverley was the last player who knocked the ball out of bounds, so the compromise was by calling a jump ball. Jordan and Beverley tipped off, and Paul gained possession. Redick also had a Save via jump ball.

One thing to note about jump balls is that the NBA play-by-play logs will usually mention that a steal was committed. I do not credit steals for jump ball situations for the sole reason that they are not true possessions. To make my Preventions metric fair, I strictly define the word possession as “whenever the offense maintains control of the ball for three seconds without losing the ball, or once the primary ball handler passes the half court line, whichever happens first.” If the defense fails to collect the ball following the said steal, the only alternative is to credit the action as a Delay, which is either a simple deflection or a jump ball.

Nevertheless, never underestimate the value of a Delay. Delays do not count towards Preventions, but they are baby steps to achieving something greater in the name of basketball defense.

Total Points Prevented: 61 PTS
Possessions Lost: 15
Preventions Box Score

CLIPPER PREVENTION LOGS (November 9)

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
POS - Possession
(H) - Help

All events are written in order.

1st Quarter
-----------
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
1 DELAY - DEF - DJ
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
1 POS - 1 SAVE - CP
1 AST - 1 FTO - BG,DJ(H)
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 DELAY - DEF - CP
3 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 POS - 1 ORB - DJ
1 DELAY - DEF - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
1 DELAY - JMP - JR
3 PTS - 1 CON - BG
1 POS - 1 ORB - BM

2nd Quarter
-----------
1 TOV - 1 CLK - DC,WG,JC,RB,BG
1 POS - 1 FTO - BG,RB
3 PTS - 1 CON - DC
2 PTS - 1 FTO - WG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JR
1 POS - 1 ORB - RB
1 AST - 1 STL - JR
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
1 AST - 1 STL - DC
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - JC
1 TOV - 1 SCR - DJ
3 PTS - 1 CON - JC

MISSED CREDITS
--------------
1 POS - 1 STL - DJ (discredited for jumpball)
1 POS - 1 STL - CP (discredited for jumpball)

3rd Quarter
-----------
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
1 POS - 1 SAVE - CP (from jumpball)
3 PTS - 1 CON - CP
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD
1 AST - 1 STL - JR,CP(H)
1 DELAY - JMP - CP
1 POS - 1 SAVE - JR (from jumpball)
1 AST - 1 STL - DJ
2 PTS - 1 STL - JR,DJ(H)
1 AST - 1 FTO - JR
1 POS - 1 STL - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JD
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DJ
1 POS - 1 STL - JR

Final Quarter
-------------
1 POS - 1 ORB - DC
1 POS - 1 ORB - DJ
1 DELAY - DEF - JR
1 POS - 1 TIP - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - JR
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DC
1 DELAY - DEF - BG
2 PTS - 1 OFF - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - DC
2 PTS - 1 CON - DC
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
1 POS - 1 FTO - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - DJ
2 PTS - 1 BLK - DC
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
1 TOV - 1 SCR - BG
2 PTS - 1 CON - JC
1 POS - 1 STL - CP
-- END --

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