Jovan has more detailed observations coming up on the final preseason game against the Lakers, but the main thing I personally keyed in on was Mo Williams’s still-disappointing spot-up defensive work. And it reminded me that I really hate how often the Clippers give up good 3-point looks.
The Clippers were in the bottom-7 of the NBA last season in spot-up shooting defense, and I don’t see it getting much better. Chris Paul’s biggest weakness as a defender is in closing out on shooters, Mo Williams is obviously still on the roster, Blake and DeAndre are also bad against guys with jumpers (although they don’t have to worry about it as much at their positions), and Chauncey Billups isn’t good on D in general; and of course he’s only getting older and slower of foot.
The lone new addition that is at least a bit above-average in his ability to close out on shooters is Caron Butler, so at least be comforted by that fact the next time you see him clank a long two-pointer.
As exciting as the team has looked in the small amount of time we’ve been able to see it, know that the defense is probably not going to see the instant growth the offense will, and the ability to guard the most common offensive look in basketball (the spot-up jumper, in case you weren’t paying attention) is a big part of that.