What’s the most critical component of a great pick-and-roll? Timing. In probably their best display as a pick-and-roll tandem all year, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were in sync all night, particularly when Griffin slipped screens to dart toward the rim. If Griffin can get the chemistry right with Paul in that setting, he’ll become even more dangerous.
Although he typically likes to work in a half-court setting, Paul has been pushing the ball more and more in an effort to get his athletes out in transition. When the Mavericks came out sloppy, Paul made them pay by running it up their backs and finding spot-up shooters again and again. You get the sense Paul is starting to figure out his new team.
The progression of Randy Foye is falling in line with the rest of the team, as Foye has almost cut out the long 2-pointer out of his repertoire. Foye is simply reaping the benefits of playing next to Paul by spotting up and getting his feet set on every jumper. He won’t shoot like this every night, but the Clippers are a tough out when Foye gets hot.
Like the Clippers, Dallas is a team dependent on shooting jumpers. The Clippers’ aggressiveness defensively forced the Mavericks to put the ball on the ground, and that played right into the hands of the Clippers’ scrambling D. Yes, the Mavericks missed some easy ones, but give the Clippers credit for making Dallas try to score in traffic.
Yikes. The Mavericks were sluggish throughout this game, throwing errant passes and making a lot of unforced errors you don’t see them typically make. There was no flow to their offense, and, defensively, they looked a step slow to get out on shooters. The Clippers may not have their number, but this is a matchup that might be favorable come playoff time.