Los Angeles Clippers vs. Detroit Pistons
March 10, 2013
6:30 p.m. PST
FOX Prime Ticket
Lately it seems like the Clippers can’t defend threes. The Clips have allowed 24 total three pointers over their past two games. That’s not the total you want. Opponents are now shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc against L.A. this season. The Pistons, meanwhile, shoot 36 percent from three as a team and have four or five guys who have enough range on their jumpers to knock down shots from long distance. That might be the matchup to watch. Now onto 3-on-3:
1. Which potential playoff matchup would pose the biggest problem for the Clippers in the first round?
D.J. Foster, (@fosterdj): Playing in Denver is certainly terrifying and a series against Memphis, as we know, wouldn’t be easy. However, I think it’s Golden State that presents the most problems schematically with all that three-point shooting, great defensive rebounding, and a home court advantage that isn’t too shabby in it’s own right. They’re healthy, they’ll be hot going into the playoffs, and they’d be confident going against the Clips after the regular season wins. C’mon Utah!
Jacob Frankel, (@jacob_frankel): The Rockets. At this point, the Clippers are a very solid favorite against any of the bottom half western conference teams. It comes down to who has the highest ceiling and that would be Houston.
Seerat Sohi, (@DamianTrillard): A matchup against the Grizzlies or Warriors would certainly pose its own problems, but there is no environment in the NBA that induces fear like a playoff game against the Denver Nuggets in the Pepsi Center, where they’re tied with Miami for the best home record at 28-3.
2. Who gets the 3-seed in the West: Clips or Griz?
Foster: Clippers. They have fewer games remaining than the Grizz, they’ll be at home more, and they’ll get to play New Orleans and Sacramento twice. The Grizzlies have been on fire since moving Rudy Gay, but the Clippers should be able to hang on.
Frankel: The Clippers. The Grizzlies have a tougher schedule and the gap of a half game is almost nothing.
Sohi: The Clippers, by a hair. While both teams have played two of the toughest schedules in the season so far, the Grizzlies still have to play five more road games in the final stretch. Not to mention, L.A. already has a completely healthy roster. That doesn’t downplay the importance of the fact that these squads still have to face off twice this season.
3. Better up-and-comer: Eric Bledsoe or Andre Drummond?
Foster: The answer here is clearly Willie Green and Jason Maxiell – just ask Vinny Del Negro and Lawrence Frank. I refuse to answer this question until I see both guys play next to their team’s best players on a regular basis.
Frankel: Drummond. I think we know who Bledsoe is. He isn’t developing into a star player, but will be a quality point guard for a long time. With Drummond, we don’t know. He has flashed incredible potential in his curtailed minutes and the possibilities of what he can become are endless.
Sohi: Andre Drummond. Both of these players share the burden of being severely under-utilized by their teams, but when you’ve got two players that look like they’ll make good on their potential, it’s generally best to take the one that’s seven feet tall.