Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
March 20, 2013
7:30 p.m. PST
FOX Prime Ticket
Who’s frustrated from yesterday’s loss? I’m betting the Clippers are. When the Clips went to Philadelphia earlier in the season, they blew the Sixers out of the water, heading back west after a 17-point victory. Tonight, the Clippers will be trying to take their frustrations out on the 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back. Now onto 3-on-3:
1. The 76ers take more midrange shots than any other team in the league. How can the Clippers exploit that?
Tom Sunnergren, Hoop76, (@tsunnergren): Three weeks ago, the best advice would have been to sit back and watch the Sixers self-immolate. Today, I don’t know. Philadelphia seems to have turned a corner with regard to shot selection. In March, the team is eighth in the Association in attempts in the Restricted Area and just 20th in shots from 20-24 feet.
Jacob Frankel, (@jacob_frankel): The Clippers have revamped their scheme this season and are having their big men show aggressively on the pick and roll, but the best way to force midrange shots is to sink back and zone off the paint.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): They’ll have to sag off the Sixers when they’re coming off pick-and-rolls and/or pindowns. However, the Clippers don’t normally do this – they rank 22nd in opponents shot attempts from 10-14 ft., 24th in opponent shot attempts from 15-18 ft. and 25th in opponent shot attempts from 20-24 ft. They don’t force midrange shots.
2. What’s the most important individual matchup in this game?
Sunnergren: For both teams, the action begins at the point. After one of the worst shooting stretches of his young career (20-of-75 from the floor from March 3-10) Jrue Holiday has rebounded nicely in his last four games, averaging 22.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists on 50 percent shooting. Chris Paul meanwhile continues to be Chris Paul. The extent to which CP3 has his way with Holiday will go a long way towards determining this one.
Frankel: Could it be anything other than Chris Paul/Jrue Holiday? Holiday is having a top-5 PG in the NBA level season being overshadowed by the general gloom in Philly and it will be fun to see how he matches up against the point god himself.
Buha: Spencer Hawes vs. DeAndre Jordan/Lamar Odom. Hawes has been on a tear recently, averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks over his last five games, three of which have resulted wins against quality teams (Blazers, Pacers, Nets). Whoever gets the call on him more frequently tonight will have to contain him.
3. Should Clipper fans feel bad about themselves if they’re nostalgic over Nick Young?
Sunnergren: Yes. Nick Young, on the other hand, can be excused if he feels nostalgic about his time in LA. Swaggy has started just 17 games for the last place Sixers this season, averaging just 10.9 ppg with a sub 13 PER. The Game 1 stunner against Memphis last April feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it Nick?
Frankel: This one is difficult. Nick Young is a bad, bad player, but he did make huge contributions in one of the biggest games in franchise history. Also: he has an “In Swag We Trust” tattoo. Feel as nostalgic as you want, LA faithful.
Buha: No. I don’t think nostalgia is ever a bad thing. If you’d prefer him over Jamal Crawford, then we need to talk. Crawford is more efficient and consistent, and is capable of bigger performances. Young will forever be in Clipper fans’ hearts, though, for his miraculous shooting in Game 1 in Memphis.