Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets
March 23, 2013
7:30 p.m. PST
FOX Prime Ticket
Remember when Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams was a thing? Well, D. Will is trying his best to turn around his season after a bad start and has been on fire over his past 15 games, averaging 23.9 points per game over that stretch. He’s also been remarkably efficient, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 45.4 percent from three in that time. Maybe Paul vs. Williams will be a thing again. Now, onto 3-on-3:
1. Is the Nets’ slow pace an advantage or disadvantage for the Clippers?
Devin Kharpertian, The Brooklyn Game, (@uuords): Probably an advantage. The problem with Brooklyn’s slow pace is that once opponents start creating in transition, the Nets don’t have the athletes to stop them. The Clippers have the exact kind of team that can do that. If the Nets can get back, they’ll be fine – they just don’t do that often enough.
Patrick James, (@patrickmjames): It’s a slight advantage for the Clippers, who are 17-11 against the league’s 10 fastest teams and 14-5 against the 10 slowest. Lobs and highlights suggest otherwise, but a slow game plays into L.A.’s (and Chris Paul’s) hands.
Seerat Sohi, (@DamianTrillard): Anytime an opposing team can keep Blake Griffin from getting out on the break, it serves as a disadvantage for Los Angeles. While the Clippers have shown that they can score with consistency through effectively implementing their half court sets, the problem lies in the lack of consistency with which they actually run those sets.
2. Does Gerald Wallace have any chance at turning his season around heading into the postseason?
Kharpertian: Offensively? I doubt it. Wallace is barely shooting better on layups than Kyle Korver is on three-pointers and his jumper looks even more broken than usual. Wallace is an “emotional leader” (whatever that’s worth) and the team’s best perimeter defender, but $40 million is a rough investment for such an offensive liability.
James: Wallace is kind of a perfect metaphor for this Nets team: under-delivering relative to the price, but better than conventional wisdom would have us believe. This year’s 49.4 true shooting percentage leaves a lot to be desired (as does going 0-16 from three the last 8 games), but, sure, Wallace could improve on offense.
Sohi: Of course. Be it a stretch of hot shooting or an increased effort, we see role players pick it up in the post-season time and time again. And for the Nets to make a serious run, it’s going to be necessary that Wallace picks it up. His defensive consistency – Brooklyn displays their worst defensive rating when he’s on the bench – has kept him on the floor, but opposing teams have tapped into his offensive struggles, successfully filtering shots to him when they take on the Nets’ starting line up.
3. Over/under 9 three-pointers made for Brooklyn.
Kharpertian: Over and they win, under and they lose. I’ve got a good feeling, so give me the over, especially how Deron’s shooting.
James: Over. In the Clippers 22 losses, opponents are shooting nearly 50 percent from the three-point line. As Arash Markazi recently wrote, Blake Griffin attributes those defensive struggles to having a different strategy for every opponent — hence the frequency of missed rotations and lost assignments.
Sohi: Over. The Nets are ninth in the league in three-pointers made this season at 7.8 per game. On the other hand, the Clippers have allowed 9.8 three’s over their past five games – a mark that leads the league in that stretch.