Over at Bleacher Report, I wrote about some of the most important changes Doc Rivers needs to make to the Clippers. Click here to read the full article. Here is an excerpt of the piece:
Fix the three-point defense.
You could argue the worst aspect of the Clippers’ team last year was its three-point defense. You could absolutely argue that.
Actually, Dion Waiters, ToneyDouglas, Marcus Thornton or Austin Rivers probably would argue that. Each of those guys seemingly came out of nowhere last year to help lead their teams to wins against the Clips.
Opponents shot 37.3 percent from long range against the Clippers last season. That was good enough to rank L.A. 26th in the NBA in defending the three, not exactly something of which to be proud.
The Clippers didn’t rotate well on defense at all. Big men like DeAndre Jordan and RyanHollins were often out of place and weren’t able to recover for other players defensively. Wings usually played a little too far off their men in man-to-man defense and hedged too hesitantly on jump shooters.
The Clips got lit up because of that.
The wings just didn’t close out enough to defend the three. That’s how someone like John Lucas can end up hitting five threes in 18 minutes of game play. Of course, the Clippers’ sparse use of the zone defense didn’t help the three-point defense either.
This criticism is not based on a small sample size. Teams took 20.5 threes per game against the Clippers last year. Because of those percentages and that volume, Rivers has to change the way the Clips defend the perimeter for this season.