More wins means more words about the Clippers. Let’s take a spin around the interwebs:
Via Clippers.com, Blake Griffin has been named Western Conference Player of the Week. Only other Clipper to do the same was Elton Brand in 2005-06.
Griffin grabbed his 3,000th rebound on Mar. 12 against the Warriors. He became just the third player in NBA history to tally 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists before the end of his fourth season while shooting 50.0 percent or better. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley are the other two.
Paul Flannery spent the week in Los Angeles taking in the sights of the gleaming Lobtropolis and came away impressed:
Never mind that Griffin has become one of the very best offensive players in the league. He is something like a taller version of Charles Barkley, offering a frightening amount of size, mass and athleticism. But that’s not all Griffin brings to the table these days. He has a 17-foot jumper that he makes at a 40 percent clip, a reliable bank shot from the wings and his post moves, while still occasionally awkward, have been more effective. His free throw shooting is even up to a respectable 70 percent. If you were ranking players this season, you’d have him in the top 10 without argument and possibly in the top five.
J.J. Redick knows something about college basketball, and he has the inside track to filling out your brackets.
For today’s PER Diem, Kevin Pelton digs into the numbers to confirm if the Clippers’ title-worthiness is something that can be trusted.
The Clippers owe their impressive point differential to their habit of punishing lesser foes, as in a 142-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month and a 123-78 win over thePhiladelphia 76ers in February. Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers was their 12th by 20-plus points this season. That’s tied with San Antonio for the most in the league per Basketball-Reference.com, and the Clippers’ five wins by at least 30 points are tops in the NBA.
While it’s tempting — and not entirely incorrect — to dismiss those blowouts as running up the score, Neil Paine of 538.com found at Basketball-Reference that taking care of lesser opponents is predictive in the playoffs.
However, the better indicator of playoff success Paine found was beating good teams by a comfortable margin (nine points or more). There, the Clippers also score well. They’re 12-9 against the other seven West teams currently in the playoffs, and only the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-7) have been better in such games. Of those 12 wins, five have come by double figures, with three more by exactly eight points.
Jalen Rose and Dave Jacoby chat fast and loose on the Blake Griffin/Jermaine O’Neal hallway conversation and speculate on what all the hubbub is about. Starts at 31:22.
So what is the identity of these Clippers? Asking the players would be to tread on the old clichés of aspiring contenders: “We want to be defense-first. To hang our hat on the defensive end.” For fans, the Clippers are a dynamo offensive juggernaut, ready to ignite at any moment under the bright lights of the big stage. But considering the amount of attention paid to process this season, the Clippers’ identity may simply be to be better, a shift embodied by Griffin.
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