Over at Bleacher Report, I broke down some of the issues the Clippers have been having over their first four games. Some seem inherently fixable. Others could sustain. Click here to read the full article. Here is an excerpt:
Sure, perimeter defenders have been sieves, but Jordan is nowhere near as sharp on his rotations as he was in the second half of last season. Hawes isn’t the defensive presence the Clippers would like to have off the bench. And Griffin, who should be helping the helper whenever Jordan shifts over to cover for a teammate, has been late on his rotations, biting on pump fakes consistently while finding himself showing far too hard on some pick-and-rolls, like this one against the Kings:
Griffin doesn’t recover in time, forcing Jordan to switch off DeMarcus Cousins and onto the screener, Blake’s man, Jason Thompson. Griffin doesn’t recognize the switch—perhaps because of insufficient communication on someone’s part—gets to Cousins late and commits a lunging, flat-footed foul to give the Kings center a three-point play.
The problems go beyond Griffin’s recovery ability, historically a weakness in his game. Blake actually gets hung up on his own man and can’t even get by him.
The Clippers cleaned up this rotation a bit in the Jazz game the next night, but the overall issue is still present. If you want success against LA’s defense right now, put it in sets in which it needs to communicate to stop you.