There are good shots and bad shots, as determined by effective field goal percentage (eFG%). Today, it is common knowledge around the NBA that the best two shot locations in the game are at the rim and in the corner behind the three-point arc.
The Clippers’ offense scored 105.2 points per 100 possessions last season and took 6.5 corner three-point attempts per game. This season, LAC is scoring 107 points per 100 and taking 7.3 corner three-point attempts per game. Coincidence? I think not. Corner three attempts — attempts, not even makes — have around a 72% correlation with offensive efficiency. The effects of the corner three on the Clipper offense are obvious. For example:
Watch on this possession as Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom traverse the middle of the floor with free reign as Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter are forced to stay attached to shooters in the corners instead of helping. This extra space can mean so much, especially to an offense whose two best secondary big men can hardly shoot outside the paint.
Last season in the playoffs, the Clippers’ corner threes attempted dipped to 4.85 per game against the Grizzlies, and an even lower 4.5 attempts per game against the Spurs. Looks from corner three have been kind to Los Angeles thus far in the regular season and its sustainability may very well be the key to postseason success.