Over at FOX Sports West, I wrote about five Clippers takeaways from Monday’s 127-101 victory over the Timberwolves (yes, Justin Bieber is mentioned in my recap). Click here to read the full piece. Here is an excerpt:
One of Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ favorite adages is the NBA is a “make-or-miss league.”
Essentially, Rivers is stating the obvious: You either make your shots or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re probably going to lose. It’s an oversimplification, sure, but it has been oddly symmetrical with the Clippers’ success this season — especially from deep.
Monday night the Clippers made 15 of 34 3-pointers (44.1 percent), and rode their 51.3 percent overall shooting to a 127-101 blowout victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The surging Clips (12-5) have now won five games in a row, in large part because, well, they started making shots.
“In previous games, we were missing open shots,” Rivers said. “Now we are making open shots. Once you start making open shots the defense has to react to that. That allows other things to happen in the offense.”
When the Clippers have made nine or more 3-pointers this season, they are an impressive 10-1. When they make any fewer than that, they are a pedestrian 2-4.
There are a slew of factors that go into those numbers — the quality of opponent’s defense, for one — but the deciding factor has often been J.J. Redick’s performance. When Redick makes three or more 3-pointers, the Clippers are 4-1. When he shoots better than 40 percent from beyond the arc, the Clips are 7-2.
But his shooting symbolizes something more.
“When J.J. is getting shots, it means we are getting good ball movement,” Rivers said. “When he is not getting shots, it means that we are not moving the ball around. … J.J. is dependent on ball movement.”