Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
4:00 p.m. PST
December 10, 2014
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Roy Hibbert loves the party button.
1. Blake Griffin is on a pace to hit four game-winning, buzzer-beating threes this season. That will keep up, right?
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): The best part of that game-winner last night, besides the obvious trolling of P.J. Tucker after, was that he stepped back behind the line, ensuring either a win or a loss. LeBron James pulled something similar at Oracle Arena last season when his game-winning step-back three ended the Warriors. That is some kind of confidence.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): There are still parts of the rim that shot on Monday hasn’t hit yet, so he needs at least one more for full coverage. (And as a quick addendum to Andy’s, it’s not just confidence, it’s also mathematical wisdom. Going for 3 and the win is just plain better.)
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): I’m just happy he actually took a three instead of a foot-on-the-line two-pointer. You know what? I’ll wait until the next question to continue this…
2. Does Griffin need to take more threes or are you fine with the context of his long twos?
Liu: I am fine with either shot as long as he can consistently make it without sacrificing his touches in the paint. Threes are great but Griffin excels by bullying people in the post. If the jumper is there as an escape valve, that’s just the icing on the cake.
Partnow: It depends on the twos. If he’s catching and jacking from 20 feet early in the shot clock, I’d prefer he took that big step back. If he’s catching, surveying and shooting as a third rather than a first option, I like him appearing from the elbow much more than the arc, so those shots are largely fine.
Katz: It’s nit-picky, but he should be taking more threes. That doesn’t mean multiple threes a game. It doesn’t mean hunting for them. It doesn’t even mean taking long balls instead of 20-footers. But every once in a while, maybe every other game or so, Griffin shoots a step-back jumper and leaves the floor with his heel on the line. Those shots might as well be from beyond the arc. Whether it’s a court-awareness or confidence issue, he’ll get there eventually.
3. What’s the best weakness inside the Indiana defense for the Clippers to attack?
Liu: Chris Paul-Blake Griffin pick-and-roll with DeAndre Jordan slipping backside for the dunk. Paul is a master at using screens, especially Jordan’s, and it doesn’t matter what the defense is as long as he has the ball.
Partnow: Chris Paul’s ability to stick the 16-footer in the pick-and-roll is tailor-made to work against Indiana. Specifically, Roy Hibbert understandably always drops down in pick-and-roll coverage, leaving Paul free reign at the elbow area. Making Hibbert either concede that shot or step out on the floor where CP3 can exploit him will be nothing but good for the Clippers.
Katz: Screen-and-roll with Blake and DeAndre pinning Paul’s defender on either side. DeAndre rolls, Blake pops, and the Clippers take it from there. It allows Paul to take advantage of Hibbert’s particularly saggy pick-and-roll defense in the mid-range game. It could get Griffin open for jumpers and creation while forcing the defense to collapse in on DJ, all while making the Pacers point guards, who can run flat into screens, uncomfortable.