The Clippers Ugly Defense

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pageC4
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4789

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As a season ticket holder I am very excited about this year. Aside from a disastrous opening night the Clippers have performed well and logged victories in the following three games, two of whom come from the Western Conference's elite. After the game against the Lakers it seems as if all starters are finally gelling, and we even see some huge contributions from guys that were not doing well in the preseason.

However, my fear is the current trend of our defense, and it has gathered the attention of others as well. I hope it is something that is easily corrected, and the season is young so it is possible to change this trend.

116 to the Lakers,115 to Golden State,101 to Sacramento, and 118 to Houston.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=993242 ... api_public

jarca
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 8303

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votes: 38

If it wasn't for Robert Horry's cheap shot the suns would have gone to the finals. It's gonna be about key defensive stops in the playoff and our starting five is capable of doing that

ClipsGForce
Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1830
votes: 12

I am not worry about it. It's a progress to be a defensive juggernaut. Everyone is trying to get a feel from each other.

Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5129
votes: 29

Does anyone have defensive stats for the starters compared to the bench?

CP3Best
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5063
votes: 13

I think it is due to the fact our bench isn't as good as last year. We have no defensive big man, Barnes has been playing like crap, Jamaal was never called to play defense, and Mullens doesn't know the definition of the word. Only one who can play some D is Hollins, but he still has his issues with fouls.

With our starting group I observed some great off ball defense by DUdley, dude was knocking passes out of there left and right. He gets some good steals. I think Blake is the one who has to step his defense up, which he has done IMO in the past 2 games, getting rebounds and more.

Clippersfan86
CTB MVP Champion
Posts: 15374
votes: 91

Bench+tempo is mostly killing us so far. The starters D hasn't been the best but I'd say at worst it's 20th best so far which isn't terrible for a new system. Minute our bench comes in we get CREAMED.

namzug
Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1170
Location: So Cal
votes: 11

The NBA website has some line up stats, but I think it's to early too really get anything from them. Looking at plus/minus stat we show up twice in the top 25 line ups but it's 20 and 23. I think the line up with Jamal at the 3 is 20 and the line up with Matt is at 23, but overall I think the numbers will be skewed for this month. Some of these line ups have played less than ten minutes together, I think we will have to wait to really be able to dive into the line up stats.

Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5129
votes: 29

Doc and CP3 also stated a lot of it is bad transition defense. Our halfcourt D is not as bad (at least from the starters) as it looks in the final score.

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 49

Didn't they have a Joe Johnson injury one year also? Or was that the same year?

Anyways, yes, if your offense is THAT good, then you don't need to be the Indiana Pacers on defense to win, but obviously you also can't be the Charlotte Bobcats on defense and win.

I think if this team can stay in the top 10, and go into the post-season as an above average defense (9-12 range) as opposed to last season where they went to the post-season as a bad defense, then it should be a good prognosis for the playoffs.

The bench is struggling though, but Barnes hasn't been up to par yet, and Collison isn't this bad. I remember we had a bit of a conversation about bench being offensive vs bench being defensive. Here's the thing about the bench's strength being defensive. Defense can be strong and consistent against anyone and everyone. Offense, especially from a bench doesn't have that same reliability.

The reliability from the bench last year was because their strength was defense, not offense, so they could always defend even if they could hardly score, the opposition couldn't score any more, and they were able to match-up against starting units because they were defending.

Heediot
Clipper Starter
Posts: 958
votes: 4

I think we give up 100ppg this year.

gman
Clipper All-Star
Posts: 2479

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votes: 5

What defense are you guys talking about?

Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5129
votes: 29

I think we saw 2 defenses against Orlando. First half was worse than the defense we had been playing, frankly. The second half was probably the best defense we've played so far.

Maybe this loss is just what we need to truly understand how important it is we step up our defense. Unfortunately, I don't know how much it'll matter if our bench keeps sucking THIS badly.

CP3Heliflopter
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 6158
votes: 10

Second half we did fairly good defensively. We did good enough that we are now ranked 29th defensively instead of 30th! Now lets hope we don't go back to being ranked 30 after the Heat are through with us. lol

CP3Best
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 13

Actually we didn't play that good defense in the 2nd half. Our offense just started going. Remember that WIDE open 3 we gave them to take a 3pt lead?

CP3Heliflopter
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 10

It was good relative to that poor excuse for defense we played so far this season. lol

ekker3
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 80

Defense wins championships (except if you're the clippers, where you win championships on paper...in the preseason)

ekker3
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 7266
votes: 80

the truth is, this team is jacking up so many outside jumpers, especially when doc has BG hanging out by the elbow, that there's rarely anyone in decent rebounding position (outside jumpers = more bricks). bad rebounding position leads to opposition fast break points. clippers inbound the ball and the cycle continues.

its phoenix suns basketball. alvin gentry knows it. live by the 3, die by the 3.

tense2
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 9578
votes: 22

Hey...we did hold them under 100. That's a start in the right direction. Smile

06clippersfan
Clipper 6th Man
Posts: 155
votes: 1

I just read on twitter that the starters are defending at a top 10 level giving up 97 points per game, but as a team they are giving up 108.4 points per game.

I feel we are going to keep losing games until we do something with the bench. They are horrible at defending

Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
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It kinda felt like our starters were defending better than has been suggested. Thanks for the info.

Man, I wish we could solve this riddle. I still say we have to leave either Paul or Blake on the court at all times...possibly JJ. For continuity, if nothing else.

tense2
CTB MVP X2
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Our bench is only playing 14.1 minutes a game so far, down 50% from last years 21.1 minutes. Not sure how much more minutes the starter's need to play, lol.

Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5129
votes: 29

^

Fine. Looks like we have only one other alternative....

...WE MUST BUILD A CLONING MACHINE!

ClipsGForce
Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1830
votes: 12

We'll be fine in the end of the season. Only 6 games, and under Doc system, it will take some time to put a proficient defensive team. They are trying to get a feel from one and another.

Worry about the bench through, I feel like they can be a decent defensive unit, but BJ Mullens defense is left to be desire.

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5048
votes: 49

8th in ORB% means Clippers are in the upper tier of teams in offensive rebounding

47.8% FG, 3rd in the league means there are less offensive rebounds to grab when you make so many shots

Long jumpers lead to a higher percentage of long rebounds (doesn't mean all) which lead to as many more opposition transition opportunities as they do more offensive rebounds for the team shooting, so it is a bit of a cop out to blame shooting jumpers on any rebounding issue. Not to mention that last seasons team was a team that shot jumpers also.

DJ is second in the league in offensive rebounds per game at 4.7 (15.0%). The leader is Kanter at 5.8 (17.2%)

Clippers as a team are 20th in the league in DRB% at 73.3% which has nothing to do with how far or close to the basket Clippers players are on offense.

Nothing supports offensive rebounding being an issue or limiting factor, and actually all point the opposite direction. So any rebounding problem is clearly on defense not on offense.

Interesting stat:

Paul and Jordan are tied for 3rd in the league in fouls per game at 4.2 each per game

tense2
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 22

^Fouling has been a nemesis for a least the last 2 years now.

FightOnRon
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4878
Location: The Darkside
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votes: 39

2 decades

tense2
CTB MVP X2
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^Actually Ron, the last 3 years we've been near the bottom in that category. Before that we've been near the top or in the middle.

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 49

I know huh? Just can't shake it. It was awful and a big part of the downfall vs Memphis, guess the guys need better discipline with the hands

pageC4
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4789

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Speaking of the Clippers defensive woes... Clippers follow Rivers' defensive directive By MoiseKapenda Bower, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange 12 hours ago HOUSTON -- Having spent a considerable portion of his pregame conference with the media dismissing the notion of teams needing to establish an identity this early in the season, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers seemed particularly pleased that his team used defense -- his personal calling card -- as the impetus for their second-half comeback. The Clippers shackled the high-scoring Houston Rockets during one critical stretch late in the third quarter and built upon that momentum in the fourth....

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Voyeur
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5129
votes: 29

2 players are conspicuously absent from this writer's comment. Hmmm

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
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votes: 49

For some consolation:

Miami:

Drtg: 108.2 , 28th

Opponent eFG%: .527, 26th

LA Clippers:

Drtg: 108.9, 29th

Opponent eFG%: .535, 29th

We're just trying to keep up with the champions Wink

The defensive rating vs the Rockets was 99.1

Is it a coincidence that Mullens played 1:36 and Hollins played 0 minutes in the game where the team was great on defense? I don't know, but I'm just going to put that in your heads.

elton_sucks42
Clipper All-Star
Posts: 2486
votes: 11

I cringe each time mullens and Hollins check into the game.

ClipperDB
Clipper Starter
Posts: 351

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I cringe each time I see mullens and Hollins on the bench.

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5048
votes: 49

Defense still has some issues, I think a big one is FG% given up at the rim, but here's a positive:

10th in opponent 3PT%, 35.0%

The league average is 36.2%, so this team is so far an above average 3PT defending team.

CapsNClips
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4202

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35% is impressive once you take into account that we've played GSW, MIA, MIN, HOU(twice), and OKC(twice)

CP3Heliflopter
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 6158
votes: 10

Now if only our interior defense wasn't putrid. Sad

CapsNClips
CTB MVP X1
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Yep, it's pretty awful at times. I notice it's at its worst when one of our bigs is in foul trouble. When most players are in foul trouble they ease off a little bit, but it seems when Blake and DJ are in foul trouble they just give up completely.

One of the hardest things defenders have to do is play with fouls. Blake and DJ haven't grasped that yet.

Also, having Mullens protecting the paint for us is not helping. It seems Jamison was light years ahead of Mullens on defense and offense. Hopefully Jamison makes a difference.

Agent0
CTB MVP X2
Posts: 5048
votes: 49

One adjustment I would like to see is to not use the hard hedge with Jordan, but instead to play ICE on the pick and roll.

The current Clippers pick and roll defense has the big man hedging hard and then recovering. This is good if your bigs are very mobile, if not, it can cause trouble.

Jordan is mobile in a straight line, but he struggles with lateral movement.

An adjustment I would like to see is what Indiana does. They run the hedge with the PF's who can hedge and recover, but with Hibbert, they run ICE. They have the on ball defender fight over the screen, and Hibbert sits back cause he isn't mobile enough to be hedging on screens.

DJ is more mobile, but this gives your big a better full-court view of the action and allows him to be able to help better. I remember in the article talking about two sides of Jordan's defense, it said that he's still struggling with the hedge and recover.

If you play the defense where he stays back, he can then give up shots between 15-inside 3PT line, which are shots you want to give up as opposed to having guards turn the corner on him, or having big men escape from him. You can say Blake should help here, but if he helps, it is an easy dump off to Howard, or pass the the corner three point shooter (Parsons) if Dudley rotates to Howard.

The alternate adjusment is what the Knicks were doing last year. So in that video, Blake would help, Dudley would stay on Howard to block the pass, DJ would stay with his man, and Redick's rotation would be to automatically sprint to the corner to guard Parsons, but from that far away, it is a bit hard

The Bulls are doing it there too. I think it will help DJ a bit, and you are also giving teams multiple looks because Blake will be hedging, but DJ will be playing ICE, so their PG can't just make the same reads if he isn't using the same screen setter.

Just a thought.

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