Numbers preview: Rockets-Clippers

VIDEO: Inside The NBA: Rockets-Clippers Preview

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Los Angeles Clippers survived a first round series between two of the three best teams in the league. Game 7 on Saturday was one of the best games we’ve ever seen and the best win in franchise history.

But a new challenge begins Monday. The Clips now face James Harden, Dwight Howard, and a Rockets team that cruised through the first round in five games. And L.A. has to start this series on the road, with a hobbled Chris Paul (or without him).

Houston isn’t exactly healthy. The absence of Patrick Beverley makes defending Paul particularly tough. But the Rockets’ own offense has been strong since the return of Howard, who averaged 16.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the first round.

Neither Paul (in 10 seasons) nor the Clippers (in 45) have ever been to the conference finals. Getting past the Spurs only got them halfway there. And there’s another Texas team standing in their way.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for Rockets-Clippers, with links to let you dive in and explore more.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Houston Rockets (56-26)

Beat Dallas in five games.
Pace: 104.4 (1)
OffRtg: 108.6 (4)
DefRtg: 106.1 (10)
NetRtg: +2.5 (7)

Regular season: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
vs. L.A. Clippers: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
First round: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups

Rockets first round notes:

L.A. Clippers (56-26)

Beat San Antonio in seven games.
Pace: 96.3 (5)
OffRtg: 104.4 (8)
DefRtg: 106.7 (12)
NetRtg: -2.3 (9)

Overall: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
vs. Houston: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
First round: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups

Clippers first round notes:

The matchup

Season series: Tied 2-2 (1-1 in both locations)
Pace: 100.7
HOU OffRtg: 97.9 (23rd vs. LAC)
LAC OffRtg: 101.9 (11th vs. HOU)

Matchup notes:


  1. harriethehawk says:

    Fred Garvin: Nate Robinson needs a job, he’s not supposed to say anything either way. His job is to stay neutral and hope an owner is watching and notices he may no longer be hurt. The Flippers wouldn’t extend or sign him after 2 10 day contracts because he was hurt. He may have wanted to return to the Flippers so why would he even open his already big mouth?

  2. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    This will be a good series as well!!!

    Both have great bigs, Smith & Howard, Griifin & Jordan and it will be interesting to see Harden vs Barnes/or whoever they throw at the Beard

    Too bad Beverly won’t be guarding CP3.

  3. Mladen says:

    May the best Clips win 🙂

  4. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    CP’s hamstring is the difference, if he’s healthy to play at a high level then they can win, but with his injury and Davis injured ankle, i think the Rockets will win there deeper and match up well with the Clip’s. A healthy Paul the Clippers can win.

  5. qadrir says:

    Rockets can and should beat Clippers. No doubt Clippers have one of the best starting 5 but one of weakest bench. Now this bench is even more fragile with Glen Davis baby hurt. The series if for Rockets to lose if they don’t take care of the ball.
    Let the goon thug Matt Barnes commit flagrant and technical, which I know he will. I admire Howard patients and discipline. He along with Brewer and Josh Smith will be the difference maker. I see Rockets win in 6.

    Guard advantage Clippers if CP is @ 100% otherwise Trevor will shut him down.
    SG Harden no mach Houston take this one
    Small forward I say even but Ariza is better defender the Barnes> i call it even
    PF Blake Griffin is a monster edge goes to Ciippers
    D12 is a premier center edge goes to the Rockets
    Bench hands down Rockets bench is better
    Coach Clippers have an edge here.

    so it’s pretty even except Rockets legs are fresh, have a deep bench can punish Clippers. Hack a’ Shack hurts Clippers more than Rockets.

  6. Bball fan says:

    Anyone who is saying that the Rockets will have an easy time handling the Clippers is insane…they just beat the Spurs…THE SPURS! Yes, the Clippers bench isn’t deep, but come on people. This will be another hard fought series that will go 6 or 7 games deep.

  7. Fred Garvin says:

    Nate Robinson has not said ANYTHING insightful or noteworthy. He doesn’t even appear to understand the questions being asked. Knowing players initials doesn’t equate insight.

  8. justsaying says:

    Rockets in 6 —- 4-2

  9. Marcel Monteverde says:

    Go Rockets…. to top of them

  10. Marcel Monteverde says:

    Os Rockets vão queimar os Clippers em suas turbinas…. Série para ser ganha em 4-1

  11. michael turner says:

    Smiley and Beard man never do well against the Clips. In 6 done in Houston it will be Clips and Dub time.

  12. tas06 says:

    well it’s james harden vs CP3.. no matchup for both of those guys… love the smith vs. griffin and DJ vs. Howard matchup..

  13. Denholm says:

    rockets will have an easier time against the shallow clips, and the fact that they dont have the best perimeter defense is only going to sway things in houstons favor (they shoot lots and lots of 3s)

  14. gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood

  15. Jeff says:

    James harden plays bad against the clippers. Thats all im saying

  16. vonhulland says:

    Easy Game!!! Go Rockets

  17. vonhulland says:

    Go Rockets,T his will be an easy game.!!!!! don’t let paul make you think he was hurt. He wasn’t he wanted attention