VIDEO: GameTime previews the matchup between the Clippers and the Lakers
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann gets you ready for the league’s five-game Christmas Day slate with a key stat for each team, along with an explanation of what it means. Here’s a look at the final game of the night, when the Clippers and Lakers meet for the first time this season (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Los Angeles Clippers (16-13)
The stat: The Clippers have attempted just 39 percent of their shots in the paint, the lowest rate in the league.
The Golden State Warriors are often called “a jump-shooting team,” but their Pacific Division rivals are much more of a jump-shooting team than the champs are. This is the second straight season that the Clippers have led the league in percentage of shots that come from outside the paint.
DeAndre Jordan has taken all but one of his 162 shots from the paint. But the rest of the Clippers’ roster makes up for that with a lot of jump shots. Blake Griffin ranks sixth in the league in points in the paint, but has taken more than half his shots from outside it for the first time in his career. In fact, the percentage of his shots that Griffin has taken from outside the paint has increased every season since he entered the league.
The thing is that the Clippers have been the best shooting team inside the paint. Among 140 players who have attempted at least 100 shots from the paint, Jordan (70.4 percent) and Griffin (65.7 percent) rank first and third in field goal percentage there.
The Clippers still have a top-five offense. And around the league, the teams that take the most shots from inside the paint tend to rank lower in the lower half of the league in offensive efficiency.
But league-wide, paint shots yield more points per attempt (1.06) than shots from outside the paint (0.93). Only three teams have attempted a greater percentage of their shots from mid-range than the Clippers.
And only one team has regressed more offensively than the Clippers, who have scored 5.9 points per 100 possessions fewer than they did last season, when only the Warriors and Hawks had a higher effective field goal percentage from outside the paint. This year, L.A. ranks 20th in effective field goal percentage from outside the paint.
They’re not a great defensive team, so when those jump shots don’t go in, they don’t look like much of a title contender.
More Clippers notes from NBA.com/stats
- Clippers starting lineups have scored 109.1 points per 100 possessions, a mark that ranks third. Clippers bench lineups have scored 95.5 points per 100 possessions, a mark that ranks 27th.
- Chris Paul has 101 assists to Griffin, 23 more than any player has to a single teammate. But Griffin leads the Clippers with 62.8 passes per game.
- J.J. Redick has shot 54.4 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers, the best mark among 178 players who have attempted at least 50.
Los Angeles Lakers (5-24)
The stat: The Lakers’ defense has allowed 7.2 points per 100 possessions more than the league average, the biggest differential of the last 10 seasons.
The Lakers are the only team to rank in the bottom five in defensive efficiency each of the last three seasons. This is also the fifth straight season that Byron Scott has coached a bottom-five defense. And this, so far, is the worst defensive team he’s coached.
Roy Hibbert was a big reason the Indiana Pacers were the best defensive team of the last three years. Indiana allowed 98.1 points per 100 possessions over those three seasons and just 97.3 with Hibbert on the floor. But Hibbert hasn’t been able to make a defensive impact with the Lakers, who have allowed 111.6 points per 100 possessions with him playing center.
The Lakers rank 20th or worse in all four of the defensive “four factors,” opponent shooting, defensive rebounding, opponent turnover rate and opponent free throw rate. The Sixers are the only other team that has been below average in all four.
L.A. and Philadelphia are also the only two teams that rank in the bottom three in both offensive and defensive efficiency. While there may be a lot of parity in the middle of both conferences, there’s very a clear No. 15 team in each.
More Lakers notes from NBA.com/stats
- Kobe Bryant has averaged 23.8 points on 46 percent shooting over his last five games. Prior to that, he was averaging 15.8 points on 31 percent shooting.
- According to Synergy stats, the Lakers have isolated on 10.8 percent of their possessions, the highest rate in the league.
- The Lakers have been the worst rebounding team in the league, grabbing just 47.0 percent of available boards. Their opponents average a league-high 16.2 second chance points per game.
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions