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One Team, One Stat: Clippers are NBA's true 'jump-shooting' team
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann gets you ready for the 2016-17 season with a key stat for each team in the league and shows you why it matters. Today, we look at the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been living outside the paint.
Last season, the Los Angeles Clippers took 61 percent of their shots from outside the paint, the highest rate in the league.
Some may say that the Golden State Warriors are a jump-shooting team, but the Clippers have been the jump shootingest team in the league for the last two seasons.
The Clippers are a good shooting team, both inside and out. They’ve ranked No. 1 in field goal percentage in the paint each of the last two seasons. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin have ranked second and 14th in field goal percentage in the restricted area in that time.
And while Jordan led players with at least 500 shots in effective field goal percentage last season, J.J. Redick ranked fifth. Redick led the league in 3-point percentage, shooting 48 percent on catch-and-shoot threes, the second best mark among 117 players who attempted at least 150. Both Redick and Chris Paul, meanwhile, were among the league leaders in mid-range field goal percentage.
But a good field goal percentage in the paint is worth more than a good field goal percentage from outside the paint, especially since the Clippers are more of a mid-range jump-shooting team than their rivals in Oakland. Last season, the Clippers ratio of 3-point attempts to mid-range attempts was 1.1, while the Warriors’ was 1.9. (The league average was 1.2.)
Griffin has moved farther from the basket as he’s gained confidence in his jumper. Over the last two seasons, he has taken 50 percent of his shots from outside the paint, up from 33 percent in his first four seasons. And Paul and Redick get to the basket about half as often as the Warriors’ backcourt.
The Clippers have still been the league’s second best offensive team over the last two years, behind only the Warriors, who will certainly rank No. 1 on that end of the floor again this season. But given how good they shoot both inside and out, the Clippers could raise their own ceiling if they could trade some of those jumpers for more shots at the basket.
10 MORE CLIPPERS NOTES
They’re one of two teams (the San Antonio Spurs are the other) to rank in the top 10 in offensive efficiency each of the last five seasons.
The Clippers were the best team in the first six minutes of the first quarter, outscoring their opponents by 14.4 points per 100 possessions.
LA saw the biggest decrease in defensive rebounding percentage (-1.9%) last season, dropping fom 9th in 2014-15 to 28th.
Jordan ranked third in the league in both defensive rebounding percentage (grabbing 32.1 percent of available defensive boards) and overall rebounding percentage (22.1 percent).
According to SportVU, Jordan shot 67.8 percent at the rim when contested by one or more defenders, the best mark among 114 players who took at least 200 contested shots at the rim.
The Clippers’ starting lineup of Paul, Redick, Luc Mbah a Moute, Griffin and Jordan outscored opponents by 19.4 points per 100 possessions, the best mark among lineups that played at least 200 minutes together.
LA scored 111.7 points per 100 possessions (a number which would have rank second in the league) with Paul on the floor and just 98.1 (a number which would rank 29th) with him on the bench.
The Clippers scored 104.4 points per 100 possessions in 35 games with Griffin and 108.0 in 47 games without him.
Wesley Johnson took 60 percent of his shots from 3-point range last season, up from 37.5 percent in 2014-15. That was the second biggest increase in 3PA/FGA among players with at least 500 total field goal attempts both seasons.
Jamal Crawford had the worst effective field goal percentage (39.8 percent) among players who took at least 100 shots in the playoffs.
NBA TV’s Clippers preview premieres at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 7.