The LA Clippers suffered their 3rd loss of the season at the hands of their old rivals, the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers’ loss this game echoed a very similar formula as their other two losses this season; the team became incredibly stagnant on offense, and played unfocused defense.
The Clippers seemed to have the ball stuck on one side of the floor for the majority of the game. The team had only 18 assists on 38 field goals, as opposed to the 27 assists they had in a win against Dallas. In 3 losses the Clippers averaged only 19.3 assists per game. However, in their 5 wins they averaged 21.6 assists (which is dragged down by an outlier game of 11 assists against Portland). The lack of ball movement tonight resulted in the Clippers hoisting up forced threes, which weren’t falling. Los Angeles shot decently from the field (45.8%), but 4/26 from deep tonight. This shot was the perfect example of the Clippers’ offense.
You can try to blame the 12:30 early tip-off game for this, but the Clippers did not play solid defense against Memphis. It seemed like LA only played 20 seconds of defense, and then had a mental lapse in the final 4 seconds. This mental lapse resulted in an uncontested three by Memphis, every time. The lack of defense helped Memphis shoot 13/31 (41.9%) from three. Every Clipper as a step too late on their contest, or didn’t bother contesting at all.
The Grizzlies played the offensive game the Clippers wanted to play, with 21 assists on 40 made field goals. To add insult to injury, the Grizzlies’ bench outscored the Clippers’ bench 55-22.
The Final Clip: The Clippers found themselves in a hole they couldn’t get out of because of an unfocused defense and stagnant offense. They have 24 hours to get it right in another 12:30 tip-off game against Miami. Hopefully this guy will be there.