Prior to facing the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday evening, the Los Angeles Clippers were off to a 6-1 start in their season and defeating opponents by an average 14.9 points per game.
Two reasons why the Clippers have been a handful for opposing defenses is because of their dynamic starting frontcourt with Blake Griffin at the 4 and DeAndre Jordan at the 5.
Before facing Portland, the duo was averaging 28.2 points and 21.7 rebounds combined per game. Recently, here at ATL, I wrote about the Clippers’ dangerous pick-your poison set when guarding their double high screen play. Then, I wrote about how terrorizing it can be for defenses to try to contain a halfcourt 1/5 Pick-and-roll between Chris Paul and Jordan when the defense is just a bit out of sync.
To add to their offensive fire power, the Clippers can run a set that can bring effective results, and the majority of the time, it only requires two players on offense – the Griffin-Jordan 4/5 Pick-and-roll.
As you can see in the diagram below, the action is quite simple.
This opens so many options for Jordan and Griffin when executed correctly. They can run it any angle as long as their wings give them proper spacing, or when an initial play call isn’t working, the duo can run this set late in the shot clock to still get a quality look. Another incentive of this set is that it doesn’t always have to be a traditional pick set by Jordan, as he can also use the dribble hand-off action with Jordan in motion too.
Another way the Clippers can use this set is as a sideline out of bounds set.
If Griffin has a mismatch with an opposing big, he doesn’t always have to throw the lob, and instead, he can just attack the big defending him as evidenced in this clip below against Pau Gasol of the San Antonio Spurs.
For defenses, if they’re guarding this set with traditional bigs, if they go under the screen to prevent the lob to Jordan, Griffin is comfortable taking and making the mid-range jumper if it’s wide open. If the defense tries to go over or switch the screen, then Griffin can try to take the opposing center 1-on-1, like he did against Gasol, or Jordan could have a better height mismatch against the 4 that is guarding him.
In the regular season, Griffin and Jordan should be able to get those lobs, layups or dunks against opposing teams on a night to night basis, however, when the playoffs approach, opposing coaches will start finding tactics with their personnel and on defensive schemes to try to contain this action as best as possible.