The biggest gain from the battle with the Rockets is that for the first time, the Clippers found a lineup that allowed Harden to play a positive role. Leonard, George, and Harden together have a plus-minus of +24.Previously criticized for being too polite, Harden has indeed shown more aggression and dominance, increasing the frequency of cutting in with the ball. Compared with the original passive waiting for teammates to move at the top of the key, the offense initiated by himself with the ball is effective, flexible and flowing. The multi-point attack of the speedboat makes the main axis more clear
Russell Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Clippers in February this year. At that time, there was also a lot of disappointment, and the team suffered a five-game losing streak. Nine months later, James Harden, who was also considered to have broken the chemical effect and was even called a cancer or a poison, joined the Clippers and started with another five-game losing streak. It wasn’t until yesterday when they faced the Rockets that the defeat was stopped. The embarrassing record was not continued. The victory was decided by Harden’s key 3+1 three-pointer, which allowed the Clippers players and fans to breathe a sigh of relief. This article will be a relatively brief discussion, a little bit about my observations and thoughts on recent games.
With 4 stars in hand, the Clippers are playing in groups, trying to keep 2 stars on the court as much as possible. Currently, Harden is mainly paired with Kawhi Leonard, and Westbrook is paired with old teammate Paul George. Adjust as appropriate. It is rare for four stars to be played at one time. In the past six games, the average was only 15.2 minutes. In the game against the Rockets, it was even worse. The four stars are no longer in the Clippers’ rotation options.
In fact, from the first game against the Nuggets, the Clippers began to clearly separate Westbrook and Harden. In the fourth quarter of the game, Westbrook played the first half of the game, and then Harden took over, completely turning into a rotational relationship. The time the two were on the court at the same time went from about 18 minutes in the first four games to only 8.7 minutes in the last two games.
No joke, Harden was an independent system when he first appeared on the Clippers. No one could connect with him. The stars were poorly adapted and didn’t know how to cooperate with each other. Starting center Ivica Zubac couldn’t get used to Harden’s tricky passing height. Pick-and-rolls often end with buttery hands. Data shows that as long as Harden plays in the past six games, the Clippers’ net efficiency will become -12.3. If you exclude Daniel Theis, who only played one game, only his old comrade PJ Tucker will be worse.
But Harden is only one of the Clippers’ problems. The team’s original system was also a mess. After the trade, the forward lineup was completely depleted, and backup center Mason Plumlee was unfortunately injured in the first game after Harden joined, resulting in a serious shortage of manpower. No matter how the rotation was matched, they would always be old and short, if not for the risk of Zubac being pulled to the outside for sniping. , otherwise you can only watch head coach Ty Lue’s crazy small ball experiment. Therefore, even if Harden is not on the court, the Clippers can only have a net efficiency value of +4.7, which is actually only +1.5 in plus or minus points.
Even when it comes to Leonard and George, their conditions are not ideal. George, who should be relieved of the responsibility of holding the ball and focusing on scoring, is still making all kinds of low-level mistakes. Coupled with the hot and cold offensive sense, he is still the unstable second-hand player, and Leonard has been sluggish in the mid-range so far this season. It’s terrible. The accuracy that used to be more than 45% is now less than 30%. The iron is repeatedly struck at critical moments, which kills the speedboat.
The sluggish stars will be directly reflected in the Clippers’ offensive and defensive performance, because they are now a “singles team.” The highest proportion of isolations in the league, averaging 12.6 times per game, scoring 1.00 points per game, ranking at the 72.4th percentile in the league (reaching 100% represents the top), which is better than the average level. The Clippers are also the top P&R Ball Handler attacker in the league, with every He can score 1.05 points per shot, ranking first in the league. In addition, the Clippers players’ average touch time of the ball is within 2 seconds, accounting for only 46.5% of the total. This is the second-to-last result in the league, which means that most of the time, the Clippers’ offense is initiated after a single player dribbles the ball for more than 2 seconds. In terms of shots, what’s more, the number of passes and receptions, secondary assists, and potential assists are the lowest in the league.
Various data show that the Clippers are competing for superstar ball. There is nothing wrong with their lineup, but their playing style is very rough. Their tactics are too monotonous and impatient. They always want to put the scorer into the scoring position with one pass, and they lack passing skills. , the process of pulling the line of defense. The most common thing is that the ball holder stands at the top of the arc, waiting for another star to try to pass through the screen of his teammates and come to the 45-degree angle to catch the ball. But at this time, he does not necessarily have a gap, and there is not even a mismatch. Spend half of the 24 seconds, dribble for another 5 seconds, and finally take a hasty outside shot.
The final shot against the Rockets is the perfect example. Harden passed halftime with 17 seconds left in the attack time, and then took 6 seconds to hand the ball to Leonard for execution. Then he dribbled for another 5 seconds and found that there was no chance, so he threw the ball back to Harden to defuse the bomb. What exactly did the speedboat set up for the final blow? Leonard was able to find Fred VanVleet frequently in the fourth quarter, but at critical moments he chose Jabari Smith Jr., who had good physical condition and mobility. What is the difference between this result and Leonard dribbling the ball through half the court by himself? George, currently the best C&S player in the Clippers formation, is only used as a space shooter and was used as a stake in the final shot.