A year ago, the Los Angeles Clippers finished the regular season with the league’s fourth-best offense. In their first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, though, you wouldn’t have believed it. After posting an offensive rating of 111.62 in the regular season, the Clippers were held to just 94.7 points per game in that series and were bounced in six games.
What went wrong? All signs pointed to the team’s lackluster half-court offense. (A weakness even Chris Paul owned up to earlier in the season). The Clippers were great when they got out in transition, but they couldn’t find the basket when the game slowed down.
In the offseason, L.A. made moves to address the problem: in July, the team gave up Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, and a second-round pick for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley—two guys who can make things happen in the half court.
So far, those moves seem to have paid off: the Clippers’ closed out the regular season with the league’s top offense, averaging 112.89 points per 100 possessions. The real test, though, begins now. Can the Clippers keep it going when the defensive intensity ratchets up a notch in the playoffs?
If they can, half-court offense will be the key. In this edition of “The Breakdown,” we take a close-up look at the Clippers’ offense. And for more playoffs coverage, don’t forget to check out Complex’s new hoops site TriangleOffense.com.