This year we’ve seen the Utah Jazz dominate opponents with their ability to suffocate teams on defense, and do so without fouling. We’ve also seen the Los Angeles Clippers obliterate opponents with their ability to get easy points on the board on offense, with a huge part of that being a product of getting to the line. (Really bro? Over 50 words for two sentences?) According to the Four Factors, the Clippers are the 3rd best team at FT/FGA ratio in the entire league. The Jazz are the 9th best team at Opp. FT/FGA ratio.
- LAC is the 3rd best team at getting to the line on offense. (0.233 FT/FGA)
- UTA is the 9th best team at not putting the team on the line. (0.195 FT/FGA)
On the flip side, the Jazz do get to the line (12th best), and the Clippers don’t really put teams on the line when they defend either (13th best). But the big disparity is when it comes to LAC living at the line and UTA being able to defend without fouling.
These two things are opposites. What’s normal for LAC (and their fans) is getting to the line all night long. What’s normal for UTA (and their fans) is seeing our guys not be in foul trouble often. What’s normal for both teams cannot exist at the same time.
And which team gets to play to their normal strengths is really going to have the right of way in directing how this series goes.
So it’s really good that it’s a series between a veteran club that talks to the refs after ever. single. call. or. non. call. going up against a green team in their first playoffs. Doc Rivers can bark at the officials all day long and get results. I don’t know if that’s the case for Quin Snyder though.
Oh yeah, and the Clippers flop like they are a soccer team. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are notorious, but aren’t the only offenders.
Like a soccer team on an ice rink. Accosted by polar bears. While the Clippers have groin rashes. I’m not searching high and low to find these videos, this is honestly all from the first freaking page in the YouTube Search. These aren’t even ALL of the search results. Here’s one from a game against Utah:
It’s hard to be internally consistent, I know. It’s tough sometimes. But you can’t be mean mugging after poster dunks (power hook layups) and acting tough if you *also* wimp out like you’re a god damn dafodil in an old English lady’s garden.
In fact, if you try to be tough while also trying to act like you were no-scoped by a powerful sniper rifle after any contact then you are, at best, a punk; and at worst: a yellow coward.
The Clippers, for as long as this behavior continues, will be dubbed a team full of fake tough guys. And it’s a shame if the NBA refs fall for their pathetic, weak willed, schemes, ploys, and cowardice.
As a result, the officials will have a huge say in this series - do they let it go the Jazz way (where they are allowed to play defense) or the Clippers way (where any defense is a foul)?
God, Flop City . . . I hope they either grow up, grow a pair, or just embrace how big a collection of collective pansies they are. And I hope the refs see through their antics. After all, Dennis Lindsey is keeping score.