Jan 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks power forward Drew Gooden (0) guards Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Clippers won 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Trying Not To Get Clipped

With the win in Cleveland last night, the Bucks extended their winning streak to four games while reclaiming the Central Division lead (by virtue of a tiebreaker). To push it to five, they will need a win at home tonight against the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers (16-6), winners of eight consecutive games.

Larry Sanders

Prior to last night’s game against the Cavaliers, Larry Sanders had blocked 10.0% of opponent’s shots when on the court.  (He “only” blocked three shots last night while admitting that he was still recovering from an illness.)

The only players to ever block 10% or more of their opponent’s shots while playing 20+ minutes per game were Manute Bol (1986, 1989) and Alonzo Mourning (2006).

DeAndre Jordan is the best shot-blocker on the Clippers.  He has blocked 5.7% of the shots he’s seen this season.

Blake Griffin

Tonight will be only the second time that Blake Griffin has played in Milwaukee even though he was selected by the Clippers with the first overall pick in 2009.  He missed his season with a knee injury. Last year, the two teams only played one game is Los Angeles, a 92-86 Clippers’ win (during the Bucks’ fateful January West Coast trip).

Griffin made his one trip to Milwaukee on Valentine’s Day 2011.  He scored 19 points (on 7-19 FG) and grabbed 12 rebounds.  He also bloodied Ersan Ilyasova and the blow left Ersan with scary concussion-like symptoms that left a cloud over the rest of his season.

Some stats

The advanced stats love the Clippers more or less for one reason: they are really, REALLY good at making their shots.

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team SRS ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
2 Los Angeles Clippers 8.28 110.3 102.1 91.9 .520 13.8 28.4 .220 .481 16.4 71.0 .233
18 Milwaukee Bucks -0.88 102.8 102.8 93.5 .470 12.8 27.7 .182 .481 15.6 72.1 .233
League Average 0.00 104.9 104.9 92.0 .489 13.9 27.0 .210 .489 13.9 73.0 .210
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/15/2012.

 

In fact, the Clippers rank fifth in the NBA in effective field goal percentage (.520). Evidently, the 2012-13 version of the NBA is a shotmaker’s league — the top five ranked teams in that category are the Heat, Thunder, Spurs, Knicks and Clippers, i.e., the best five teams.

Tonight, the defensive stalwarts on the Bucks — Luc Mbah a Moute, Marquis Daniels, Ekpe Udoh, and Sanders — will be charged with the task of slowing them down.

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Tags: Blake Griffin Clippers Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis

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