Game On: Clippers @ Pelicans

Published: March 26, 2014

Sometimes you get lucky in this league and you catch a real good team on a downswing or when it has a significant injury.  That time is not now for the Clippers.

The Clippers come into the game having lost just one of their last 14 games – and that was to Denver, in Denver, on the second night of a back to back.  The Clippers are playing at a very high level over these last ten – primarily by improving on two things:  They’ve cut their foul rate dramatically.  They used to allow .290 free throws per shot – during this stretch they are allowing .220 free throws per shot.  They also have increased their opponent turnover rate – and, as expected, their shots at the rim have increased.  It’s easy to make shots at the rim off turnovers.

Now, the Pelicans are playing fairly well themselves, and Griffin vs. Davis is always a fascinating battle worth watching on its own, so the game should be fun to watch, but this is a bit like running into a buzzsaw.

So how do the Pelicans win?

Keys to the Game

  • Crush the offensive glass.  The only thing the Clippers have done badly recently is allow lots of offensive rebounds.  The Pelicans need to be ready to clean up all those missed layups from Evans, Rivers and maybe Gordon if he plays.
  • File this one under “unlikely” but – Don’t foul.  The Clippers haven’t taken a lot of foul shouts recently. (especially compared to earlier in the year)  Give them easy points along with all their other ways to attack you and you might as well not show up.
  • Let Davis play center and attack Jordon.  Deandre is not a sound defensive player, and he can be forced into fouling when he tries too hard to block shots.  If you can get him in foul trouble, the Clippers become a sub-par rebounding team – and point 1 becomes much easier.

Enjoy the game!


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