The Clippers are no longer home to “Lob City”; Dallas is


Seems like it was ages ago the Clippers were crowned “Lob City”. It was Blake Griffin’s rookie season, 2010-11 to be exact, and between himself, frontcourt mate DeAndre Jordan, and several others, the Clippers certified themselves as instant fun behind a barrage of slam dunks and lobs.

From there, they remained true to the name, adding Chris Paul to the show a year later to spicen things up. Per Tom Haberstroh of who brought this change in ownership to the Lob City name to light, the Clippers threw down a NBA record most alley-oop 169 makes last season. Now, their claim to the “Lob City” title — no matter how hard they attempt to separate themselves from the label — may be in jeopardy as the Dallas Mavericks have joined in on the fun.

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  • According to NBA Savant, an advanced analytics and shot-tracking site, the Dallas Mavericks lead the league in alley-oop makes (whether finished as a dunk or lay-up) with 43 made on 47 attempts. The Clippers? They trail in second place with 29 made on 33 attempts.

    Comparing the top dunkers on the Clippers and Mavericks, Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan are near each other, with 24 made by Jordan and 26  made by Chandler. The fifth most in the league in alley-oop makes is Chandler’s teammate Brandon Wright with 13. The culprit in the Clippers drop from ‘grace’ is the decline in alley-oop attempts? Blake Griffin, who has completed 3 alley-oop attempts. Doing the math, that makes Griffin on pace to make 17.57 alley-oop makes for the 2014-15 season — last season, Griffin threw down 40, good for 9th best in the NBA.

    Looking at the Clippers play, it seems fair to translate Griffin’s love for the mid-range jump shot and drop in fast-break points as the reason why his alley-oop attempts are down. It may be possible to pinpoint those two instances as the reason why DeAndre Jordan’s attempts are down, or at least seem down as Griffin’s knack for popping on the pick-and-roll lessens the opportunity for Griffin-Jordan to connect on the hi-hi that devastated defenses last season.

    Griffin’s health is also possibly an issue — I say possibly because neither Griffin or the team has commented on the back injury suffered in the 2014 playoffs affecting Griffin’s play today. But Blake just doesn’t look right as a player, especially in the open floor and when forced to use his speed when matched up against bigger opponents.

    There’s nothing of importance connected to being the “kings of the lob”, but it looks as if the Clippers time as the host to Lob City has finally come to an end.

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