Takeaways from the LA Clippers’ 102-84 win over the Utah Jazz

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Blake Griffin
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Blake Griffin /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 24: Austin Rivers
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 24: Austin Rivers /

The Clippers’ D is a key

Through three games, the LA Clippers are leading the league in defense, only allowing 84.6 points per game and are second in the league in net rating with a plus-26.7 mark. In addition to this, the Clippers are second in the league in steals per game with 12 steals a contest and also have the league leader in steals per game, Mr. 94-Feet aka Patrick Beverley. The team seemed locked in against the Jazz, who were realistically their first true defensive test (The Lakers and Suns aren’t exactly the best teams) and the effort seemed higher than it did often times last season. Last season, players would make a mistake on defense that left their assignment open behind the arc and would just stand there instead of trying to make a late close out. Against the Jazz, every single Clippers was active on defense and Utah hardly ever got a shot off without an LA player closing out and getting a hand in their faces.

The strong defense led to 12 steals for the Clippers, which allowed them to get out and push the pace, shredding the Jazz in transition before Utah could even attempt to set up their defense. Beverley’s quick hands resulted in countless disruptions of the Jazz offense and the point guard came away with three steals, including this strip on Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell in the fourth quarter that resulted in the Clippers pushing the pace in transition and Griffin hitting DeAndre Jordan for an easy highlight alley-oop.