Gone are the meticulous and somewhat mundane days where NBA players would dribble the ball down the court before throwing a bounce pass into the paint. From there, rudimentary back to the basket moves followed by extreme lulls in the action commenced.
In today’s NBA, of course, an emphasis is placed on pushing the ball and chucking up as many 3-pointers as humanly possible. The LA Clippers have taken the league’s new style of play and run with it, even without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the lineup this past season.
The Clippers were efficient from the 3-point line but chuck up a ton
Incredibly, the Clippers finished the year tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the second-highest 3-point percentage, checking in at 37.4%. Surprisingly, the Clippers weren’t a 3-point frenzy squad, taking only the 20th most attempts from behind the arc.
While clearly efficient and prolific from behind the line, the Clippers’ reluctance to attempt many from distance, came from the lack of playmakers and attention grabbers on their roster. This upcoming season, however, we expect the Clippers to not only let it fly from behind the arc but we expect their percentage to go through the roof.
During the 2020-21 season, the last year in which both Leonard and George were healthy for the entire year, the Clippers led the league in 3-point percentage. Despite the presence of knock-down shooters around the league, the Clippers were the only team to nail more than 40% of their shots from distance.
Reaching those lofty numbers this upcoming season will be no easy task but the Clippers appear well equipped to do so. In addition to bringing both Leonard and George back into the mix, the Clippers have several new faces that will contribute from distance. Since bringing Norman Powell and Robert Covington in, both players have over 44% from the 3-point line. Powell has been particularly explosive, connecting on 54.2% of his attempts.
An overly zealous team from behind the line isn’t always a recipe for success but the Clippers have been incredibly balanced.
Leonard, well-known for his shot-making ability from the outside, has consistently been regarded as one of the best mid-range shooters in the entire NBA.
The 2022-23 season is still a long way away. However, once the Clippers step foot on the court, they’ll have arguably the best 3-point shooting team in the league. Bar none.