Two seasons ago, the LA Clippers seemingly couldn’t miss from the outside. As a team, they shot 41.1 percent, the best number in modern NBA history. 11 players appeared in at least 15 games and shot 39.7 percent or better from 3-point range, led by Marcus Morris shooting 47.3 percent on 5.2 attempts per game.
That season was probably the best in franchise history, with a run to the Western Conference Finals where Kawhi Leonard’s torn ACL left them too short-handed to beat the Phoenix Suns. Since that point, the Clippers’ shooting has taken a nosedive and taken their success with it.
The LA Clippers have dropped off as an elite shooting team and need to find their way back.
Last season, the Clippers dropped all the way to 37.4 percent from 3-point range, still third in the league but no longer at a historic level. Morris went from pacing the Clips to holding them back, hitting 36.7 percent from deep. This year it is even worse, with LA’s 36.8 percent ranking just 10th in the league. For a team that puts very little pressure on the rim, elite jump-shooting is a requirement, and this year’s Clippers haven’t stepped up. Overall, their offensive rating of 110.7 ranks 27th in the league, and a losing streak has them dropping toward the Play-In range.
Solving the problem is more complicated than simply “add shooting’ but it’s a piece of the solution. Bringing in a lethal outside shooter with versatility to his shot would make the offense much more dynamic and help them dig out of the quagmire. Let’s look at one potential option for such a move.