After the Los Angeles Clippers’ 127-95 Monday rout of the Brooklyn Nets, it’s clear the team has the “singular focus” Chris Paul referenced after the game.
”No excuses, we said we’re going to come out the same way every night,” he said. “It’s all about playing the right way. We got to keep building.”
Eleven games normally isn’t a large enough sample size to pass Adam Duvall Authentic Womens Jersey judgment on an NBA team. But the Clippers haven’t just been good, they’ve been really good to start the season. And it’s their defense, anchored by DeAndre Jordan, that’s setting the tone.
Last season, the Clippers allowed 100.9 points per 100 possessions. In 2014-15, they allowed 103. Through 11 games this season, the same Clips team boasts a defensive rating of 93 points per 100 possessions. (For reference, the Spurs defensive rating is 99.9, the Cavaliers 101.7, the Warriors 104.6, and the Knicks are dead last at 107.5.)
The question for DeRozan is: how much? A drop from 55 percent to 49 like Durant means DeRozan could easily still average 30 points this season, even if the mid-30s quickly fall out of reach. If that numbers falls to 45 percent, then DeRozan’s path becomes even more difficult. Of course, the worst-case scenario is a complete regression to the mean. Last year, DeRozan shot just 40 percent overall from that 8-to-24-foot range.
Still, DeRozan looks more than comfortable with this style, enough that it doesn’t feel like he’s a supernova that’s bound to fade away any minute now. Statistics say it’s unlikely, but maybe DeRozan just keeps making these shots forever and averages a gaudy number of points this season. The way he dominated the Knicks, to use just one of his nine games as an example, certainly doesn’t feel like he’s exerting his best Anthony DeSclafani Authentic Womens Jersey effort — and he still ended up with 33.
Regardless whether the drop off comes — and OK, yes, it almost certainly will — DeRozan’s game is still hearkening back to the older days.
It’s honestly refreshing. It’s not that three-pointers are bad or that there should be fewer of them, but everyone could use some nostalgia now and again. To see a player go against every offensive norm that has been erected over the past decade and thrive anyway is heartwarming. It’s an underdog story in one sense, if you ignore DeRozan was already a wildly successful basketball player before he emerged into the league’s best scorer for nine games.