Clamp City isn’t just a nickname for the new-look LA Clippers: it’s become an identity.
The Clippers were in dire need of a new identity after the departure of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan. For the first time in 10 years, LA was entering a season without any of its previous big three. What remained was a group of hard-nosed players who were willing to hustle on every play. As the Clippers re-signed Avery Bradley to a new deal, Patrick Beverley dubbed the team ‘Clamp City’. NBA fans assumed that the tandem would become a defensive monster, and it seems like that assumption was correct.
Despite being a small size of 6 games, the LA Clippers are on the path to becoming the defensive juggernaut known as ‘Clamp City.’ The Clippers are the 7th best team at restricting opponents’ points per game, allowing 107.3 PPG. For comparison, their LA neighbor, the Lakers, are 29th in the league, allowing 122.3 PPG. When it comes to opponents’ field goals, Clamp City is: 4th best at restricting field goals made (37.7), 2nd best at restricting field goal percentage (40.4%), and 3rd best at restricting three point percentage (30.4%). Simply put, it’s hard to score on the LA Clippers, and they love it.
“We don’t like to do a lot of talking, we just let our game speak for itself. We just want to make it hell for other guards, and other teams who come here.” - Patrick Beverley
Make no mistake about it, Clamp City is hell for the guards who enter the territory. In the 6 games the Clippers have played, the opposing team’s starting point guards have shot 29-of-101, just 29% from the field. This includes the likes of: Jamal Murray, Dennis Schroder, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Chris Paul, and John Wall. The most recent victim, John Wall, went scoreless in the second half of his game against the Clippers. The defense that the duo of Bradley & Beverley play is both dangerous and contagious to the rest of the Clippers.
“We’re going to be the team that teams are going to be exhausted playing against. When you see us on your schedule, it’s going to be a fight.” - Montrezl Harrell
From top to bottom, everyone on this LA Clippers team is prepared to fight every game. Everyone on Clamp City is prepared to do the dirty work to create offense. They know that there’s no superstar on this team, so everyone has to do their part to create offensive flow. There’s a trust between each member of the roster that brings a sincere joyfulness in the way they play.
In only 6 games, Clamp City has shown it’s here, and that it’s no joke. What remains to be seen is absolutely frightening for the league.