The start of this season has featured some wild variance for the Clippers. Each of their games has featured at least a 20-point lead, and the Dallas game went well beyond that.
But it isn’t just the Clippers who have been subject to big leads and deficits. Throughout the NBA, blowouts are seemingly more commonplace over the first week of the season. Last night, three of the ten games were decided by more than 20 points, including Milwaukee’s 47-point demolition of the Heat.
Seth Partnow of The Athletic dug into the data and discovered that 12.1 percent of NBA minutes so far have had one team up by 20 or more points, a dramatic increase over the usual seven percent over the last decade. Partnow has some theories about why the scoring margins have been so eye-popping, including the condensed schedule, unexpected COVID-19 absences, and the lack of fans to goad teams back into games.
When Ty Lue was asked about the randomness in the results so far, he laughed. The other Clippers were a little more expansive in their reasoning.
“I think it’s a crazy turnaround coming into this season,” Paul George said after the Clippers beat the Timberwolves by 23. “This would primarily be like preseason a little bit, with this only being game four under our belt but playing seven games altogether counting preseason. So it’s just different. Teams are still working through stuff, still kinks to iron out. No team is in their perfect form or close to it right now. I think it’s why there’s been games that have been big blowouts.”
“It’s been interesting, it’s been interesting to see these type of games, honestly,” Reggie Jackson said. “Some of them might be attributed to the shorter (off)season and everybody not really having the time to really connect and figure out how you’re gonna play, mesh. I think we ourselves are having some turnovers that we’re not accustomed to just because guys are still trying to figure out each other’s rhythms still. Hopefully, the league will pick up and there will be some closer games.”
Closer games would definitely be more enjoyable for the viewing public, but the Clippers would probably be happy at the current pace, so long as they keep winning more than they lose.
More news for Wednesday:
- George has had a wonderful start to the season, but he deservedly made this week’s edition of Shaqtin’ a Fool. I personally thought at least Thomas Bryant should have beaten him for the top spot.
- Marc Stein reflected on the standout moments from the NBA in 2020.
- Shams Charania reports that the G League will be playing its season as a 12-to-15 game schedule in a bubble, likely at Disney World. The Agua Caliente Clippers are among the 18 teams playing, as previously reported by SB Nation’s Ridiculous Upside site.
- Not exactly Clippers-related, but I loved this piece from Seerat Sohi about what has happened to Golden State’s offense.