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Clippings: The Clippers have turned into snipers in Orlando

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The Clippers are all of a sudden taking a boatload of threes.

LA Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The LA Clippers were substantially below league average in 3-point rate before the hiatus. They ranked 23rd in the NBA with 33.2 3-point attempts per game and 19th in the percentage of their offense that came from threes.

Their relatively low number of attempts belies the fact that the Clippers shot the ball fairly well from distance during the first 64 games of the season. They ranked 10th in the league by making 36.6% of their threes.

Some might say that the Clippers’ efficiency from beyond the arc is because they are discerning in their attempts; they convert a high percentage because they take high-quality looks from 3-point range. However, the Clippers have a number of marksmen on their team, including Paul George and Landry Shamet, as well as specialists like Patrick Patterson and JaMychal Green, who probably could have taken more shots from long distance. It seemed like there was some low-hanging fruit the Clippers could address to make their offense even more dynamic.

In Orlando, the Clippers have taken that step to reimagine their offensive profile. Now, instead of just being an efficient long-range shooting team, they have become a high-volume shooting team, typified by the franchise-record 25 threes they made against New Orleans Saturday.

During the five games the Clippers have played in the bubble, they have taken 42.6 3-pointers per game and made 40.4% of them. Whereas 3-point attempts previously accounted for 37.0% of the team’s field goals, they have represented 51.6% of the team’s shot attempts during the restart. The accuracy clearly hasn’t suffered, although the Clippers have only really played one good defensive team in the Lakers, so it’s hard to know if that’s sustainable.

Either way, it’s an interesting wrinkle on an offense that was already third in efficiency before the hiatus. If the Clippers’ offensive attack become more potent, that is a scary prospect for the rest of the league.

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