L.A. Clippers by the Numbers: 5 Most Important Stats

Errol KrupiarzContributor IMarch 3, 2012

L.A. Clippers by the Numbers: 5 Most Important Stats

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    In this day and age of being a sports fan, statistics are everywhere. Announcers are constantly bombarding viewers with countless amounts of numerical facts. Names and numbers are always flowing on the feed at the bottom of ESPN television channels. Even our beloved NBA box score is an attempt to summarize a 48-minute basketball game using only names, categories and numbers.

    But not all statistics are created equal; some are more relevant than others. Out of the hundreds, and maybe even thousands of different statistics available to us about the Los Angeles Clippers, here are the five numbers that will be most important heading into the second half of the season.

.692

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    That number represents the Clippers' free-throw percentage, the second worst mark of any team in the NBA. Only the Orlando Magic are worse (thanks to Dwight Howard).

    Many NBA basketball games are decided by just a point or two, and too many missed free throws could often be the difference between a win and a loss.

    DeAndre Jordan is the Clippers' biggest culprit, shooting just 48.1% from the charity stripe—although all things considered, that mark would result in a career-high for the fourth-year center.

    The one player who most needs to improve from the line, however, is Blake Griffin. He averages seven free-throw attempts per game—by far the most on the team—and connects at just a 55.9% rate on the season. That number is a mystery, given that Griffin was a 59% shooter from the line in college and brought that number up to 64.2% last year.

    A positive sign: since Griffin made the change to a quicker, more efficient free-throw motion four weeks ago, he's knocked down 61 out of 90 of his attempts (67.8%). Hopefully, Blake can keep that up.

9-8

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    There are just four teams in the Western Conference that have a winning record on the road this year: Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver and our Los Angeles Clippers.

    In fact, the Clippers have already won just as many games away from Staples Center this year as they have in any of the last three NBA seasons (9-32, 8-33, 8-33).

    Chris Paul has to be considered the main reason that this team is performing well away from home; his leadership and composure keeps his team focused wherever they are.

    The Clippers will have to win some tough games on the road to be successful in the playoffs, so this early season success comes as a very good sign.

.007

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    That's the number of percentage points that separate the Los Angeles Clippers (21-13, .618) and the Los Angeles Lakers (22-14, .611) at the top of the Pacific division.

    "Battle Of Los Angeles" finished its run in movie theaters last year but it has carried over to Staples Center where the debate rages on about which team in town is best. The Clippers have long been considered the black sheep of L.A. basketball and a little brother to the Lakers—but little brother has grown up and is finally ready to put up a fight.

    The Lakers and Clippers have split their two games so far this season and have one more date together on April 4th.

    Wouldn't it be something if the two L.A. teams met in the first round of the playoffs? It's quite possible that Lakers/Clippers could end up being the 4-5 seed or 3-6 seed opening-round match-up in the West.

#20

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    This isn't exactly a statistic, it is Ray Allen's jersey number on the Boston Celtics.

    He'd be able to keep that number as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers; no one currently on our roster wears No. 20 on their uniform.

    With the trade deadline less than two weeks away there are rumors swirling that the Boston Celtics are currently fielding offers for its three aging stars, with Allen being linked to the Clippers.

    Randy Foye is doing his best to replace Chauncey Billups in the starting lineup but there has been a big drop off in production at shooting guard. It's not yet clear what the Clippers would have to give up to acquire the NBA's all-time 3-point king, but adding Ray Allen would be a big upgrade at the 2 spot and would put the Clippers right up there with Oklahoma City as favorites to win the West this season.

12-11

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    The most important statistic, of course, is wins and losses.

    And while the Clippers' overall record of 21-13 has the team in the thick of things in terms of positioning for the playoffs, take a closer at the standings and you'll see that L.A. has been just mediocre versus Western teams; Friday night's loss at Phoenix brings the Clippers to 12-11 against conference foes.

    Victories against pitiful Eastern teams like Charlotte, Toronto, New Jersey and Washington (twice) count in the standings all the same, but those are not the kinds of teams the Clippers will be battling with once May rolls around—we need to see some more consistent success against teams in the West.