Friday, May 4, 2012
How to not turn the ball over
By Pedro Moura
PLAYA VISTA -- The Los Angeles Clippers shot lights-out in Wednesday's Game 2 loss in Memphis.
Seriously, they did. Chris Paul hit 10 of his 17 shots. Blake Griffin hit 9-of-15. Mo Williams and Nick Young combined to make 8 of their 15 attempts as the team shot a combined 56.7 percent. Even Bobby Simmons made 4-of-5 for his best shooting performance since joining the Clippers in February.
Yet, they still lost -- for two primary reasons. For one, they were sizably outrebounded, 37-28 and 16-4 on the offensive glass. And, for another, they turned the ball over 20 times, nearly seven more than their regular-season average.
Memphis did force the most turnovers in the league during the regular season at just over 17, but the Clippers' second-best 13.3 average shows they were typically able to take care of the ball.
Guard Randy Foye said after Friday's practice the Clippers need to revert back to that if they are going to take Game 3 at home on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT.
Basically, it's unlikely the Clips are going to shoot 57 percent again at any point in this series. So, to combat that drop-off, they need to limit the turnovers and create more opportunities for shots.
"It's just something that we know we can get better at," Foye said of the turnovers. "It's something that we know we can control ... not making crazy passes is something that we can control."
How, exactly, do they plan on controlling it?
It's not as simple as being less careless, he said. They were focused in Wednesday's game. It's more of a matter of, as Reggie Evans similarly said Friday, not being as passive when the opposing Grizzlies were being so aggressive with them.
"It goes into the physical-ness of the game, grabbing, holding, pulling," said Foye, the only Clipper to not turn the ball over in Game 1 or Game 2. "I think we just have to be a little bit stronger."
That would probably help with the rebounding numbers, too.