Clippers must improve defense to keep pace in the Western Conference

A couple weeks back, the LA Clippers were on the leaders in forcing turnovers and getting in the passing lanes. Even last week, they were No. 1 in the NBA in defensive efficiency. A couple of afternoon games and now a road trip have dropped them from No. 1 to No. 19 in just a matter of days.

“We should be one, two, three, four, five — a top-five defensive team, without a doubt,” guard Austin Rivers said after the 120-107 loss to the Spurs. “So the fact that teams are hanging up these amount of points on us, we have to figure out whatever we have to figure out. But it’s getting ridiculous.”

According to a report from the LA Times, the Clippers have given up 119.3 points per game in their last four losses.

What’s been most disturbing is the team’s inability to defend the three-point line in that stretch. In the last three losses, opponents are shooting almost 45 percent from beyond the arc against the Clippers. 

“We’ve got to get more consistent on defense,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We’re going to get two days of practice coming up and we’re going to work on it.”

The Clippers head to Oklahoma City next for a matchup with the Thunder Friday night. 

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Rohit Ghosh

LA Clippers beat writer
Rohit is an L.A.-based sports journalist who contributes to SB Nation's Silver Screen and Roll, AccuScore, and the Taxi Squad Show based out of Utah. He also runs his own sports blog, Metta Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter @RohitGhosh where he discusses AccuScore projection data, a variety of sports-related topics, and even some Jazz music.


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