The Clippers crept out of the Spurs series despite a stat that should have held them back. In Game 5 the Clippers shot 7% from 3-point range. They made 1-of-14 shots from behind the arc. They lost, but remarkably just by four. In Game 6 the Clippers went 4-of-18, a 22% clip. They managed to win that one — and it almost seemed as if 3-point shooting didn’t matter to the Clippers. But it does. And the deeper they go the more it will. The Clippers shot 52% and needed every ounce of it to win Game 7–and the upward trend continued.
When a team’s 3-point percentage goes up, its assists usually rise accordingly. The Clippers shot 42% from 3 in their Game 1 win against the Rockets, who shot just 32% from 3. Clippers had 31 assists to the Rockets’ 24. Chris Paul is usually the first Clipper that comes to mind when you’re talking assists, but Paul was out. The great passer Blake Griffin capped off his triple-double with 13 assists. If the Clippers approach 30 assist per game, they’ll go to the NBA Finals.