The Clippers fought the Grizzlies twice, the same venue, the same opponents, but with very different results. The two sides won the first match, Leonard was absent, but Wilson ushered in a rare outbreak in two seasons, with a large double-double of 36 points and 10 assists, and all kinds of inside and outside shots, which also made the team's luxurious bench play long-lost efficiency. Although there were no core of Leonard and George in that game, in the eyes of fans, this was the ideal way for the Clippers to play.
In the second match between the two sides, Leonard returned, Wei Shaoshen returned to his previous state after a game, the bench was not powerful, and the lead established in the opening game was quickly swallowed up by the opponent, coupled with Leonard's second half on the wall, the Clippers had no momentum, and sealed the defeat early. In this game, Wei Shao shot 2-of-8 from the field, scoring only four points while committing five turnovers. And the difference in the personal state of Wei Shao's two games also put the comeback Leonard on the cusp, and many fans have said that Wei Shao's slump is inseparable from Leonard's comeback, so from the team's two performances, why did Wei Shao's state plummet after Leonard's return?
Game 1: How did the Civilian Clippers win?
Without Leonard and George, Wilson became the team's first master, and the difference he brought to the team was obvious. First of all, from the perspective of individual offense, the Grizzlies' defensive strategy at the beginning was to shrink and not give Wei Shao the opportunity to break through the basket, and the team's offense was greatly affected, trailing by more than ten points in a few minutes. But Wei Shao quickly adjusted, he began to ask for the ball in the high position, that is, near the free throw line, close to the defender after receiving a pass from a teammate, relying on the confrontation advantage to kill inside, and as long as Wei Shao goes deep under the basket, if the opponent does not wrap, Wei Shao can easily finish, and if the opponent chooses to pocket, Wei Shao can pass the ball to the big center next to him, and can also create shooting opportunities for teammates on the outside.
Just like the following in this offensive round, Wei Shao played a no-ball cover with Powell on the right side to take away the defenders, and successfully got a one-on-one opportunity to get the position, after receiving the ball, Wei Shao directly turned around and rushed to the basket, and played hard to play two plus one under the opponent's several people.
And after Wei Shao found the shooting touch, the opponent did not dare to continue to empty, then Wei Shao's frontal breakthrough and top blocking ability can play its due effect, and in addition to the position battle of the basket, Wei Shao's biggest change to the Clippers is to improve the team's advancement speed, the team's counterattack advantage really played, under the drive of Wei Shao, the Clippers' counterattack speed has increased significantly, like the figure below: less than four seconds the Clippers five people all landed, of which Wei Shao's breakthrough attracted the opponent's five bags, Covington on the outside was given a huge open opportunity after the split, and after plenty of adjustments, he hit a solid three-pointer.
This is the epitome of the Clippers' offense in a game, that is, Wei Shao holds the ball to attract the bag, and outside teammates such as Covington, Mann, Highland, etc. can make a second breakthrough after receiving the ball to improve the flexibility of the team's roster. It can be said that the core of the Clippers' victory in this game is that Wei Shao improved the team's offensive speed, created a lot of opportunities for the team to play positional battles on the counterattack, and really played the role of the substitute player.
Game 2: How did the Clippers lose?
After Leonard's return, although Wei Shao is still the starting point guard, his possession is significantly reduced, which is also dissatisfied with outside fans, but the key reason why Leonard and Wei Shao cannot win together is that the two basically have no cooperation, when Wei Shao holds the ball, Leonard sinks in the bottom corner waiting for an empty three-point opportunity, his offensive threat is greatly reduced, and when Leonard holds the ball, Wei Shao can only stay outside the three-point line, because of his weak projection threat, often empty by opponents. The following two diagrams are the best proof of this.
The reason for this situation is that neither of them has a good ability to score without the ball, the ability to cut without the ball is weak, and it is difficult to create open scoring opportunities with the help of no-ball cover like George, especially Leonard when he does not have the ball, there is basically no offensive threat, which leads to the fact that no matter who holds the ball when the two are on the court at the same time, it is easy to be caught by the opponent, which is why the Clippers often have an embarrassing situation of four to five.
The second is that neither Leonard nor Wilson have the ability to block and cover, which is the deadliest place for the Clippers. For Wei Shao, holding the ball to block is his favorite, and the only offensive means that can attract the bag, whether in the Thunder, Rockets or Lakers, there is a player with high cover quality and top finishing ability, especially in the Lakers in order to play the role of Wei Shao, the team let James make a cameo appearance to the No. 5 position, and Wei Shao to block and dismantle, and the overall effect is very good, James can often get the opportunity to dunk after the two block, which is also a very effective offensive tactic for the Lakers at that time.
But for Leonard, he doesn't have the ability to cover without the ball and can't play directly with Wilson. At the same time, the team's starting center Zubac has good covering ability, but Zubac's downward speed is difficult after cover, and Wilson or Leonard will meet the opponent's pocket after breaking through to the basket, which is why the Clippers' positional offense looks like some tough one-on-one.
And when Leonard and Wilson can't attract the bag, it is difficult for teammates on the outside to get the opportunity to open three-pointers, just like in this game, Gordon, Mann and other pitchers basically shoot three-point shots against the opponent's defense, and the shooting percentage has dropped from 36% in the previous game to 31% in this game.
As for the reason for Wei Shao's poor performance in this game, the reduction of his own ball is a reason that cannot be ignored, in some cases, when Leonard's own attack with the ball is limited, he is forced to hand the ball into Wei Shao's hands, at this time the position of his teammates is basically locked, and it is difficult for Wei Shao to launch a second attack. Just like the offensive round below, Leonard's blocking and holding the ball was unsuccessful, and he was forced to stop the ball and distribute the ball to Wei Shao on the outside, at this time Zubac was already standing on the inside, and other teammates on the outside did not run without the ball, Wei Shao could only be forced to give the ball to Zubac for individual singles, this finishing method can be said to be the worst choice for the Clippers regardless of whether it can be scored or not.
Secondly, Wei Shao's own shooting sense has decreased in this game, resulting in a decrease in his own ball threat, and the aforementioned Zubac does not have too good downward ability, resulting in Wei Shao's breakthrough often being caught by opponents. But in general, for the current Wei Shao, he needs to have a good number of role players around him to play efficiently, and the Clippers can be said to be the most suitable team for Wei Shao in the league, but through these games, Leonard is not suitable for being on the same floor with Wei Shao, and the two can choose to take it apart and let Wei Shao lead the bench alone. This would free Leonard and give Wilson enough possession and really develop the attacking firepower of the bench.