Every critic seems to believe that the LA Clippers need to make a trade for a playmaker. While the Clippers have their deficiencies, is a playmaker one of them? Be prepared for a lot of numbers in this one.
As a team, the Clippers average 24.3 assists per game, ranking 19th in the NBA. The margin between teams is so slim for the most part, that averaging one more assist would put them in 11th place. Breaking this down in wins and losses, the Clippers average 25.6 assists in wins (11th), and 21.5 assists (28th) in losses. The team has lost 10 games, with 5 of them being without Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. They could definitely use the playmaker when someone is hurt, but when the team is fully healthy, they're fine.
For more perspective, one needs to look at the Clippers and Lakers numbers from last season. The Lakers averaged 25.4 assists (10th) in the regular season and 25.6 assists (2nd) in the playoffs. The Clippers averaged 23.7 assists (23rd) in the regular season, 21.2 (13th) in the playoffs. When the Clippers win games, which is a majority of their healthy games, they average the same amount of assists as last year's defending champions.
In terms of turnovers, the Clippers average 13.2 a game, ranking 5th in the NBA. The only teams that average fewer turnovers are the: Spurs, Blazers, Mavericks, and Suns. Three of those teams have an All-Star point guard running their offense, proving that the Clippers handle the ball well.
When looking at the measure of efficiency, the Clippers are ranked 3rd in FG% (48.7%), and 1st in 3P% (42.%). They're still on pace to be the second greatest three-point shooting team in NBA history.
Simply put, the Clippers take great shots, take great care of the ball, and move the ball well. The Clippers are a two-headed machine, where both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have tremendously improved their ball-handling skills. They could move the ball better, and a Kyle Lowry could always help. It could always reduce the margin for error that both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have. However, the cost of acquiring a Kyle Lowry might not necessarily help the team.
The biggest question for the LA Clippers is making sure they maintain their style of play in the playoffs. All the numbers indicate they're moving the ball well enough to win a championship. The only thing standing in their way is another uncharacteristic meltdown.