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A revolution in Downtown LA: Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Chris Paul, SG JJ Redick, SF Jared Dudley, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan
 
Key Bench Players: G Jamal Crawford, SF Matt Barnes, PF Antawn Jamison, PG Darren Collison, F/C BJ Mullens, G Willie Green
 
Offseason Additions: JJ Redick, Jared Dudley, Antawn Jamison, BJ Mullens, head coach Doc Rivers
 
Offseason Subtractions: PG Eric Bledsoe, G Chauncey Billups, SF Grant Hill, PF Lamar Odom, C Ronny Turiaf
 
FACT OR FICTION: Doc Rivers’s addition makes this team into a title contender.
 
FACT. So much fact. Fact all up and down those nifty new banners in STAPLES Center.
 
The real question is…
 
FACT OR FICTION: The real key to the Clippers’s championship puzzle is in the front court.
 
FACT. All the puzzle pieces are on the table. It’s just up to Doc Rivers to put them together…for the most part.
 
A multi-time All-Star and perennial MVP candidate? Check. Chris Paul, you can stand up. A cadre of shooters that will keep every opposition scattered? Check. JJ, Jared, Jamal, Jamison and Barnes, you too. A championship level coach whose whiteboard proficiency won’t be called into question late in games…or late in April? Check. Doc, stop shouting, you can leave.
 
But a pair of big men who can a) destroy opponents on the boards, b) punish defenses by hitting wide open spot up jumpers, c) hit free throws and d) stay on the court? That box is blank. For now. DeAndre and Blake, sit down until further notice.… Read more...

The Unenviable Problems of the Los Angels Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are already experiencing the greatest season in franchise history.
 
From nearly any viewpoint, the team has never flown at these heights of on or off court success. For just their second time in Donald T. Sterling’s ownership, the Clips have not one, but two starters in the All-Star game in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They are playing at a .679 winning percentage, which is almost 80 points higher than their second-best record in over three decades of basketball. At 36-16, if the Clippers lost every game for the rest of the season, they’d still be tied for the 8th highest win total in their franchise’s history.
 
Looking into the future, if the team keeps it’s current trajectory, they will not only attain a top-4 seed for the first time and home court advantage in the playoffs for just the second time, but seem to be on their way towards capturing their maiden Pacific Division banner.
 
Most importantly, this season was the first time ever, at any in point in any season, where the casual basketball fan could say “the LA Clippers are the best team in the league.” That’s not hyperbole or exaggeration; the Clips have never been good enough in their entire existence as a franchise at any moment in time where someone could mention their name at the top of the league. Quite incredible.
 
But the present isn’t just what has Clippers fans excited–it’s the future. After years of squandering draft selections with titanically busted picks, signing over-priced free agents that no one else wanted and allowing players to walk and flourish elsewhere, the Red, White and Blue have finally given their long suffering followers a reason to hope.
 
It all starts with the top; Chris Paul holds high the belt as the undisputed point guard champion, no discount double check necessary. Blake Griffin has his detractors–count MAMBINO amongst them–but he’s only in his third season at the age of 22 with two All-Star berths and a 2nd Team All-NBA nod to his name. Even as his post game, jump shot, free throw shooting and defense leave a Kia-sized raft of shortcomings to be desired, Griffin still has years to grow into a true dominator.
 
The rest of the squad looks teeming with talent. DeAndre Jordan performs at times like the $43 million he signed for, providing the defense and shot blocking that drew comparisons to Tyson Chandler two years ago. Eric Bledsoe came to the Clippers from the Thunder in a rare lapse of judgment from Jedi Master Sam Presti. Chris Paul’s back-up has turned into one of the league’s finest back court defenders and one of the brightest prospects in the NBA. Jamal Crawford has been shockingly fantastic this year after a much maligned full mid-level exception signing, providing some of the playmaking that no other Clipper besides CP3 has been able to bring onto the table. Meanwhile, Matt Barnes continues to play career-best ball and Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Grant Hill and Willie Green perform their supporting roles well, even at a combined price of around $19 million.
 
Put this all together? You’ve got a championship contending team. The Clippers play like few incarnations ever have before it, locking down oppositions in the half court set, destroying oppositions in transition and relying heavily on two seemingly unstoppable All-Stars. Moreover, the Clips seem to have the room and assets to improve; Eric Bledsoe’s days with the team seem limited with free agent-to-be C… Read more...

Fact or Fiction: 2009 NBA Draft Class Contract Extensions

As the country was out giving candy to either children or twenty-something girls that were both curiously wearing the same size costumes, the NBA’s deadline for 2009 Draftee extensions came and went. The draft class ended up with seven different players being offered multi-year deals, while the rest would go on to being restricted free agency next summer. Thus, players like OKC’s Eric Maynor, Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans and Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings could be extended offer sheets by other teams, only to have them matched by their current squad. 
Before this week, Clippers forward Blake Griffin had been the only 2009 rook to sign an extension, a five year pact worth approximately $95 million. Since then, six of these twenty-somethings have signed within the past few days, four just before the midnight buzzer Wednesday night. 
Resuscitating a feature from THE GREAT MAMBINO’s blog predecessor NYisMecca, we’re going to examine these deals and ask “these young fellows worth the money: Fact or Fiction?”

James Harden: $80 million over 5 years and Blake Griffin: $95 million over 5 years 
2012 stat lines: (Harden) 16.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg .491/.390/.846 shooting and (Griffin) 20.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.2 apg .549/.125/.521 shooting
Fact.  Griffin was an open and shut case for an extension here, even with a documented history of knee injuries. By the time this extension even begins, he’ll most be one of the most decorated Clippers in franchise history (two presumed All-Star teams, one 2nd Team All-NBA nod and perhaps another one on the way). This isn’t to speak to Griffin’s still burgeoning potential–he’s got enough room to grow to fit both of Boris Diaw’s boobs–but rather to the dubious distinction which is being a good player on the worst franchise in American sports history. Owner Donald Sterling couldn’t let Blake go no matter what the price was for keeping him. 

Harden has had his detractors the past few days after the trade to Houston, but after his ridiculous 37 point, 12 assist night (even against the lowly Pistons), I can’t imagine there’s very many people yelling “fiction” at his max deal. The Beard is questionably one of the top-20 players in the NBA right now, and could end up being one of it’s 15 best in April. Fact, fact, fact over the validity of this contract.
 
DeMar DeRozan: $40 million over 4 years

2012 stat line: 16.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, .422/.261/.810 shooting
(From El Miz)

Hilarious Fiction, on par with the movie Super Troopers.  DeMar can’t create his own shot, doesn’t defend particularly well, and in fact doesn’t really do anything other than dunk particularly well.  In 2014-15 the Raptors owe Landry Fields $8.5 million and DeRozan $10 million (unless its escalates every year, in which case it’ll probably be around $11.25 million) — so they’ll owe at least $18.5 million to two wing players, neither of whom is an elite scorer, neither of whom can even create their own shot. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo needed to be fired yesterday; how much longer can that guy ride the coattails of Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash? Toronto should have let DeRozan go to restricted free agency. I highly doubt any other team would give him a contract of this size after another decent but largely uninspiring season from a

one-dimensional player.
Jrue Holiday: $41 million over 4 years
2012 stat line: 14.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.5 apg .432/.380/.783 shoot… Read more...

Has the Little Brother Finally Grown Up? – Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview




Can’t believe they got Dwight too.

Starting Five: PG Chris Paul, G Eric Bledsoe, SF Caron Butler, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan

Key Bench Players: G Chauncey Billups, SG Jamal Crawford, SG Willie Green, SF Matt Barnes, SF Grant Hill, PF Lamar Odom, C Ryan Hollins, C Ronnie Turiaf

Key Additions: SG Jamal Crawford, SF Grant Hill, PF Lamar Odom

Key Departures: G Mo Williams, SG Nick Young, G Randy Foye, PF Kenyon Martin, PF Reggie Evans

Despite having Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the poor Clippers can’t catch a break in Los Angeles or in the Pacific Division. Perhaps they were expecting the Lakers to slowly decline while trying to ride Kobe off into the sunset? Unfortunately, that’s not how the Lakers roll and they managed to completely retool on the fly, retaining all their core assets except Bynum and adding two superstars. That’s gotta hurt for the Clippers, who were probably planning on flipping the switch this year and triumphing over their cross-town rivals to win their FIRST Pacific Division crown.

The continued relevance of the Purple and Gold aside, this team has a lot of pieces, but there is an equal number of question marks here. Although they have several young superstars surrounded by a tantalizing combination of young talent and veteran leadership, this roster doesn’t scream title contender in an increasingly top-heavy NBA. Forget the Heat. Would this team even be favored against the aging Spurs?


If there is ever a roster that will be defined by injuries and its intangibles, it’s this one. My first concern is health with this Clippers squad. Chauncey Billups will almost certainly miss the beginning of the season, while Paul and Griffin both have had checkered injury histories themselves. All of their new additions are on the downside of their careers and it’s totally unclear how much they are going to get from an ancient Grant Hill, a  wounded Lamar Odom on the rebound, and Jamal Crawford, who fell off quite a bit last year and should continue to decline. Nick Young and Randy Foye weren’t the answer on the bench, but they did provide fresh legs and some energy. They also knew their role on the team– something that Jamal Crawford has complained about at just about every stop on his NBA career.

Beyond that, I’ve listed 14 players as the starting five and key bench players. What’s the 10 man rotation? Lots of coaches struggle with rotations, but Vinnie Del Negro may be the worst. Although he did a much better job in the playoffs last year, he’s still a liability and prone to distractions (like squirrels). Clippers fans should not be confident that VDN can get the most of this deep and versatile roster, and that’s troubling. There are guys with defined roles and career bench players, but how do they have enough minutes to play Billups, Paul, and Crawford while continuing to develop Bledsoe and Willie Green? They also have 3 guys who’d like to play 30 minutes at SF and a logjam in the front court. Reggie Evans, who bailed out Blake Griffin in the playoffs with his toughness and rebounding last year, has been put out to pasture.

Really though, this roster comes to the development of their young talent in the frontcourt. Most of these guys are known quantities, but what DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin provide will determine if this is an up-and-coming contender or a middling playoff team. Blake Griffin’s appalling inability to shoot free throws or make anything where his hand wasn’t actually inside the rim really hurt this team last year. It also kept him off the court at the en… Read more...

Why Blake Griffin’s Injury Ruins the 2012-2013 Clippers…and Beyond

This week, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The All-NBA Second Team forward was hurt during a workout for the US Olympic team, which he had made ironically because two forwards in front of him, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh, are recovering from in-season injuries. Coach and current front office executive Vinny del Negro stated after the surgery that the Clippers were very confident that he’ll be back for training camp and get back to 100%. So, as bad as that news is, it’s probably the best news that we could have gotten, which is great.” As news from Vinny is so many times, that statement couldn’t be any less illuminated. The injury to Griffin is relatively small, but the minimalist nature of the surgery couldn’t be more different than that potentially irreparable effect that it could have on the Clippers’ 2012-2013 season, and every season going forward.

The immediate concerns are the most apparent; Griffin has now had three injuries to the same knee within a three-year window. He fractured his left knee cap on a non-contact injury during the 2009 preseason, sprained it during the playoffs in May, and finally this past week in a team practice. I can’t say definitively that any of these injuries are related to each other, but regardless of if they are or are not, the Clippers have to be concerned that their first bonafide star attraction in franchise history has consistently gotten hurt in the same body part multiple times in a non-contact situations. As Simmons stated recently on a podcast, only the Clippers could ink a man to a $95 million dollar deal one day, and then have him suffer an injury requiring surgery the next day. 

 However, the long-term importance of this injury actually has to do with Blake’s short-term plans. As devastating as the prospects of a bum knee on the Clippers’ homegrown superstar would be, it’s the lost time this summer that could potentially banish Donald Sterling’s team from the brief gasp of relevant air that they’ve been able to breathe the past eight months.

As a seasoned Clippers doubter, I have my reservations about Griffin’s prospects as a future superstar in the league, but as a lover of the sport, I have to temper all of that with an air of positivity. In only 148 games, Griffin has thrown down a ridiculous 21/11/3 stat line on 52% shooting. The key number in that sentence was 148, meaning that Blake has missed zero games the past two years, including starting all 11 this postseason. He’s the most spectacular athlete in the league outside of LeBron James, with a dazzling combination of power, speed, quickness and hand-eye coordination that’s simply dizzying to watch. His dignity-robbing dunks are as much a trademark as they are a terrifying eventuality to the opposing team (and their fans), but he didn’t make the All-NBA Second Team this season just because he’s a spectacular showman. Griffin is a tenacious ball player, willing to scrap on the floor for loose balls, fight for offensive rebounds (finishing 5th and 7th in the league the past two seasons) and of course, stay on the floor at all times (5th and 4th in minutes). The detractions on Blake are numerous, but no one can argue that he is one of the most exciting and athletic players in the entire world with an endless ceiling.
That being said, the holes in Blake’s game are very easy to point out. First and foremost, despite all of his power and at
Read more...

The Most Clippers-y Clippers Team Ever

Let’s go over the laundry list of what the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Clippers accomplished this year:

  • .606: Their best winning percentage ever, years in Buffalo and San Diego included
  • 40 wins: Their 8th highest total ever…even with only a 66-game season
  • 2nd Place in the Pacific Division: Only the 2nd time they’ve ever finished that high (2006) in LA, and only the third time overall (1974-75)
  • Wins a playoff series for the 3rd time ever
  • Wins their first ever 7 game series
  • Wins a playoff Game 7 for the first time ever
  • 2 NBA All-Stars: Only the second time two players were ever selected to the All-Star team together (1976: Randy Smith & Bob McAdoo in Buffalo)
  • 2 NBA All-Star Starters: The first time any Clipper was selected an All-Star starter, let alone two at the same time
  • Chris Paul on 1st Team All-NBA: This isn’t official yet, but I would be incredibly surprised if Chris Paul wasn’t the first 1st Teamer since Bob McAdoo in 1976
  • Breaks a 17-game losing streak in San Antonio, dating back to January 31st, 2002
  • Breaks a 16-gamer losing streak in Utah, dating back to January 21st, 2004

In short, this has been the greatest Clippers season in their entire 42 year history, including their brief, but slightly more successful tenures in Buffalo and San Diego. A team who’s basketball plans always laid in the future, owner Donald Sterling finally had a squad that was ready for the present. Faced with unprecedented preseason expectations, the Clips in many ways exceeded them. Now merely dark horse pick to make a run to the NBA Finals, at one time many had lofty expectations that this team could be title contenders. They finished the season with 40 wins, good for a .606 winning percentage, slightly better than their 1974-1975 Buffalo Braves antecedents. Within those 40 W’s includes two wins that broke gigantic losing streaks in the fortresses of San Antonio and Utah, dating back nearly a decade.

Individually, two Clippers reached heights previously unimaginable by almost any duo in the past. Both Blake Griffin and the newly acquired Chris Paul (instantly the best player in franchise history upon the trade) were named All-Star starters. In Paul’s case, he’s a shoo-in for 1st Team All-NBA, with Griffin under consideration by many for 2nd or 3rd team honors. But even all the achievements as a team and as individuals couldn’t describe how prolific this particular season of Clippers basketball was.

The Griffin-coined “Lob City” was a nightly Sportscenter Top 10 highlight in waiting. With Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Mo Williams supplying the passes and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin throwing down the dunks, the Clippers became “must-see TV” literally overnight. Griffin threw down buckets with a ferocity not seen since the days of the Reign Man, his epic flushes over Kendrick Perkins and Pau Gasol overshadowing how important both games were within the context of the season. Chris Paul, whose health had long been in question, seemed to not only be fully functional, but channeled the ghosts of Isaiah’s past. The Clips were winning, and spectacularly at that. Tickets for the red, white and blue suddenly (and shockingly) became the hottest in town. For years, Clippers seats were the ones you’d buy when your home team came to town and rather than splurge on halfway decent Lakers tickets, you bought lower bowl seats outside Staples Center for half face value. The Clippers tickets weren’t just a dime a dozen – they b… Read more...

The Rise and Fall of Blake Griffin’s Likeability


Last year, if you asked a random NBA fan to describe Blake Griffin, you’d hear people in awe of his athletic accomplishments. Human highlight film. Incredible dunker. Athletic wunderkind. Freak of nature. In other words, most people’s impressions of Blake Griffin came from Sportcenter’s Top 10 and his YouTube highlights. This year, it’d be a different story entirely. You’d still hear about his dunking, but you’d also hear him called a whiny brat. Coddled superstar. Showboat. How did this dramatic 180 happen so fast, taking place over a few months instead of the years it usually takes an NBA player to establish themselves as a reviled villain?

A Promising Beginning

In many ways, Blake Griffin is a feel good story that should be celebrated around the league. He’s a kid from Oklahoma City who played ball at Oklahoma, his local university. He even returned for an entirely unnecessary second year of college, averaging an unbelievable 22.7 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He was a unanimous All-American who swept all six of the National Player of the Year Awards. Blake even carried his team on a run deep into the tournament before losing to eventual champion North Carolina.

At the NBA draft, something amazing happened: Blake Griffin was able to give the Clippers hope for the future. The Clippers, of 0 NBA titles, 0 Western Conference titles, and (impressively) 0 Pacific Division titles, suddenly had someone so talented that he could turn the franchise around. In a draft packed with talent like James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, and Hasheem Thabeet (ha-ha), it was a no brainer to take Blake Griffin at number one. His career started off with a bang and Blake was the Summer League MVP by a large margin. I remember watching him dismantle the Lakers summer squad with an athleticism and ferocity that surpassed anything I had expected. Then, the most Clippers-esque event of his career happened in the last preseason game: he landed on his kneecap and had season ending knee surgery before he could play a single game.

YouTube Sensation on the Rise

The 2008-2009 Clippers stumbled to a 19-63 finish without Blake, but hope was on the horizon. Although the 2009-2010 incarnation won only 29 games, Blake left a hell of a mark on the franchise and created buzz in Clipperland which exceeded that of their last playoff team, a promising squad led by MVP candidate Elton Brand. He was a walking Top 10 play that was exceptional to watch on ESPN every night. His leaping ability and relentless attacking created an unparalleled series of dunks that simply dominated the Internet. He was the talk of the league and if you haven’t seen his dominant performance at the 2011 Dunk Contest, drop everything and watch this now.

He wasn’t just a dunker though. Griffin was also the first rookie All-Star reserve voted in by the coaches since Duncan and won all six rookie of the month awards. He amazingly played 82 games and was the first rookie to average the vaunted 20/10 since Brand himself. Off the court, he was witty and likable. He lent his charm to Funny or Die’s hysterical arsenal of videos and the Norm Macdonald show. The dude seemed poised for a meteoric rise to the top of the NBA, both in terms of on the court performance and fan adoration.


Unexpected Downfall

This year, Blake Griffin has continued his on-court ascent, making the Clippers a legit free agency destination and starting at power forward in the 2012 NBA All-Star game. After Chris Paul joined the circus, the Clippers went from entertaining to “Lob City,” must-see TV that i… Read more...

Clippers Curse is Real: Billups out for the year

This is the part where I would usually do my “Life and Times of the Los Angeles Clippers”, exhaustively detailing the most ridiculous and painful moments in San Diego turned Los Angeles Clippers history. With the news of Chauncey Billups’ season-ending Achilles tear coming to light this afternoon, I would have just another footnote to write with some hilariously appropriate jab for LA’s ugly red-headed stepchild. As a life-long Angeleno, I’ve had a front seat view as the Clips have taken what should be a luxury automobile and repeatedly crashed it head first into a brick wall, only to be repainted with the same red, white and blue colors whose stink can only be identified with one putrid source. They’re best known for being the butt of late-night television punch-lines, or one of the first ten names David Stern reads in June. Of course I think of them as a pathetic joke, but mostly I view them as a sports tragedy. In a hotbed of basketball in the second biggest market in country, the infinite resources that other small market teams would kill for are routinely wasted at the hands of an owner who knows how to do nothing but kill what he has. I’ve gone on record as saying how despicable Donald Sterling is as an owner, but I truly think it’s his flaws as a human that lead to the Clippers Curse.

Unfortunately, Simmons already did the “Life and Times of the Los Angeles Clippers” better than I ever could have. If you even get halfway through his “open letter to Blake Griffin”, you’ll see that the Clips’ history is littered not just with missteps by ownership or management, but also freak occurrences that seem to happen time and time again. A lot of people like to say that curses aren’t real, that things happen in sports, and there are so many complexities involved with having to appease millions of constituents. But I think if you read what has happened to the Clippers over the past 30 years, you’ll see that it can’t just be bad luck and the consequence of following a physical sport. No Clippers boon can bloom without it withering away and rotting soon thereafter. Just to be a completist, I’ll pick up where Simmons left off, the summer of 2009.

July, 2009: The Clippers trade Zach Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies. Randolph would blossom in Memphis, becoming an All-Star and one of the most efficient power forwards in the league.

October, 2009: After a thunderous break-away dunk in a meaningless preseason game, rookie phenom and future All-Star Blake Griffin comes down on his left knee hard, creating a stress fracture in his left patella. This injury leaves the first overall pick out for the season.

February, 2010: With another disastrous losing season already locked up, the Clippers GM/Coach Mike Dunleavy steps down from his coaching duties, though keeping his title as GM.

March, 2010: For the second time in a month, the Clippers fire Mike Dunleavy, this time as GM of the team. Dunleavy reportedly finds this out through internet reports and friends, rather than the organization. You stay classy, Donald Sterling.

April, 2010: Dunleavy reports that despite having a guaranteed contract that runs through the end of the 2011 season, the Clippers had stopped paying him, on the grounds that he voluntarily resigned from his duties. The amount is roughly $6.5 million dollars.

February, 2011: Blake Griffin is named as an All-Star reserve, the Clippers first representative since Elton Brand. He also is selected for the dunk contest during All… Read more...

Burning Question #6: Are the Clippers a title contender?

Merry Christmas! For your gift (besides this wonderful blog we do for free…you thankless sack), you will be magically transported to an alternate universe where the Los Angeles Clippers are the talk of the town. In this make-believe land of pretend, the Clips will be predicated as a playoff team by all, and a title contender by most. Chris Paul, the best point guard in the game, will be roving the perimeter, throwing dishes to energetic bigs Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, with All-Stars Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups and Mo Williams bombing from distance. As we drop further into insanity and delusion, this fantasy Clippers team will be talking trash to their 16-time locker room neighbor Lakers, even though they’ve competed in two exhibition games, had 7 days of training camp and won approximately nothing. But now Christmas is over, and your gift is over. Time to return to reality, where all of this really happened.

WHAT THE EFF? THIS ALL REALLY HAPPENED? WHEN? WHERE? HOW? HUH???

That sums up my feelings on how I feel about the Clippers. I can’t believe this happened, and I buy some of the hype, but not all of it. In fact, I can’t believe that I even had to use “Are the Clippers a title contender?” as a title for a post. Let’s get after it, shall we, friends? And for real, Merry Christmas.

Why is this even a question?

Because the Clippers acquired Chris Paul, Blake Griffin is a mack truck in the form of an ugly human being, the team re-signed DeAndre Jordan and acquired Mo Williams, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. In that, they have two of the best 15 players in the league, a top-5 center and 3 guys in Mo, Billups and Butler that have been to the Finals (though Caron was sitting for his trip). They have the most talented backcourt in the league, and arguably the best starting frontcourt in the West.
The Clippers gave up a lot for Chris Paul, but what this says most to me is the tremendous depth that the team had before the trade. Even after giving up Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman, the team still seems as loaded as ever. As amazing as it is, the Clippers have more former All-Stars in their starting lineup (four) than the Lakers have on their entire roster (three). Even in my most vehement Lakers-induced disdain for the Clippers, I have to say that this is one of the best 8 teams in the league. Wow. I just threw up.

How will this play out?

I just listed all the strengths of this team, and believe me, there are many. But looking past the highlight reels of Lob City, the ballyhooed acquisition of Paul and the sexy story of the bridesmaid Clippers perhaps becoming the starring attraction in a city shared with the Dodgers and Lakers, this team has some serious problems.

No frontcourt depth: The recent signing of Reggie Evans was a great move by GM Neil Olshey, but as LeBron, Wade and Bosh showed in last year’s Finals, even the youngest and most athletic of legs will wear down over a 82 game season. What happens when you put those legs through a 66 game sprint with a three-man rotation? Evans is a solid piece and a definite rotation player, but in order for Blake and DeAndre to play less than 40 minutes a night, they need another big man to sop up the minutes to preserve something for the playoffs (and this isn’t even taking into account Jordan’s penchant for fouling the CRAP out of guys).

Lack of continuity: These guys haven’t played together. Granted, if there ever was going to be a player to bring your team together in a 10-day span, it would be Chris Paul. However, Butler, Billups and CP3 are all b… Read more...