Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
On paper the Clippers sport one of the best rosters in the league.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are a devastating one-two punch and the Clips have the right balance of veteran leadership and young players to be an elite team.
Still, Coach Del Negro found a way to play suspect players in key moments.
Holding onto a three point lead and possession with just under 10 seconds left in a regular season game against the Spurs, Del Negro brought in Ryan Gomes to make the critical inbounds pass.
Fitting, Gomes threw an errant pass to Chris Paul that forced the All-NBA PG to turnover the ball or risk a back court violation.
A reasonable fan will ask the question: why was Gomes in the game in the first place?
But it is more than one game. Del Negro often played F Bobby Simmons, and even started him at times, despite poor offensive production and limited defensive performances.
Similar questions can be asked about the playing time for G Eric Bledsoe.
Although the Clippers had quite a logjam in the backcourt last season with Chris Paul, Randy Foye, Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams and Bledsoe, the Clips' best perimeter defender should have gotten more burn during the season.
Bledsoe found his calling in the playoffs as an offensive spark that could rattle the opposing team's best perimeter player.
He ran through screens chasing Mike Conley and OJ Mayo in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies and then Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in the second round against the Spurs.
By the end of the playoffs, Bledsoe looked winded. And while any superb athlete would have a hard time chasing around guys like that, there is no question that had Del Negro given him more minutes during the regular season, he would have paced himself better.