When you finish last almost every season like the Los Angeles Clippers do, the following season always seems to hinge on the prized lottery pick.
This year the Clippers have two: Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe. Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, missed all of last season with a preseason injury, but he is healthy now and he joins Bledsoe as two contenders for Rookie of the Year. These guys are not only contenders for that prestigious award, but they can help turn the Clippers into a legitimate force in the west.
Los Angeles has not made the postseason since a run to Game 7 of the Conference Semifinals against Phoenix back in 2006. In the last three seasons, the Clippers have averaged fewer than 24 wins, but this just could be the year for a real turnaround. Stop me if you heard that one before, Clipper fans. But the hope is not just on some prized draft pick. Griffin and Bledsoe will be joined by all-star center Chris Kaman and veteran point guard Baron Davis. Throw in small forward Ryan Gomes and the two rookies this year and the Clippers have the talent to hang with anybody in the Western Conference, even the team they share the Staples Center with.
The Los Angeles Clippers schedule starts with a home date against Portland on Oct. 27. They play four of their first five games at home. An 11-game road swing looms for nearly the entire month of February. It starts in Atlanta and ends 21 days later with a “road" game against the Lakers.
Los Angeles Clippers Offseason Moves
It was during the 2009-10 NBA season when the Clippers began their overhaul. They unloaded Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair to clear cap space for the delusional pursuit of LeBron James, but in the end they nabbed Gomes and Randy Foye. Other losses include Marcus Camby, Steve Blake and Drew Gooden. Bledsoe (Kentucky), Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest) and Willie Warren (Oklahoma) were added through the draft.
2010-11 Los Angeles Clippers Futures Odds
The Clippers odds to win the NBA championship are +8000 while their NBA odds to win the Western Conference are +4000. For the Clippers to reach the Western Conference finals their odds are +2000.
2010-11 Los Angeles Clippers NBA Picks and Analysis
The Clippers have plenty of talent, veteran experience and rookies loaded with potential, but they also have plenty of question marks and these things that look good on paper do not always translate to the court. Los Angeles will rely on a new coach and two rookie starters, which will definitely cause some headaches.