The Los Angeles Clippers Are on the Right Path: A Look Towards the Future
The Los Angeles Clippers came into this season with a mentality that they could compete for a playoff spot. Well the month of November is coming to an end and the Clippers hold the worst record in the league, an embarrassing 3-13. Their performance so far has definitely been atrocious, but I think that them playing terrible is actually a good thing.
There are a ton of good things I can point out for the Clippers. The Clippers organization now knows that they have two really good players in Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin that just need more solidified assistance. If the Clippers maintain a bad record, they can obtain a top draft pick and there are numerous players that could really help out.
The Clippers haven't had veteran Baron Davis available as their PG so far this season, due to injury. The Clippers seem to be a two man team at this point. Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin are the only sources of offense right now for the Clippers.
If the Clippers finish with the league's worst record and obtain the top draft pick they have a few options to choose from. Baron Davis is getting near the end of his career and if he can't prove that he can stay healthy. then I'd say that the PG position is a main hole. The most probable pick it seems would be to take standout SF Harrison Barnes, who is a freshman at North Carolina.
I personally don't think that Al Farouq Aminu will ever be anything special and an upgrade at SF would be beneficial. The Clippers multifarious bench is one of their strong points right now. They have pretty good depth off of the bench, but that is just about it. They don't have much else to brag about yet, but they soon should have some more things to boast about.
So far this season, Chris Kaman has been obsolete, especially when you juxtapose his stats from last season to this season. He was a first time all star last season and now he is averaging 11.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG. If I were Neil Olshay, I'd want to ship him somewhere else. An inconsistent center can be a real burden. As of now, Vinny Del Negro needs to get DeAndre Jordan more minutes and maybe take away some of Kaman's minutes.
DeAndre Jordan has the potential to be the starting center. He wont be a prolific center, but I think he can be a bigger factor than Kaman. Jordan's size makes him very tough to defend and he is a great shot blocker and better rebounder than Kaman. He undeniably isn't as good of a scorer as Kaman is, but right now Kaman isn't scoring.
Luckily, Kaman has a sprained ankle, so DeAndre Jordan was the starter last night against the Sacramento Kings. Last night, Jordan shot 4-5 from the field with 9 points and 8 rebounds. He wasn't more productive than Kaman has been, but he was more consistent. Kaman shoots way more than five shots and misses a majority of them, leading to a loss of possession.
As a result of Kaman being out, the Clippers won 100-82 last night and DeAndre Jordan demonstrated that he's a better defender than Kaman. As expected, Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin led the scoring and they scored more than half of the points. Now, they need to be surrounded by better talent. Guys who can consistently play well, even if they don't drop 25 points each game.
Eric Bledsoe definitely doesn't cut it as your starting PG. Look at the Miami Heat. They're lack of a point guard slows them down despite how much talent they have. I don't think that Baron Davis will ever be the same even when he is 100 percent healthy.
Kyrie Irving would be the perfect fit for them. Irving is the top PG in the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft. Irving can run the point well and he could definitely be that third necessary piece.
Who they select all depends on how the season turns out. If they end up moving Kaman, Jared Sullinger could be the guy. If Al Farouq Aminu doesn't do too well, Harrison Barnes could be the guy. If Baron Davis never gets back to his old form then Kyrie Irving could be the guy. There is a very good chance that they will get they're third main piece to the puzzle in this upcoming draft.
Eric Gordon is finally at the stage of his career where he is in his best form and it would be smart of the Clippers to try to create a team to make a playoff run next season. I personally don't know if Vinny Del Negro is the guy to get the Clippers anywhere. Del Negro really isn't a good coach and part of that is showing so far this season.
The free agency market in 2011 could also be another option for the Clippers to get more talent. It wont be like 2010, but there are a lot of big name potential free agents in 2011. One major name is Carmelo Anthony and, as of now, it still seems like he will opt out. He definitely would have to consider the Clippers considering all of the potential they have.
How many games will the Clippers win next season?
Next season, if everything goes their way their lineup could end up like this:
PG - Kyrie Irving
SG - Eric Gordon
SF - Carmelo Anthony
PF - Blake Griffin
C - Chris Kaman
Also, if Baron actually make a comeback and plays well, he could be the point guard. People need to take recognition of the possibilities for the Clippers next season and how they should finally take off next season.
To be honest, if you're a Clippers fan, I'd just wait until next season. Don't get your hopes high for any possibilities of going anywhere this season because you have Blake Griffin. Have the mentality of the Knicks last season, except the Clippers being good next season is closer to a sure thing than the Knicks was last season.
Clippers fan, if Carmelo Anthony is a free agent and he is considering Los Angeles, come together and show him all of the possibilities he has here in Los Angeles. Just hope that he isn't as ignorant as LeBron.
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