The Clippers are ready to get the most highly anticipated season in franchise history underway.
The Los Angeles Clippers are ready to take the town—and the league—by storm.
L.A.'s other team goes into the 2011-2012 season with a completely revamped starting lineup, highlighted by the headline-grabbing acquisition of all-world point guard Chris Paul.
Former All-Star Caron Butler and 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups also come on board this year. They join one of the best young big-man tandems in the league in DeAndre Jordan and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin to round out the most fearsome starting lineup (on paper) in franchise history.
Here's a breakdown of each starter's projected statistics for the upcoming season. For a comprehensive and insightful look at how the Clippers offense will look with all its new parts, click here.
Paul is the best point guard on the planet. No one runs an offense more efficiently than CP3.
Outside of David West, Paul played with purely marginal talent in New Orleans, yet put up gaudy enough numbers to warrant serious MVP consideration in 2008 and 2009.
In addition to being the best floor general in the NBA, Paul is also a capable scorer and deadly shooter. With so many scoring threats around him, Paul won't be required to carry the scoring load for the Clippers. That will allow him to dish it to his teammates all day and rack up the league's highest assist total.
FG Percentage: 49.8
Billups brings veteran savvy and championship experience to a very young Clippers squad. Though primarily a point guard during his career, Billups will slide over to the off-guard when on the floor with Chris Paul.
It should be a smooth transition for Chauncey, as he has done more scoring and less passing as his career has gone on. Billups has the rare ability to launch nearly half of his shots from behind the three-point line and still average about one free-throw attempt for every two field-goal attempts.
Billups is an outstanding shooter who is also a terrific pick-and-roll player. With Blake Griffin as a roll man and dangerous secondary options to kick out to, Billups will be tough to stop in those situations.
3-PT FG Percentage: 40.4
Butler is coming off a championship season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, but the achievement is bittersweet for the former All-Star swingman. Due to a knee injury that sidelined him for most of the season and all of the postseason, Butler played no part in the Mavs' run to a title.
Now he will look to prove himself by contributing on another hopeful contender. Butler will benefit in this offense from Chris Paul's perfect passes when spotting up. Last season, Butler shot 52.2 percent when shooting without taking a dribble, and his 1.348 points per possession in those situations placed him in the top five percent of the entire league.
FG Percentage: 45.9
After winning a unanimous Rookie of the Year award last season, Griffin will now be fed by the best point guard in basketball.
Add that fact to the improvement that comes with a year of experience and an offseason to work on his game, and Griffin will make his first appearance on an All-NBA team in 2012.
Expect more sick highlights in addition to a surprisingly refined skill set from the NBA's next superduperstar.
FG Percentage: 51.2
With Chris Kaman now out of the picture, Jordan will step into the starting lineup as the Clippers center. DJ is an athletic big who does the dirty work on defense and throws down lobs with an emphasis on offense.
Remember what Chris Paul did for Tyson Chandler's career? Expect a similar jump in Jordan's production with Paul dropping him dimes in Lob City.
FG Percentage: 63.6