The Los Angeles Clippers were by far the
most disappoint team last season by winning a miserable mark of 19
games. They had high expectations with the signings of Baron Davis and
Marcus Camby but soon they showed that those expectations wouldn't be
matched by starting the season with a 4-17 record.
Several players couldn't stay healthy during the season as Baron
Davis missed 17 games; Chris Kaman missed 51; Marcus Camby missed 20
and Al Thornton missed 11 games. However even when those players
remained healthy the Clippers players showed an incredible lack of
chemistry between them and the only good news for them is that in this
way they were able to land top talented rookie Blake Griffin in LA.
the addition of Blake Griffin this team will be succeeded as long Baron
Davis as will succeed. Baron Davis is coming off his worst season in
five years by shooting a horrible mark of 37 % from the field and
committing 3.0 turnovers per game. He struggled to remain healthy all
season and when healthy he didn't seem focused on the floor with the
same passion that he showed in the past for the Warriors. For this
season it looks like Davis is fired up to make a bounce back and this
is good news for the Clippers. A focused Baron Davis will bring 20
points and 8/9 assists per game in fast paced team and the Clippers
expect him to be the general floor of this team. Basically it is on
Baron Davis hands and head the Clippers being a good team or a
disappoint team. We already saw what the Clippers were with a bad Baron
Davis. Let's see if he can turn things around.
Looking only for their roster in terms of personal talent this team
looks terrifically good on paper. The biggest addition of the season is
unquestionably Blake Griffin and all the implications for the team.
Basically the Clippers "traded" Blake Griffin for Zack Randolph and
surely this is a huge boost for them. With Zack Randolph on the team,
Baron Davis couldn't form with him a solid and reliable connection,
instead both looked lost on the court. However with Griffin around
Davis can run the floor smoothly and have a big man to finish the
plays. Blake Griffin can score, rebound and pass while his character
and work ethic will turn him into a premium player in the league for
the next decade.
Luckily for him Griffin will play along with one of the best center
duos of the league in Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby. These two players
were constantly injured last season and but look forward to be healthy
for this season. Chris Kaman has missed 77 games in the past two years
and we all remember his breakout season in 2007-2008 when Kaman
averaged nearly 16 ppg, 13 rpg, and 3 blocks per game. Surely we can't
expect him to have similar numbers this season because he will share
his minutes with Marcus Camby and even DeAndre Jordan. However if he is
able to remain healthy then the Clippers would appreciate that.
Marcus Camby is in a similar condition of Kaman as he had a problematic
season last year. Camby has been one of the top rebounders and blockers
of this league in the last seasons and his defense is his best part of
his game. Last season he averaged 10.3 ppg and 11.1 rebounds per game
and these are normal numbers for him and the Clippers need him to
duplicate such numbers while being healthy. They have also DeAndre
Jordan, Craig Smith and Brian Skinner in good serviceable backups and
surely the Clippers have one of the deepest frontcourt of the league.
The Clippers also have young talented
players in their roster. One of them is Eric Gordon and Gordon was one
of the few good reasons of the Clippers last season. In his rookie
season, Gordon averaged 16.1 points per game while shooting 45.6 % from
the field and he was probably the most consistent player of the team
which is surprisingly because he was a...rookie! Now in his sophomore
season, Gordon can develop even more and turn into a terrific player.
He won't have the same pressure of last season and this works favorably
Meanwhile Al Thornton had as well a good
overall season last year by improving his numbers in all departments
but taking in account that he received more 10 minutes per game (from
27.3 mpg to 32.4 mpg) when compared to last season somehow Al Thornton
has the potential to perform even better. He has a solid post game and
the presence of Blake Griffin will help him for his development. The
Clippers also added Sebastian Telfair and Rasual Butler and they have
multiple pieces in their team for any situation.
The Clippers have the potential to be one of the biggest surprises
of the league and be a dangerous team to face in the postseason.
However everything must be in the same page because we already know
that if things don't start to figure out this team can mediocre on the
floor. Baron Davis must assume his leadership and be a role model for
the young players and accept all the decisions from his coach. Blake
Griffin will be the real deal for this team and his impact will be
instant. Few teams in this league have such talent in the same roster
and at the same they can waste everything with poor team chemistry. The
Clippers will be one of the most enigmatic teams for this season and I
guess we will have to wait before making any judgment.