Thursday, October 18, 2007

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers season preview

Projected Starting line-up
G Sam Cassell
G Cuttino Mobley
F Corey Maggette
F Tim Thomas
C Chris Kaman

Brevin Knight
Quinton Ross
Al Thornton

Last year
It almost seems like a dream, doesn't it? A dream where the L.A. Clippers went deeper into the playoffs then the L.A. Lakers. Of course, it was not a dream, but it was definitely a tease for the Clipper fans. Not only did the Lakers regain their #1 L.A. based basketball team status, but the Clips went right back to the usual spot of NBA bottom feeders. Alright...not that bad, but they didn't make the playoffs. So what happened? Let's start with Shaun Livingston. Here is the guy that was picked to be the future PG of the team. Sam Cassell was a huge part of the success in 05-06, but that was also his last year of usefulness. Age will catch up to players at some point, and 06-07 was that year for Cassell. That would have been ok if Livingston took that next step, but it never happened. And I am not talking about that next step that pretty much tore his leg into two. Even before that injury, he was not producing the way the Clips envisioned. Then we have Corey Maggette. This guy could get to the free throw line whenever he wanted. He is a scoring machine. Does he play great defense? Maybe, maybe not. But obviously being a 6th man was not clicking with Maggette and last year coach Mike Dunleavy would not budge on giving Maggette a chance in the starting line-up. Sure it's nice to have a scoring punch off the bench, but that is only if your starting line-up is strong. Obviously, Maggette might have helped more starting and getting 40 minutes, seeing how with him off the bench, the Clips were ranked 23rd in PPGs. Next up we have Chris Kaman, who looked strong and full of potential in 05-06, signed a nice contract and then all of a sudden struggled all season. That is a tough one for the Clips, Kaman DID look good the previous season. Finally we have Elton Brand, who threw all this, still played like an all-star. Except there is two types of all-stars. The Mehmet Okur/Rip Hamilton/Josh Howard type of all-stars, and then the Kobe/Lebron/Bosh/Wade/Duncan/Garnett superstars. I would put Brand right in the middle of those two categories, which is not good enough to carry this team to the playoffs despite all these issues.

Waived Daniel Ewing
Released James Singleton
Drafted Al Thornton
Signed Brevin Knight
Signed Jose Powell
Signed Guillermo Diaz
Waived Will Conroy

Forget about who they got and didn't get. This upcoming season became a lost cause when Elton Brand blew his left achilles tendon. He might not be able to carry a team solo, but at least there is that slight chance he could. Now with out him, the Clips already can start to count how many ping pong balls they will have come draft lottery night. At least rookie Al Thornton is going to get some nice PT this season. As for Brevin Knight, he would be a decent backup to a star PG. Giving 12-15 minutes rest to a Kidd or Deron Williams. But he is backing up the even older Sam Cassell which means that Knight is going to see a lot more then 15 minutes a game. He can get assists and steals, but he is also zero threat for shooting making it much easier to guard him.

The year of the Maggette. That is pretty much what we are looking at this season. Good for him also since this is a contract year. Let's look at the potential for the Clips here... Kaman regains some of that potential he showed, and becomes a 17/8 type of player this season. Maggette gets 24 or 25 a game. Cassell is able to give one more season of production. Tim Thomas steps up and does something besides shooting threes. And this team is able to stay around 500 until Brand comes back after the all-star game. IF that happens, this team is playoff bound.
Of course, that is some mighty big if's. More then likely, Kaman will be overwhelmed without the help of Brand clearing the inside for him. Cassell will take that next step down due to age. Maggette will get 24 or 25 but forget what an assist is. Tim Thomas will continue to shoot 3's and that's it. And when Brand comes back, it will be too late to dig out of the 12 below 500 level that the Clips will be at. And by the end of next year, it really will seem like a dream that this team was the top L.A. based NBA franchise just a few short years ago.

What to look for
1) New franchise player Maggette - Can Dunleavy finally give the power and freedom to Maggette?
2) PG - With Sam Cassell and Brevin Knight, this should be an interesting year for the Clippers PG productivity.
3) Tread water till Feb. - Brand should be back with 2 months to go. Can the Clippers stay in the hunt till then?

Sorry Clip fans. This team might not get blown out all that often this season, but they also won't be able to beat anyone in the 4th quarter. The age factor with Cassell and Mobley as well as just a lack of talent overall for this team will make it more then difficult to be at 500 for the all-star break.

Between 20 and 24 wins this season with a 14th place finish in the West.

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Los Angeles Lakers drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Los Angeles good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Lakers team down.

I which I could see some Lakers games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Los Angeles Lakers. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Lakers Go!!!