As the season has ended and the time to assess Vinny Del Negro’s contract approaches, the question must be asked: will the Clippers retain the services of Del Negro for next year? The short answer is… I hope not. This is a team that pretty much quit on Del Negro around mid-March when they lost 3 straight road games and looked to be plummeting out of the playoff race until Chris Paul jump-started them to a few victories in a row. Donald sterling then issued a public statement of support and the rumblings that he would lose his job went out the window.
It seems ridiculous to question Del Negro’s status after he just helmed the a Clippers team with the best winning percentage in franchise history. But when you have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on your teeam, then things change and expectations rise.
There are two main reasons that the Clippers need to look elsewhere. These Clippers simply do not listen to Del Negro; it is in their body language during games. Del Negro will yell a bunch of cliches to them during the huddles and the players will then look down to the floor or up to the sky and then look at each other as if to say, “this one is all on us, because we’re not getting any words of wisdom from the bench.”
The second reason is Del Negro’s lack of offensive imagination. Gregg Popovich greatly exposed what Clippers fans who have been watching all year already know: the Clippers had absolutely ZERO 4th quarter offense this year. The offense was basically to just give Chris Paul the ball and let him improvise. This is actually not a bad strategy, but when you get into the Playoffs and you are going against a well-oiled machine like the Spurs, then it is not going to cut it. And if the Clippers truly have championship aspirations as Paul, Griffin, management, Sterling, and everyone else in the organization seems to truly believe ever since the trade for Paul, then they need to find a championship coach. And Vinny Del Negro is not it.