The Los Angeles Clippers head into the offseason looking in ways to improve. Many teams find ways to improve through the draft, free agency, or by finding a new coach. In the case of the Clippers, I felt that coaching would be at the top of their priority list, and in a way it was. The Clips decided to return coach Vinny Del Negro for another year. I have nothing against Coach Del Negro, but I am not sure if he can take the Clippers to a championship level. With Chicago, Del Negro was able to make them a playoff team and many thought would be a future contender. Del Negro was not able to push them to the next level and soon was let go by the Bulls organization. The Bulls would later hire Coach Tom Thibodeau and he would turn the Bulls into championship contenders (with help from Derek Rose).
I feel like the Clippers are in the same state as the Bulls were a few years ago. The only difference is that coach Del Negro did not have Derek Rose during his time in Chicago, but does have Chris Paul in Los Angeles. After watching mostly every Clipper game last season I noticed that Del Negro would rely a little too much on CP3 making something out of nothing. That translates to a very optimistic offense when you’re relying on one player to carry the offense, especially in the fourth quarter.
Del Negro needs to teach a more efficient half court offense and it starts with Blake Griffin. Blake is arguably the most athletic player in the NBA, but his offensive game is overrated. If it was not for his spectacular dunks, he would just be another role player in the NBA. He needs to be better in the post and develop a more consistent 15 foot jumper. It starts with Del Negro and the rest of the coaching staff to develop Blake into an unstoppable force. As we saw in the playoffs, teams were daring Blake to shoot the 15 footer, showing him no respect.
The development of Blake can make the Clippers into a championship contender and make Del Negro a high caliber coach. I still feel someone like Jerry Sloan, with his experience, could make Blake into a power house. It could be Stockton and Malone all over again; instead it will be Paul and Griffin. I believe if the Clips get out to a slow start next season, Del Negro might be replaced during mid season.