It’s a simple question, yes. But it’s one that has to be answered before the start of the 2013-2014 season. It seems as if the Los Angeles Clippers are going to stay with this lineup, thinking it’s going to work. That may not be the case, however, as DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin have shown problems in the past. Bad shooting is normal amongst big men, but most of the time, these guys don’t play great defense. Griffin has been known to flop, and that may work, but it won’t forever. Jordan is a solid center, but lacks the scoring prowess the Clippers need in the middle.
How can these guy contend together with so many problems? Well for starters, almost every championship contended has solid big men like Tim Duncan or Chris Bosh. The Clippers do have Blake Griffin, yes, but he’s very inexperienced when it comes to the postseason. That’s what he needs to work on. In the conference finals, for example, will he be able to defend Duncan’s dangerous bank shot? Will he be able to avoid Duncan’s blocks. The only thing that he has working in his advantage at this stage is his youth.
As for DeAndre Jordan, a few teams such as the Golden State Warriors have showed interest in him, but have never aggressively pursued him. This is probably because he’s a solid contributor. Last season with the Clippers, he averaged 8.8 PPG, 7.2 Rebounds per game, and 1.4 blocks per game. These are good enough numbers for a starting center, perhaps, but not good enough for a championship-contending team. Unless you have pure scorers averaging 32 ppg in the playoffs, you need to be averaging more than 10 points per game. In the playoffs, he averaged 3.7 ppg and 6.2 rebounds per game which are both considerably below his regular season averages.
The Clippers have covered literally every other aspect of their game. They were weak, so they brought in shooters. They needed the number one point guard in the NBA so they re-signed Chris Paul. They needed to spread the floor, so they drafted Reggie Bullock. Griffin is one of the best power forwards in the league, without a doubt, but flashiness can only get you so far. Come playoff time, he and Jordan need to start focusing on scoring instead of just dunking. I know that most of their points don’t come off of dunks, but sometimes, a simple layup is just as good. The Clippers will be good next season, there’s no doubt about that. Will they, however, be great?
What do you all think?