Not many sites cover basketball better than SB Nation. In part of their 30-team preview they have covered the Los Angeles Clippers with four different posts. Here is some excerpts from the excellent work their crew did:
A Mandate To Win by Tom Ziller
Ziller says what everyone is thinking about the upcoming season for Chris Paul: there are no excuses anymore. He has the team for championship contention and an actual coach. Everything is on him to take the Clippers to the next step and make progress in the NBA Playoffs.
To be clear, Paul doesn’t deserve additional scrutiny based on last year’s Clippers collapse. But stars of his magnitude are rarely afforded deference from the public and the loudest shrieking heads in the T.V. box. LeBron James certainly wasn’t. The Minnesota edition of Kevin Garnett wasn’t. The Clippers lost because their schemes were easily cracked, Marc Gasol had his way with DeAndre Jordan and Zach Randolph dominated a gimpy Blake Griffin as the series wore on. L.A.’s superior depth — vital in the regular season — didn’t do much to quell Memphis’s superior starting five. Not because of CP3. But then the Cavaliers rarely lost because of LeBron, right?
Reloaded Roster Thinking Championship by Jason Patt
Patt delivers one of the better roster breakdowns you’ll see for the Los Angeles Clippers.
With Paul back in the fold and quality additions on the court and the sideline, the Clippers are in line to have an even better season in 2013-14. Perhaps this time around a deep playoff run will be in order.
Can DeAndre Elevate His Game? by Ricky O’Donnell
With the Kevin Garnett being the move that could have transformed this Clippers team to the favorites in the Western Conference, O’Donnell now looks at whether DeAndre Jordan can be the players the Clippers need.
Can Jordan really go from a gaping hole in the middle to the defensive stalwart the Clippers’ title hopes rest on?
It would take massive gains, but it’s possible. At 6’11, 265 lbs. and with a 7’6 wingspan, Jordan is genetically equipped to lock down the paint. Oh, he has the athleticism required to protect the rim, too. Never have Jordan’s agility and leaping ability been better displayed than when he slammed home an alley-oop dunk over the then-Pistons guard Brandon Knight to hijack the NBA’s web-savvy conscious for days:
How Redick Creates Open Shots for Others by Drew Garrison
Similar to a post I did about J.J. Redick recently, Garrison digs deeper into the shooting guards effect on this offense. His motion’s on the offensive end will not only be beneficial to himself, but to all of his teammates as well:
Redick’s off-ball movement means Doc Rivers will have a player to use in a role similar to Ray Allen’s during his heyday with the Boston Celtics. But it’s not just Redick’s ability to create his own shot that makes him a great fit for Rivers’ team. His natural ability to extend his motion after catching the ball, coupled with his passing ability, turns him into a chaotic off-ball passing threat defenses must address.