Step Back Appreciate the Brand & Cassell Led Clippers

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A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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As much as I love CP3 and Blake and all they accomplished these past two seasons, but that team '06 Clippers team led by Brand, Cassell, and Mobley is the most successful, terms of playoff production, in Clippers history. We were just 1 win away from the Western Conference Finals that year.

I'm not trying to take away anything from this season's team, but I just felt that some appreciation was due to that 2006 team. Mobley, Brand, Cassell, Q-Ross, Kaman, and Maggette will always have soft spot in my heart that.

With that being said, this current team has just as much talent if not more, than that '06 team. I don't care what any analysis has to say, the future is still bright for Clippernation. And besides, we're the Clippers, we're supposed to be the underdogs. Keep your head up, everybody. See y'all next season.

toohipcliptoslip
CTB MVP X1
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Sorry if I piss anybody off (not really)

Kaman> DJ

Brand> BG EB better defender, better FT shooter, Good jump shot, better post game, more fundamentally sound (can box out) Guaranteed 20/10. Sign him next yr.

Mobley> Butler Mobley 15 ppg, better defender

Corey> CB, Q Ross better defender

Sam< CP3 but still damned good

MDSr > VDN

We were two boneheaded plays and a shove off by Bell from going to the WCF

LAbreakers
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would love to see Kaman/Brand vs. DJ/Blake.... guessin' that would be a matchup of epic proportions.... and JCraw would have Mobley for breakfast on O, and yeah Mobley wouldn't be embarrassed either.... and Butler could easily hold his own w/Maggs.... another awesome matchup.... and can't fault Sam one iota, as just like CP3, he was the difference maker that got us to the playoffs.... two good teams.... woulda been a great matchup....

that all said and done, still like the first Larry Brown team:

pg * Gary Grant, Doc Rivers

sg * Ron Harper

sf * Danny Manning, Ken Norman

pf * Charles Smith, Loy Vaught

c5 * Olden Polynice, James Edwards

'nother team that could hold its own w/either of the above squads....

FightOnRon
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Well, I would never have bought into the DJ vs Kaman idea,,until this year. But that was a very very good team too and I liked them a lot too.

CP3Heliflopter
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To be fair the West in 13 compared to 06 is a lot tougher. The Griz are significantly better than the 06 Nuggets. They were average offensively and defensively and as great as the Suns were they were mediocre defensively.

I agree though the 06 Clippers had more success even though they had weaker competition. The difference is that everyone contributed and frankly Dunleavy is a better coach than VDN. In the 06 playoffs Brand was superb, Maggette played well, Cassell played well, Radmanovic played well, heck even Shawn Livingston contributed. In these playoffs it was almost a one man show at times. DJ and Billups were beyond atrocious. They played like D leagers. Crawford was a no show, BG was gimpy. The only person who stepped up besides CP3 was Barnes.

cleepers
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"Doc... I gotta get back to the future!"

  • Marty McFly
A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
Clipper All-Star
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Hey, when the present is depressing and the future is still uncertain, what's wrong with looking back in the past for sentimental reasons?

Agent0
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It's both a matchup and defense issue. Remember that the "3rd" seed Nuggets were the prize for any first round playoff team. They were the "3rd" seed, but won 44 games, the same as the 8th seed. Also, that Clippers team was as good as this one defensively based on pts/100 given up relative to the league in the regular season, but they were in actuality a much better defense as their defensive strength was not reliant on forcing turnovers (they were actually last in the league in opponent TOV%), so it was more sustainable.

5th lowest Opponent 3PT% - 34.7%

3rd in DRB% - 75.9%

12th in opponent FT/FGA - .240

5th in opponent eFG% - .471

That was a team that was only not ranked higher on defense because they didn't force turnovers. Since you can't rely on that against teams that know how to take care of the ball, being top 5 in 3 of those categories is very good.

Remember the job Quinton Ross and Mobley did on Carmelo and that Denver team that was the anti-thesis to spacing.

Many fans ignore that unless you have an amazing team, and very good coaching, winning in the playoffs has a lot to do with opportunity. And even when you do have those things, opportunity still plays a factor. For example, Utah went to the conference finals in 06-07, their second round opponent was the 42-40 Warriors who upset Dallas. If Dallas didn't get their worst possible matchup they probably beat Utah in 5 games. Utah got a first round opponent in the 2nd round, they got smashed 4-1 vs San Antonio.

You put this Clippers team in that season with the same formatting, and they are the 2nd seed and get the 45-37 Lakers in the first round, easy pickings. We'll give them the same record to make it easy:

WCF Standings would be:

(1)San Antonio: 63-19

(2)LA Clippers: 56-26

(3)Denver Nuggets: 44-38

(4)Dallas Mavericks: 60-22

(5)Phoenix Suns: 54-28

(6)Memphis Grizzlies: 49-33

(7)Los Angeles Lakers: 45-37

(8)Sacramento Kings: 44-38

First Round: LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers (WIN)

Second Round: LA Clippers vs Memphis Grizzlies (WIN)

Conference Finals: LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks (LOSS)

Lakers couldn't take advantage of the Clippers like they did Phoenix, so that's a win even though Kobe would score a lot. That Denver team wouldn't beat Memphis, they were too reliant on one player offensively, and their spacing sucked, and Melo goes from Ross and Mobley to Battier and Dahntay Jones. Memphis is the Pau Gasol led Memphis, good defense, but not enough firepower offensively, and they don't have matchup advantages here.

You change the landscape of the conference, and advancing and winning is a lot different. This season had 5 teams with 56+ wins. That season had 3.

So now, this same Clippers team is in the WCF, maybe with a chance to go further, though I'd say a loss in 7 with how Dirk played up till the finals. Maybe if Barnes can do what he did with GS to him again, but the Clippers would be guarding him with Blake and Odom instead.

Now, is the team better or were their circumstances better?

Grillinnap
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Our starting lineup that year was 5-deep. This year, we had two all stars and 3 mediocre players. And yes, I still think EB of that year was better than any version of Blake in his first three years. EB was the whole package for a PF. Post game, jump shot, free throws, blocked shots, rebounds, and a pretty good passer. I said this during Blake's rookie year on thios board and everyone disagreed with me. Apparently, everyone was still blinded by the hatred caused by EB's departure in 2008. But the reality is Blake has yet to show he's better than the best version of the EB we had.

EB actually beasted in the playoffs for us. 25 PPG and 10 RPG. Blake is averaging 17 and 6 in his first 2 playoff appearances.

Agent0
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Brand did play 43.1 MPG, that has to be taken into account when looking at the numbers. You can only produce as much as you play, but it doesn't change who is better. Per 36 in the post-season, Brand put up 21/9/3 on .591 TS%. Now we do have to acknowledge that he wasn't as good against Denver (Martin defended him) and was much better against the smaller defenders of that Phoenix team, while Blake has had the Grizzlies twice and the Spurs.

Brand vs Denver:

17.8 pts, 10.0 Rebs, 3.6 assists, 1.8 blks, 3.0 tov, 47.4 FG%, .514 TS%, 39.7 MPG

He did destroy Phoenix and Marion, but he should have, and Blake would have too

Brand vs Phoenix:

30.9 pts, 10.4 Rebs, 4.3 assists, 3.1 blks, 2.0 tov, 59.1% FG, .628 TS%, 45.5 MPG

All that doesn't change the fact that Brand was more of a complete player. He could do almost everything Blake could production wise (not athletic wise), but was a vastly superior shooter and was better defender, of course helped by the fact that he has like 4 inches of reach on Blake, but Blake has yet to reach Brand's 05-06 level, I don't see how there would be any argument about that. Blake is the better passer and defensive rebounder though, but that was Brand's ultimate peak season.

pageC4
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very true. I once thought Blake would be so much better than EB, but the truth is Blake is more of an amare stoudemire. Decent offensive player, but very deficient on defense:(

Agent0
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If Blake could become Amare as a scorer, it would be an excellent progression. Blake has a better back to the basket game post game than Amare in terms of both using it to score and pass. Amare was more of a faceup and pick and roll guy. Blake is obviously a vastly superior passer, but he's also a better rebounder, and he's actually a much better defender than Amare. Amare was pretty bad. Amare is a better scorer though. Amare became an excellent mid-range jumpshooter as a Sun, even shot 80%+ from the FT line.

There's a massive difference in Blake and Amare's shooting ability, which is what separates them as scorers. Blake would be a better guy to use as a first option if he could shoot and score like that because he's a better playmaker and passer, so you can run an offense through him, and he's actually a better defensive player, he's a average while Amare was actually bad.

toohipcliptoslip
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sign Elton Brand as back up PF. He's so much better than LO except for playmaking but that'a why we have a PG. We can get him cheap

clips4life32
Clipper Starter
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Torn about the idea. He would be a nice backup, but at what cost. Also, does he have any game left? It was painful to watch him in Dallas. He has more value as a vet educating young guys than production on the court. We need production at this point.

CP3Heliflopter
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Brand is still a stud defender. Not so great offensively though. He would be able to limit Zbo greatly imo.

clips4life32
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True, Brand would limit Z-Bo. I wonder if ClipperNation would welcome him back.... Probably if CP3's approval is on it, LOL

diagoro
Clipper 6th Man
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How quickly you all forget. Isn't Brand the player (I wont say man) who punked the whole franchise AND a good friend in one move? His career has died since that jack move and I jury. He got what he deserved....and even saving little Chris from drowning wouldn't change my mind about wanting him back.

Gotta have standards, something that CP3 would appreciate.

Agent0
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I don't know about you, but in the end, I was a little happy that post-Achilles injury Brand didn't return since he never got back to form. per 36 he was a 15.6 PPG scorer his first 3 years in Philly. His first season there he played 29 games. Basically he became a 16 PPG and 8-9 RPG guy who could defend really well. That's nice and all, but I'd rather have Blake Griffin than to have been stuck with Baron Davis AND recovering / post-injury Brand.

I was definitely giving a sigh of relief that the Clippers didn't pay him so much (even more than what Philly did) when he didn't return to form. I mean he did get amnestied by Philly because while he was still a useful player, his production just wasn't worth that much cap space.

I only wish the Clippers had "lucked" out in a similar fashion with DJ.

FightOnRon
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I was so pissed-off at Brand I gave my autographed jersey to the Salvation Army Store.

A7XDreamTheaterClipps
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Yea, and Matt Barnes gave birth to the infamous 'flop city'. LO left us in worse fashion than Elton. **** happens. Don't forget that Elton just recovered from a torn Achilles' tendon when he signed with Philly. In my eyes, the possibility of Elton coming back would be no different from Barnes or LO. Remember, the Clippers have developed a positive culture since Brand left. I'm sure he'd be happy with coming here as long as we're still a legit team.

pageC4
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I think you brought up some good points where Blake is better than Amare. But in temrs of the type of player he resembles Amare comes close. When he was drafted this was the comparison that many experts gave, which i now unfortunately agree with. My hopes were always that he would progress into more of a Tim Duncan, that is as good a defender as he is in his offensive game, but sadly there is only one Tim Duncan. Im not saying hes exactly like Amare, but certainly Amare is the closest comparison, but yeah i do agree with you that Griffin is a better passer and shooter, just wish he also focused more on defense too.

pageC4
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Yeah, its just sad though that this squad couldnt go farther. I thin the fact that we reminisce about the 06 team just lets us know that we havent accomplished as much as we would all like. For once I would like at least 1 championship followed by 2 or 3 solid playoff appearances for us to revert bac to. I hate that our pinnalce is the 06 year and 12 year Sad

Amnesty_David_Stern
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I will agree that Brand at that point in his career is better than Blake now. But Brand was what like 5-6-7 years into his career when we started getting good. Hopefully in a couple of years we will see a better Blake Griffin in terms of his offensive post game and ability to rebound.

Brand will probably always be labeled as a better defender. He could block shots and was undersized but could grab offensive boards like whoa.

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