ESPN: Clippers Talking The Talk In CP3's Absence

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Clippersfan86
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http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blog ... rc=desktop

Great write up as always by Arnovitz.

CapsNClips
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By far my favorite article this year.

jarca
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Love it! Doc had done wonders to Blake and DJ's game. My dream would be next season KG and PP come to LA for minimum.

Agent0
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KG is still signed next season, so he's probably going to retire if he doesn't want to be a Net. Not sure if a buyout is on the table there, but maybe.

Pierce would be nice, probably for at least part MLE though.

Nice read. The teams "last thing". On defense is really to remedy this FG% and attempts given up at the rim issue. I see where some of those numbers are coming from, but I'm wondering how they will remedy that.

ClippersDA
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That was a great article.

jarca
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That sucks about KG. He might retire if PP leaves.

namzug
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Great Article you are on a roll putting these up today.

@Agent0 do you think it has something to do with our perimeter defense? In regards to how many drives we allow?

I think the lack of a quality perimeter defender, is a large reason for the high FG% in the paint. I think we give up too many drives to the basket, and it is hard for any big let alone our bigs that are currently in the improving stage, to keep an eye on their man and the perimeter players driving to the basket. Is there a stat somewhere we can find on how many drives we allow per game in comparison to the league average?

Agent0
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It is a bit related to the perimeter defense, but I think part of it is DJ and Blake trying to avoid foul trouble as well as waiting for people at the rim instead of beating them to the spot and forcing tougher short jumpers. Waiting at the rim instead of beating them to the spot takes away the option to force them into tough short jumpers and also might be a more foul prone way.

The other issue is offensive rebounding. Clippers are below averages in defensive rebound percentage. Also seems like opponents are pretty efficient in grabbing offensive rebounds and going back up for the score against the Clippers. Of course i can't actually accurately track that, so I would like to see someone who has that kind of time (eg: someone whose job it is) compile the numbers of opponent FG% at rim after offensive rebounds and see if my perception is actually reality.

I mean it might seem bad, but it is relative, if it is worse for other teams, then it isn't actually bad like I think it is.

I think part of the other issue with the drives is helping the helper in that DJ goes to contest, the opponent dumps it off to his man, and no one is there. Technically someone else should be rotating to help take away or at least make that pass harder, we might not be seeing that as often as it should be happening.

namzug
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I definitely can see that, I know it's easy to start looking towards the rebounding individually but feel like that is still part of defense. I don't like our wings rebounding at all, that was one of my biggest problems with Chauncey that it seemed like his man always crept back to get an easy rebound last year. I'm not saying that I've seen a lot of that, but usually when an opposing wing does get involved it seems like it leads to more than one easy rebound.

I know there are sometimes where DJ doesn't do the fundamental box out and on occasion his player gets an easy rebound, but think it's a lot less often than before. I also don't know if we should complain about our bigs rebounding when they are one of the better rebounding duos in the league. I'd love for us to get a Wilson Chandler type player, who is a threat from all around the floor and is a good rebounder. I know he isn't as good of a pure shooter as Duds but feel he is much better on rebounding as well as on defense.

Without taking any of the regular season stats, I don't feel comfortable about some of the match ups we will face in the playoffs. I'm not saying that we wouldn't win as a team, but some of the wings we will face could end up being a huge difference. I know JJ has done great, but he is by no means a stopper. I think Barnes can slow great players down when he is focused on D, but hasn't looked that great this season. I know it's not a necessity, but a plus I think we could use.

I also should just give Duds time to heal up, he might be a bit better than I give him credit for.

pageC4
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Collison keeping the Clippers on track


By Arash Markazi

LOS ANGELES -- Darren Collison has been in this position before.

Four years ago, as a rookie with the New Orleans Hornets, Collison was backing up Chris Paul when Paul suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and was sidelined for eight weeks. Collison started 37 games that season, averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 assists as a starter and finished fourth in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting.

He was so impressive that New Orleans ended up trading him to an Indiana Pacers team in need of a starting point guard. After three up-and-down years as a starter in Indiana and Dallas, Collison returned home to Los Angeles and returned to a familiar role as Paul's back-up, this time with the Clippers.

Unfortunately for Paul, Collison is once again his stand-in after Paul suffered a separated right shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 3.

"I don't think I thought about it until this morning but Darren Collison happened to be with me in New Orleans when I got injured last time," Paul said. "So I'm starting to think he's bad luck or something."

Paul's injury is certainly bad luck but Collison's presence has again been a good luck charm for a team trying to overcome the loss of their leader.

The Clippers have won four of five games without Paul, including coming back on the road against Dallas.

Collison has helped steady the Clippers during Paul's absence, averaging 18 points and 6 assists over the last five games and shooting 66.7 percent from the field this month.

"I just try to keep it simple after being inserted into the first unit," Collison said. "I try to play my game. Whatever happens after that, happens. I know I'm a good defender so as long as I continue to play defense and continue to be the head of our defense, anything can happen after that. Offensively we're working fine. J.J. [Redick] moves off the ball and opens things up for us. Blake [Griffin] is playing phenomenal and D.J. [DeAndre Jordan] is playing great. I think it's pretty simple. Just go in there and play your game and play off one another."

Collison, who was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. and played at UCLA, returned home this offseason after signing a 2-year, $1.9 million contract with the Clippers to back-up Paul. It was a perfect fit for him, and for the Clippers, because they had traded Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Suns in a package deal to acquire Redick and Jared Dudley.

He was a player Clippers coach Doc Rivers targeted after the Bledsoe trade and someone he knew the Clippers could lean on if Paul were ever sidelined.

"It's been good," Rivers said. "D.C.'s doing a great job of moving the ball. He's different. He can put ball pressure for the entire time on the floor. That's makes us different and some ways better defensively up the floor. You just adjust and you plan for that just in case something like this does happen."

Even though he's on the bench, Paul has become an extension of the coaching staff while he's sidelined and can often be seen talking to Collison during timeouts and breaks in the action. Their conversations, however, have changed since Collison was a rookie four years ago in New Orleans.

"D.C. is a grown man. I don't feel like I need to sit him down and say, 'Hey, this is what you've got to do here.'" Paul said. "For me and him, we've been talking. Before the San Antonio game, I told him some things that I saw and it's a different role for him now, too. It's more minutes; he's playing with a different group of guys. He understands, but I'll also be there for him to lean on."

Collison's role is also different than it was four years ago. It's not so much about putting up great numbers and proving he's capable of being a starter in this league as much as it is trying to keep the Clippers atop the Pacific Division and making sure they're still a top four seed in the West when Paul comes back.

"This time around I'm just focusing on helping this team win," Collison said. "I think my rookie year, when I came in it was a surprise. But this time, I'm just trying to help this team win and making sure we get a good position in the playoffs."

Collison will get a chance to start against two of his former teams in the Mavericks and Pacers over the next three games as he continues to show he is still capable of being a starting point guard in the NBA while also keeping the Clippers' playoff positioning unchanged without Paul.

"I'm just trying to get more continuity," Collison said. "I'm still getting used to playing with the first unit and finding that chemistry and making sure that execution is there. Despite how well we've been playing lately, I still feel like we can improve."

http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/cli ... nt?id=5688

Voyeur
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Articles about DC exploded yesterday from nba.com, espn, LA Times. Makes me worried about his play tomorrow. lol

cleepers
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Shouldn't the title of the article be "...walking the walk" instead of "...talking the talk"?

After all, every team talks about stepping up in the absence of a player. Clippers winning 4 of 5 without CP3 shows they're actually DOING it.

pageC4
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his level of play will go down for sure. But if he can give about 14 PPG, 5APG, and solid defense we can weather the storm. Besides the focus of this offense is Blake now that CP3 is out, and Redick coming back is going to help tremendously.

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