Clippers Understand Roles, Expectations

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pageC4
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Clippers understand roles, expectations By Arash Markazi DETROIT -- There was a familiar sight on the Los Angeles Clippers' sideline and in their locker room before and after Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons. During the national anthem and shortly after the game, Chauncey Billups, wearing a designer suit, was standing amongst the Clippers' players and coaches, catching up with his former teammates. It was a familiar sight, but thankfully for the Clippers, it was an image that is now in their rearview mirror. As respected as Billups is, the truth is his presence and stranglehold on the starting shooting guard position (whenever he was....

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WinningBasket
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What a great article. Says a lot about Jamison and Willie's high character and respected veteran presence which is an asset to this team. Doc knows how to motivate his players and buy into his system and philosophy. Thanks for posting!

cleepers
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One of Markazi's better efforts.

Glad he brought up the Chauncey/stranglehold thing. It seems that once a player reaches a certain status in the league, the media refuses to say anything negative about them. As if the argument, "But dude, he was finals MVP" is a bulletproof coat.

Chauncey should never have started after he went down the first time. Unfortunately, with Vinny being a young, inexperienced coach, CP3's contract situation and his relationship with his "big brother" plus Vinny's own lack of job security, he was damned if he did, damned if he didn't - so he took the safe route and started Chauncey and it cost us.

(rock) Vinny (hard place)

Now that we have Doc, and CP3 is locked up, we should be seeing coaching decisions that are made with only coaching in mind.

Icecoldclipper
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Great points in the best case scenario Willie should of stayed the starter.

pageC4
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Will was real hot at the end of the season, and Chauncey was barely coming back from sitting out due to injury. The decision to start Chauncey over Willie last year will go down as one of the decisions that possibly cost Vinny his job. Vinny made a call and as you correctly pointed out it was influenced by fear of upsetting Paul and possibly both costing Vinny his job.

I have no doubt that starting Chauncey over Willie that year was the wrong call, but Vinny may not have made it because he thought Chauncey was the better choice. I suspect that he did have all those factors in his mind and used them to make his decision.

I can see this scenario happening again to be honest with you. Only this time I have a hunch it will involve Jared Dudley. I think there will be a controversy over who to start at the SF come playoff time. Doc will be judged depending on what decision he makes and like Vinny he will go through the same criticism if he makes the wrong call...it lets you know the difficulty of being a coach.

cleepers
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^ Except that Doc will keep his job and the Clippers will keep CP3 no matter what.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad things shook out the way they did. I've always touted Doc as being just a rung below Pop on the coaching ladder and I'm thrilled we got him, but if Vinny had benched Chauncey and we'd lost in the first round (or even in the second) he would have been canned. He opted to start Chauncey... and he was canned.

The deciding factor was CP3's comfort level in having his big brother alongside him in the backcourt, and of course he ended up re-signing. To my mind, Vinny took a bullet for the team. Maybe a bullet that had his name on it anyway, but his decision helped us retain Chris Paul.

Our small-forward dilemma is far easier for any coach to navigate. People may have their opinions on who is better, but there's not much in it. The gulf between a former finals MVP and a career bench player looks a LOT wider (on paper at least) than between two role-players. Plus, the ring on Doc's hand immediately gives him a "coach knows best" reputation. He may get a little criticism here and there if we don't perform well, but NOBODY in the media will dare suggest firing him for fear of being laughed out of their profession.

pageC4
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that is the key difference. Luckily, Doc inherited a better situation than what Vinny had. CP3 is signed and Doc just started his contract. Vinny was in the last year of his contract and Paul was due to make a decision. perhaps the cards were just stacked against Vinny. But either way all those events led to this current roster and coaching staff, which I'm very excited about.

still despite the stakes not being as high for Doc as they were for Vinny he will get criticism too. Coaching, even when done by the best, requires prompt decisions and these don't always work out in your favor. People won't call for Doc's firing, but he will get criticism, and in some ways he is more responsible for the direction of this team than Vinny was. Doc has had a lot of input on player acquisition, maybe more so than Vinny did.

cleepers
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^ Yeah, I'm hoping that Doc is that "next level" coach that everybody says that Vinny wasn't. He may not have all the right tools in his kit yet (roster-wise), but he has the security and freedom of decision-making that Vinny could only dream of.

Regardless of what happens from here on, I think Vinny should be remembered well by Clipper nation. He presided over the best regular season in franchise history, won a game 7 on the road against all odds, did everything he could to retain our biggest acquisition ever... AND swept the lakers.

He did great things for this ball club, initiating our journey from cellar-dwellers to respectability. He deserves us fans' gratitude and respect, and a special place in franchise history.

pageC4
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great way to put it. Specifically the 4-0 record over the Lakers. That will go down as one of my favorite contributions from Vinny.

I always have a appreciation for former Clipper players and coaches. even though I was in agreement for the firing of Dunleavy and Del Negro they each helped get the squad what it has today. Dunleavy in particular did a lot of good for this club. It was his decision to get Jordan and Griffin. Drafting Blake was not as easy a decision as people made it to be. At the time we were stacked at the PF position because Zach Randolph was our starter. Our greater need was to draft a point guard to take over a dissapointing season by Baron Davis. But Dunleavy makes the right call and shipped Zach out...that was a tough call to make because Zach was a 20-10 player and to this day remembers being shipped out by us to make way for Blake.

that must have been a hard decision to make, but he made the right call

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