Doc Rivers vs Vinny Del Negro (P. 9)

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pageC4
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Sorry, this is as far as i got till I realized you just don't get my point. You're talking about defense and I am talking about overall talent. I ain't talking about bigs (spurs) , I am talking about a position. And when I am talking about that position, I am talking about the starter in that specific position. In other words, people seem to think that if we don't have top talent in every position, we can't get over the hump. They'll say we lost cause we needed X to win. All teams have a weak position.....

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clipperboy24
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Byron Scott not a great coach IMO. Lionel hollins never seemed like that great of a coach but he did produce some decent results, I think there were personality conflicts.

George karl- the ultimate one and done.

clipper*joe
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He won coach of the year the got fired. Still can't find a job. Byron has been to the finals and has won COY. Still can't find a job. Hollins gets fired after reaching the WCF. Still can't find a job.Whether we think they're good or not, they have the hardware and accolades.

Agent0
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Barnes, Granger and Dudley is obviously enough theoretically until two of them kinda suck and Barnes obviously has never been a consistent shooter.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't think we should have All-Stars are every position, but I don't agree with we "should" still win. I agree with we could, and we definitely have a chance, but why "should" we win unless we have an advantage over our opponent? I don't get that part. We should have won against GS, and we did. If we played Houston, Portland, or Dallas, we should win against them, and I'd hope we do. If we loose against SA or OKC, sure, we could win, but no way I think we have a complete team that compliments itself enough where we are favored to win or should win. So in that light, yes, we can say in the end that there is still an X, Y, Z needed for us to have a better chance against teams like that.

...you're right though, it isn't about being super talented at every position, and I'm certainly one that has always said that, it is about having players that compliment each other on both ends. For SA and Miami it is about having multi-positional players that can cover up deficiencies and give you versatility (Duncan's ability to play C better than most C's in the league meant that vs Miami, SA started Leonard at PF and Duncan at C last season. Lebron's ability to play PF and defend multiple positions allows Miami to use a lot of different lineups effectively). For Miami and OKC it is also about having the league's two best players who have a little gap between them and the third best player.

We certainly have no excuses vs teams 4-8 in the West, but teams 1 and 2 and Miami have built better two way teams than we have, and until we match that, we'll continue to be in a position where we "could" beat them, but certainly not one where we say we "should" beat them. Paul's gaff and all, we still lost game 6 with him playing well, scoring 18 pts in the 2nd half, 14 pts in the 4th, more than Durant and Westbrook, and scoring and assisting on almost all the 4th quarter baskets. If we were going to weather that storm, we either had to have Blake who didn't scoring after 9 minutes left in the 4th also produce a lot of points with few shots, or we had to defend OKC well enough where they weren't matching every basket we did. We don't have a team that can do that, and as long as that remains the case, we will keep hitting a wall. So, yes, if things all fell into place, if they all played well at all the right times, we could have won against OKC for example, but I'm not going to think we have built a good enough roster where we should sit back and say "well our stars just need to produce".

Agent0
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I'm sorry, but I have a problem taking it seriously when people can't separate the difference between getting to the conference finals in the East and getting to the conference finals in the West. The NBA isn't in a vacuum, everyone doesn't get the same opposition, and some paths are easier than others.

Great for Indiana that they won a lot of games in the regular season, but I'm sorry that I'm not impressed that on their way to the ECF, they were able to beat a 38 win Hawks team and a 44 win Wizards team, two tams that wouldn't even make the playoffs in the West. They won less regular season games than the Clippers. If the Clippers were in the East, they would be the #1 seed and wouldn't take 7 and 6 games to beat Atlanta and Washington, does that mean the Clippers are better and our stars are now "impressive". No, I wouldn't be impressed at the ability to beat an under .500 team in 7 games and a mediocre team in 6 because your conference is extremely top heavy.

The cross conference "look at what this team did" is a terrible argument because it has no context. It's just like I'm not that impressed by Jason Kidd getting to the finals twice in the East when comparing him to other PG's or other players when he was getting bounced in the first round in the West with better teams with better records, and suddenly it is because of his superstar play and greatness when the reality is that he was facing 3 teams in the first, second and conference finals in the East that weren't even as good as his first round opponent in the West. I commend him, you play who you play, and his teams were better due to their great defense, but it's not some special accomplishment in context. This isn't a vacuum where everything is equal, yes, opponents matter. It wasn't that impressive that Utah in 06/07 got to the conference finals because Dallas got upset by GS and they got an 8th seed in the second round. Luck plays a part in team "accomplishments", and that's why SA man-handled them like they didn't belong on the WCF, because, well, they really didn't, and that's why they never came close again.

Context please, don't loose sight of that. Indiana's "success" means nothing at all in comparison to this Clippers team. Success for them should have been to play Miami harder than last season, they didn't. They bragged about HCA, etc, etc, and they were worse than last season vs Miami and didn't even get to game 7. Good for them for beating two teams that would be 10th and 11th in the West, but we shouldn't give them any sort of props for that, it isn't impressive.


Also, in the end, accolades and statistical stuff means nothing about how good a team is, sure it is disappointing, but what does 6th man of the year really mean in winning in the playoffs, or having the league's leading rebounder? And we lost to the team with the MVP and second best player, the league leader in blocks, another top 5-7 player and the 5th leading vote getting for 6th man, so they have their accolades too if that means anything.

Btw, Doc is not considered the 2nd best coach in the league, he's generally ranked behind Pop, Thibs and Carlisle at the least by most people. He's a good one, some people rank some other coaches ahead of him, but I think there's a point where you have the great coaches, a lot of good ones who have different advantages and disadvantages, and the more mediocre ones.

clipper*joe
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No offense, but it is hard to have a discussion with you because you dissect every word one says and take a literal meaning out of it. Kinda like being at the office having some water cooler talk, shooting the ****, and you are more concerned about what your are going to argue than just have a plain conversation. I

Anyhoo, saying that we should win doesn't mean we have to but the talent pool we had made it more likely than not. It wasn't just me, it was oddmakers, Vegas, pundits, and fans that had us in the "we should win" mode. That's what I meant.

As far as needing X, Y, and Z goes, what is your formula? And how can you give me assurance that it will work? And by incomplete, what is the team lacking?

Look, a lot of our players underachieved in the playoffs. DJ disappeared,. Crawford disappeared, and CP3 cost us a game and a closeout at home. I believed we should have won despite you thinking we needed more. I believe we had it. So while your opinion is different, opinion being the operative word, I think we had enough to win despite a lot players not playing well.

clipper*joe
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For the Clippers, versatility was our success too. Not just for the Heat and SA. We used Collison as a 2 late in games that helped us win a few close ones against GS. We used BG and Big baby at key points in the playoffs at the center position that helped us win. We threw different players at Durant in the series at it paid off well early in the series. we were versatile too so making a argument for other teams and leaving us out of the conversation is selling the clippers short.

Cp3 played timid most of the game in game 6. And a lot of his 14 points in the 4th were garbage points after the game was out of reach. The thing with just using stats is that you miss the Forrest for the trees. You lay out how well he played but fail to realize how those stats were achieved. They were garbage points and it wasn't until the game was out of reach that we saw the old CP3. That was obvious to many of us watching and posting in the game thread.

Sorry, had to break it down into 2 posts since your original post was just too long. it didn't allow me to put it all in one.

"well our stars need to produce". Well, the Thunder stars did out produce our stars. it's as simple as the Thunder's offense that beat us. That's how they beat us...A 2 man offense where "their stars produced".

clipper*joe
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The Pacers while playing in the East ran the table on us in the regular season. They also won the series or tied all the top teams in the West. I think that counts for something. Yeah sure, they play in the East but they still don't have any Stars. The Knicks and the Nets have more high profile players but they couldn't do squat. I think what Page is saying that even for a team playing out East, it's still amazing that they can be successful without any star power. I kinda disagree with that being George is on the verge of it but still, just shows what a system can do for you. Better yet, it shows what a team with a identity and no stars can do.

cleepers
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Try arguing that point with JQuick, who obviously believes that Thibs' Bulls beating 45% and 51% winning teams (while having HCA and the MVP) in order to reach the ECF is a much greater feat than Vinny's Clippers going through the 62% winning Grizzlies as a road team to get to the western semis.

Dude just plucks random facts out of his arse, completely ignorant of context.

Agent0
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Don't forget Collison, his one big 4th quarter might mask the fact that he was generally useless most of the series. Well maybe we need players that don't disappear, maybe that's what we need.

There's no sure fire formula, so I can't give you assurance of anything, the best assurance is getting a once in a generation talent. With that said, certainly there's a Western team that will now be lung to the finals two years in a row, just won game 6 with their star PG getting injured, as well as winning the series with him not doing anything star worthy, and going to 7 and really almost winning again with their star PG playing just decent. That team has a nice combination of defensive wings who can shoot and guard multiple positions, a high level defensive anchor, and good/consistent shooters (one being a big that shoots well from three, not freaking Mullens). In addition, their 6th man is not solely a scorer, but also a high level facilitator. So what do I think we need? Defensive wings that can shoot and guard multiple positions, a playmaker off the bench (Crawford would be much more useful if he didn't have tunnel vision as a scorer 90% of the time and was both a scorer and playmaker off the bench, but since he isn't, you want to have a playmaker next to him, but then Darren also kind of looks to score too).

How would I do it? I'd try to trade DJ for a C that can do similar things but makes much less and a PF/C who shoots. I'd trade Crawford to a team that needs a combo guard off the bench and try to get a defensive SF who shoots there's. I'd use Dudley, Bullock and the pick if positions are filled and it is an upgrade to get another wing. I'd monitor wing defenders who are free agents. I'm more content going to the post season with wing defense, a big who can shoot and has size and some sort of bench playmaker, but not a tunnel vision scorer.

Agent0
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I prefer players that can legitimately play a position not players who are clearly out of position and are picked on by the opposition. You're confusing what I mean by versatility. Any player can be played at any position, sure, but by versatility, I mean actual being able to fulfill the needs of the position on defense. I don't hunk you'd consider Crawford at SF versatility, that's being undersized, but in the other hand, Ginobili at SF or SG is a different story. Positions are more about defense than offense as we know. Duncan can play C and be a defensive anchor and shot blocker, he's as good a C as he is a PF, that's versatile. Blake and Davis play C and we have no rim protection and hey can be easily shot over, that's no versatility that's just playing undersized.

Their offense did beat us, but let's say that we as a team had the personnel and the ability to defend better, and our stars still produce the same, then our chances definitely increase astronomically. This team keeps going into the playoffs with the goal of out-offensing the opposition, not actually defending them. The Thunder had like 6 or 7 players with TS% over 60% in he series. It wasn't just their stars, it was their role players too. We had two players do the same, Paul and Davis, that isn't some be all end all thing, but it is telling of who was making shots and who wasn't. We were living off not turning the ball over, we weren't defending well, only two guys were scoring at a highly efficient level to match OKC, it was just a bad set up altogether, and yes, we still had a chance to at least go to 7 games.


I almost skimmed over this. I challenge the accuracy of your conclusion, which is why people can watch the same thing and get different conclusions. Paul had 7 pts in the first half, we were up 8 pts at the half, he was a facilitator, his presence on the court was positive, there was absolutely no reason for him to try and prove anything as a scorer and jack up shots to prove he's being aggressive. In the 3rd, the Thunder made the comeback, score was tied 80-80 after 3 quarters. There was no issue with Paul being timid, he just didn't make shots, this confusion has happened before. If he makes the shots he's being aggressive, he misses them he's being passive. He scored 4 pts in the 3rd quarter, and he used a ton of possessions for those 4 pts. He was 2/7 FG, committed 2 turnovers, and also had 4 assists, that is a heavily involved quarter. The problem is that we're so results oriented that we call that "passive" because he wasn't 4/7 with 8 pts in the quarter instead and 1 or no turnovers plus another assist to top it off. 7 FGA in a quarter is a lot of shooting, you shoot 7 times each quarter and that's 28 FGA in a game, yikes. Paul attempted a ton of shots and used a ton of possessions before the game was out of reach, that is a fact, of course one can narrate that how they decide to, but that's up to you.

The team made 11 FG in the 4th quarter, Paul scored on 6 and assisted on 2, so 8/11 made FG, he was directly involved. Even before the last two FGM, he had made 4/9 of the teams baskets and assisted on 2. His last two FGA were in garbage time, the desperation three and the quick layup.

In the 4th, Paul tied the game at 80 at the 8 min mark, OKC had a barrage to go up 10, then Paul scored two in a row to bring the Clippers within 6 pts with 5:13 left, that's 6 pts plus his 4 in the 3rd, all not in garbage time. Down 7 pts, we then had the offensive foul on Paul against Collison, the offensive foul on Griffin on the break, and a missed three by Redick that would have cut it to 4 pts with 3 minutes left. Redick then made a basket assisted by Paul, the layup and 1 by Paul, and a Barnes basket assisted by Paul and the Clippers were down 4 pts with 50 seconds remaining. DJ fouls Westbrook which puts them up 6 again,a then J.J. misses that layup which basically sealed it. That's when Paul had the layup and the desperation three, yea, those last two were garbage buckets., but Paul was the leading 4th quarter scorer before the gem was put of hand.

9 of Paul's 14 4th quarter points and 13 of his 18 2nd half points were with the game still in reach. A 4 point deficit with 50 seconds left means go down and play defense, get a basket and it is a one possessions game. Of course we always struggle with with that get a stop part.

I know Blake is beloved and I love the guy too, but if were going to get on anyone's game 6 performance, it is him. His last basket was with 8 or 9 minutes left in the game and after having two fouls in the first 3 quarters he picked up 4 fouls in like 7 minutes played in the 4th. In that same 3rd quarter where Paul struggled and OKC came back, Blake was also 2/7 FG, with 1/2 FT and had 6 pts cause he made a 3 PT shot. Paul used more possessions than any other Clipper that quarter, it was just a rough quarter.

Agent0
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Like you said, Paul George is a star now, not just on the verge, he's as much of a star as you can get in the league and a two way one. They are also a team with two way players at every starting position, so that helps (West is only an above average defender, but has great length, Hibbert is a meh offensive player).

Pacers win because they defend, so yes, I agree, a team identity, especially one on defense is great, I love defense, I wish the Clippers could put together a roster that can defend at a high level.

To be fair though, when we played them, we barely lost with Paul, they spanked us while Paul was injured. We couldn't beat any good teams while Paul was out, so it is what it is, and we know what they say about the regular season.

Still, in the end, they played miserable teams. If the Clippers are in the East, it is LAC #1, Indiana #2 and Miami #3 which would mean that Clippers get the 3$ and 44 win team and coast to the ECF and even if Indiana matches up better and would beat LAC, they would have to play Miami in the second round and wouldn't get to the ECF. Are the Clippers then better than them? Well, based on how people just look at how far teams go and nothing else, to those people they would be.

clipper*joe
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I'm not confusing anything. You made mention of, "it is about having multi-positional players that can cover up deficiencies and give you versatility". You used examples of players being able to play different positions, or covering other positions on defense. CP3 guarding Durant is a perfect example of that. BG playing out of position guarding a center and being successful in that. Bg has been guarding centers the last few playoffs with success. You made mention of Crawford but I never did. Guess it's reaching for the lowest hanging fruit to make a point. SA and the Heat don't have roster's full of versatile players either.

Agent0
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Repped High Quality Post

I mentioned Crawford because he's on our team and a good example to compare to SA because they also have a 6th man type guy off the bench who gets a good amount of minutes. The comparison could have been Redick or Green inserted in there too, same conclusion. All our SG's are on position players. Blake depending on the C can be fine in man to man defense, but he can be shot over easily and Blake is a bad rim protector and shot blocker which is why he is a PF and not a PF/C.

Paul played Durant great for a short stretch which highlighted more about Durant than Paul's ability to guard SF's, but I'm assuming that there is no reality where you or anyone actually thinks that we can actually put Paul on SF's in games as a legitimate defensive option and expect it to not be a mismatch. The next game when we tried it, they killed it because they should, Paul's full contest reaches Durant's armpit. If Paul was versatile like that, it means we could start a game with Paul at SF on defense and not be worried, but we can't and we would be worried. Not to mention how much of a waste of his energy it is to have him fighting guys so much bigger than him. Even when they are skinny, the pure weight difference is still there.


Danny Green on defense can guard the 1/2/3

Leonard can guard the 2/3, and can also even guard 1's and 4's

Duncan is an equally effective PF and C

Ginobili can equally guard both SG and SF


Lebron on defense can guard the 1/2/3 and can also play the 4

Wade on defense can guard the 2/3 because defense is played with your hands, not the top of your head and his wingspan is 6'11 and he's strong

Bosh is effective in teams defense at both the 4 and 5 because he has the length to alter shots at the rim despite his weak frame


Chris Paul can't guard the 2 or 3, Chris Paul can be put in those positions out of necessity but he already is easily shot over at PG, short and actually has a very shot reach and wingspan, it's easier at SG despite how feisty and competitive he is.

Blake Griffin can't play C effectively because he has no length and can't offer rim protection

Jamal Crawford and Redick can only guard SG because they aren't quick enough at PG and already are weak at SG, let alone SF

Collison can only guard PG because he's wiry thin and he's not tall either and his previous teams were already complaining about how he was too weak defensively at PG not to talk of a bigger position

Dudley can only guard SF because he's too slow to guard SG's and he's just not big enough at PF, but we could say he can guard PF similar to calling Diaw a PF/SF for SA or Bsttier a legitimate SF/PF for Miami

DJ is a C, but he's passable at PF just that he doesn't understand how to guard shooters, I'll give us DJ, though of course he actually has an offensive positional issue which usually isn't the case.

Davis poses the same problem with Blake at C, no length, no rim protection

Barnes I'd say is the closest to a versatile defensive player, he can maybe guard the 2 here and there, and he can sort of be used as PF but also suffers from the length problem

Those are all our players who play or played significant minutes, all one position defenders.

Yes, our of necessity, we can put these guys in random situations that we wouldn't look to replicate or consider a consistent option, but why would I even be mentioning versatility if that's what I meant? I mean the legitimate ability to guard and/or play a position defensively on a consistent basis. I don't get it you're actually trying to argue that Paul can cover up wing defense or Blake can cover up the lack of a backup C and give you length and rim protection, because you quote me saying this "it is about having multi-positional players that can cover up deficiencies and give you versatility" but your response isn't really mentioning our players doing that.

...also of course I didn't mean that EVERY single player on the Heat and Spurs is multi-positional and versatile like that, lol, why would I mean that? They have enough of those players in their rotation to allow them to shorten their rotations when needed and to not suffer from being consistently deficient in an aspect of defense because they have to play a certain player for offense.

JQuick32
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Video proof that Doc >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> VDN:

ClipperKyle32
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That dude obviously hates Blake Griffin

cleepers
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Yeah, maybe you should research the definition of the word "proof".

I'll give you a head start... some dude who calls himself "coach Nick" but has never held a coaching position in a professional league - no matter how much he may support your blind hatred - does not constitute "proof".

There are plenty of ACTUAL ex-coaches doing analysis who would all concede that their opinion is just that... an opinion... not proof. Funny how none of the local or national sports networks have offered this guy a job despite having thousands of hours of airtime to fill... and not even the worst teams in the league have hired him as even an assistant coach. Maybe that's because Monday morning quarterbacking is not respected by professionals or else EVERYBODY on this forum would be drawing a salary from the NBA.

Get back to me after you've consulted "Doctor" Dre about those headaches you must be getting.

Sincerely,

"Admiral" Cleepers

(No Naval affiliation whatsoever, but I did go on a boat once)

clipper*joe
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So now you're saying that if a player can't start a game playing out of position, then he's not versatile? Nonsense. What team uses players out of position for a full game? Most times, players are used in situations to contain another player when he's hot, or for an advantage that doesn't always net you good results. Like Using taller players on CP3 works on occasion but it doesn't always work. And I think it's absurd to say that CP3 guarding Durant was more about Durant than CP3. So in your reality, because CP3's full contest reaches Durant's armpit, that somehow penalizes Paul from getting credit? really? It's that black and white for you? Sorry, Durant's a tall player that has a game similar to a guard. A smaller player, especially someone like CP3 who leads the league in steals, can easily contain him from dribbling or moving the ball as he would with someone who's taller or less mobile. If Durant had a better post game, then it might be different but even then, CP3 had him covered there too. That's where CP3 thrives in... Taking advantage of bigger guys when they put down the ball. That's why you saw a confused stationary Durant in that long stretch. Can CP3 do it all the time? No. And nether could Lebron or any of the rest of the players you want to bring up. If it was as easy as it sounded, you'd see LBJ, Duncan, Manu, or any other Spur playing smaller or bigger guys all the time. You don't see it that often cause it's not sustainable. And please spare anything about it being a big reason why teams win. Heat didn't make big changes other than switching LeBron away from George at different times of the game. And it wasn't because Lebron had to guard someone better. It was to relieve him, save him from foul trouble, and keep him fresh for the rest of the game.

Duncan isn't used as center for full games. He's used when adjustments are made..Kinda like when Pops wants to go small. Why did Pop bench Splitter over Bonner? Why didn't he start Duncan over him to spread the floor with more versatile players? Why not move all your "versatile" players up one instead of relying on a guy that hasn't seen time in the play-offs? Your list ( couldn't add it on) has every player able to play the next position up. Why didn't pop do that? Bottom line, the Spurs were not cutting it with their starters on defense and offense. Spurs, IMO, won cause they had a better well rounded offense. There defense wasn't that great.

Manu is NOT a good defender but a ball handler that can create off pop's offense. While you see manu as a versatile player at the SG and SF position, just cause you put him there, doesn't mean he is a two way player. He's not. A lot of his steals are reaching in on help defense. When his man goes by him, he always tends to reach from behind. Crawford is not a two way player either even when he's made to guard bigger or smaller guys. Manu thrives on offense, not defense. So again, just cause coaches make changes and put players out of position doesn't mean they're that versatile. See Bonner over Splitter for the Proof. See Rashard Lewis being made a starter for the Heat.

Sorry, didn't bother to proof read.

Dunkathon
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I actually have to disagree with you entirely. Why?

Simple: Nick used Mr. T. Ergo, his video is right. Very Happy

Agent0
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I honestly don't understand how you're interpreting the posts, sorry. Is that what I'm saying though? Did I say Paul should be penalized or not get credit or am I saying that Paul on Durant is not a consistent option you can go to?

EG: I'll start Parker on Paul, but I know in the back of my mind that I can consistently go to Danny Green on Paul is needed because he can defend him. No one thinks we can consistently go to Paul on Durant if we need to slow him down, Doc himself said it was a desperation move, we all knew it, it worked, but it isn't something you go back to and expect to be successful.

It could have been easily countered and abused both if Durant wasn't so weak and if Westbrook was a smarter player and OKC had attacked it in a fashion that made sense as opposed to trying to give the ball to Durant from the perimeter and having him iso the league leader in steals and try and put the ball on the floor against him.

Honestly, I don't really care to argue this that much, if you don't agree, fine, you think we have versatile enough players defensively, I don't and I think it will be of value to us in being a better defensive team.

Btw, I agree, Manu is no shut down defender, but he's not bad either, but Manu isn't a mismatch exploit at either position for the opposition, Crawford is a mismatch exploit for teams when he plays SF. Manu's greatest value is as a scorer and creator, yes, but Manu can stay on the floor and not hurt you on defense just by the nature of being mismatched at SF.

Spurs didn't play that good defense? I suppose they just casually held the Thunder to 98.2 PPG / 44.2% FG / 30.1% 3PT / 103.3 Ortg / .484 eFG%, something no other team could do, though that all looks like pretty good defense is you ask me. Good defense against a good offensive team which the Thunder have been is holding them to even above league average offense (which would be lower than their regular production), not to talk of below average that the Spurs did over the 6 games. Even in game 6, the Thunder shot poorly and committed 19 turnovers (the Spurs actually shot poorly there too and saved themselves on the offensive glass and in turnover differential). I generally consider forcing guys into turnovers and limiting percentages good defense, but to each his own. Maybe the Thunder just missed and committed turnovers because they were rattled.

The Thunder played 3 series' this playoffs, there was only one where they looked unstoppable on offense and it wasn't against Memphis or SA, that's all I'll say in that regard.

vs league (RS): 106.2 PPG / 47.1% FG / 36.1% 3PT / .520 eFG% / 110.5 Ortg

vs Memphis: 102.1 PPG / 43.5% FG / 32.4% 3PT / .483 eFG% / 108.9 Ortg

vs Clippers: 107.2 PPG / 47.6% FG / 34.3% 3PT / .524 eFG% / 112.9 Ortg

vs Spurs: 98.2 PPG / 44.2% FG / 30.1% 3PT / .484 eFG% / 103.3 Ortg

I don't know if it gets any clearer than that. There's one team there which not only allowed the Thunder to get to their averages, but actually to surpass them in almost every possible measure of offensive efficacy, and it was the Clippers.

The Spurs defense might not have looked so great to you, and to be fair, we won't just go by PPG too because pace differs from series to series, but 3% lower FG%, 6% lower 3PT%, 3.6% lower eFG%, 7.2 lower Ortg, and 8 PPG lower than their regular season averages. If that isn't good (actually great) defense against a top team, then there really is no other way to actually defend a top team well and your standards are just too high.

Clippers don't have the personnel to do that and until they do, they will be playing playoff series with the hopes that everyone is clicking on offense, and Chris Paul controls team turnovers very well and limits mistakes as the only hope of winning. Great teams can win on offense and defense, this team can't fall back on defense efficacy to slow the opponent down enough so that when the offense is only playing average, we still win.

From my perspective, a big part of that inability is the defensive acumen of the players on the roster (duh, you're not that good on defense because you don't have good enough defenders), and I believe multi-positional defenders are a good way to solve this because it prevents you from needing to get as many players that can defend and still do things on offense if you have guys that can be moved around positionally on defense and be effective. It also gives you multiple looks against good offensive players. We really had one look against a good perimeter wing or PG and it was Barnes for the wing and CP at PG. Lucky for us there aren't any high level SG's to worry about because then Barnes would be too slow and CP too small. Dudley and Granger were not useful on defense, and the SG's are too outmatched.

Agent0
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I don't get this, I'm assuming you meant why DID, not DIDN'T? Bonner can shoot, Bonner spaces the floor, him not playing in the post-season doesn't mean anything about whether he can shoot. Pop can do this because Duncan can play C and is a rim protector / defensive anchor, I already said this. If we need more shooting, we can play Blake at C and put a shooter at PF but can't do it effectively on defense because 1) we don't have a big man shooter and 2) Blake is not a rim protector and defensive anchor so the opposition gets a free reign at the basket. You're helping to prove my point, and remember, I said the other thing I want and have called for is a big man shooter, hence my love for Frye.

Last season vs Miami Pop did move everyone up in game 5,6,7. He started Parker/Manu/Green/Leonard/Duncan. He can do that and not worry because Duncan is a defensive anchor so you aren't compromising your rim protection and interior presence on defense. Leonard at PF was fine because Miami was playing Lebron at the 4 anyways and Leonard isn't a small 3 (NBA body, 7'0 wingspan). Again, we can't do that, Blake at C doesn't work, we don't have the length with our wings to cover space as well if we move everyone up.

I don't get your mention of Rashard Lewis. He's a 6'10 SF/PF. Miami started the series with Battier in game 1, went to 6'8 but strong Haslem in game 2 and 3 as he's supposed to be the Hibbert stopper, but Hibbert was useless, then for spacing went with 6'10 Rashard in game 4, 5, 6. Now, Miami also works because Lebron is that good, it will be interesting to see how they attempt to match up against SA.

You're arguing the wrong thing here. Again, I'm not saying every player is versatile on these teams, I'm saying they have versatile players that allow certain lineups to be effective. Duncan is the versatile one that allows you to play him with Bonner because he's as effective at C as he is at PF, and again, a rim protector, shot blocker and defensive anchor. You don't play Bonner at the 4 for spacing if Griffin is your PF. You don't start Blake at C and run a hard hedge defensive system if Barnes is your SF starting at PF and Redick is your SG because your aren't long and athletic enough to recover and play this defensive system and Blake doesn't have the length to replicate what Bosh can do in pick and roll defense or in helping to change shots near the basket.

namzug
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I don't get the argument here. I think most of us agree that we would like to have versatile players. I also think that most of us don't think our players are versatile at all. I've felt that this has been issue for a while.

I usually bring it up when asking for more length on the team, but this is what it gets down to. We have average to small players at each position, especially on the perimeter. CP and DC are small at any position in the NBA. JJ, Jamal and Willie are small 2 guards. All our 3's are average size wise, but feel that all are outmatched in the speed category (Matt is on the border). Blake and DJ are almost prototypical for their positions (with the exceptions of Blake's T-Rex arms), but the bench is on the smaller end in my opinion (not necessarily height, but Hedo at 4 seems small and Baby at 5 seems to lack in length).

Why I preferred Nick Young over Crawford? Same mentality, and where Jamal might be a better offensive player; I believe you can get more out of Nick on the other end in short spurts. I would feel better defensively if Nick was on Klay over Jamal.

I also like guys that have a bit more versatility like Shumpert or Sefalosha, and why I also would love for us to get Frye.

clipper*joe
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Look, I guess I did read your post incorrectly and actually helped you so that's that. What I do stand by is the fact that players like Bonner and Rashard Lewis were made starters when they're one dimensional players. So my point is that even one dimensional players can actually help the team despite not doing much else. By the way, Haslem was put in there because he's a banger, much more than Bosh is. plus, it wasn't because he was a "hibbert stopper", it due to Birdman getting hurt.

clipper*joe
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You're basically talking about speed and size. I agree with that but guys like BG and CP3 who are considered undersized, are at the top of their respective positions...Hell, in the League. Redick? You give up speed and agility but you make up for that in his shooting. You have the best rebounder in the league and a fairly decent defender but you give up a offensive game. Mavs won with a center similar to DJ.

You can't hit the trifecta with every player. There aren't that many players like that.

I still think we had enough to beat the Thunder. Hell, we had them on the ropes with a close out game at home/ It was seconds away. So saying we didn't have enough versatile, faster, bigger players is selling the team short. I thought we were the better team even though we didn't that well as a team.

JQuick32
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Coach Nick is a high-school coach who has been mentored by Tex Winter, Sean Miller, and Stan Van Gundy. BBallBreakdown is one of the best sources for detailed basketball analysis on the web. Just because you've never heard of the site doesn't mean that throwing around ad hominems is a valid argument - and it just shows that you can't refute the facts that Doc > VDN.

cleepers
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  1. Nobody on this thread has said that Doc isn't better than Vinny. An extra decade of experience generally makes any individual better at his job... the issue is how much better? On the evidence of the Clippers' recent results, their respective effect on the team has been negligible.

  2. If a person has been mentored by all-time greats and still fails to break into even the most menial of jobs at the top level, it suggests to me that person has very little to offer. Studying under Mozart or Einstein only to "take those talents" to a high-school class would seem to be a disappointing outcome for most people.

  3. The only public outlet anybody affords "coach" Nick is YouTube... a forum he shares with old ladies who dress their cats in costumes, aspiring spree-killers, fat Korean pop-stars in brightly-colored suits and drunk frat-boys who light their farts on fire... I will respect him accordingly.

  4. I have heard of the site, and I have found it to be nothing more than some irrelevant dude's smug Monday-morning castigation of sub-par performances by players and/or teams... so I can see why it appeals to you. There is much more astute analysis here on CTB. The problem is, it mostly disagrees with your own.

You would have us believe that Vinny del Negro possesss the basketball acumen of an intellectually-deficient guppy, yet he has played and coached at the highest level for most of his adult life and he is STILL being interviewed for head coaching positions in the world's best league... unlike yourself and "coach" Nick.

At some point, reasonable criticism of a person's shortcomings crosses a line into blind, irrational hatred.

You crossed that line some time ago.

Agent0
CTB MVP X1
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You're right, I forgot about Birdman getting hurt, but they did also view him as the "Hibbert stopper" because when they switched him to Hibbert, his effectiveness declined last season.

I think you misunderstood me as saying or implying that one dimensional players are useless. I don't believe that at all. Teams need balance, one dimensional payers can be very useful in specific roles if they do that dimension quite well. I'm just saying that the best way to accommodate one dimensional players on a team is to have multi-dimensional players who can cover up other roles and not make it a liability for you to play the one dimensional guy.

I don't think we have built that type of roster yet, so I think we need to keep tweaking till we get there. That doesn't mean I think we should dump every guy that is one dimensional or never sign players like that, but obviously we should have a vision of how a player practically works on the roster and in lineups before committing to them. That's why I was weary about J.J. and Jamal. Jamal is not a PG, it's just not a good position for him, and neither is a SF. Both guys demand more than just 24 MPG split at SG, so having both automatically forces you to play one at PG or SF. Similarly why I liked DC but again was weary. DC is small PG, so the PG idea is dead for the other guys, but he's terrible SG on defense. Problem is that he's a good enough player where it's hard to just play him 12 MPG as a primary PG backup to CP. What this means is that he probably demands some SG minutes, which means your really undersized, and then even more so because your SG's who are already scarce in minutes have to play even more SF minutes to accommodate for 3+ more minutes of Collison each game if everyone is healthy.

I just don't like that roster set up. Length is still going to be a big factor in contesting and changing shots, there's just no getting around that and if you just limit yourself way too much in that area, you can't just make up for it easily.

Agent0
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In terms of how I think we should proceed.

If a small one position SG in Redick is your starter, you really need to get a PG/SG and/or SG/SF off the bench. If you could only have one, I prefer the playmaking SG/SF just because too many of the PG/SG's don't play PG well enough and/or can't actually guard SG well because they are still small.

For the Clippers I think it works best to have something like this:

PG | SG | SF | PF | C

Main backups: PG/SG | SG/SF | PF/C

Other backups: PG / SG / SF / PF / C

That's your 13 players

  • off the bench in the backcourt you have PG/SG and backup SG/SF as your main backups. Get two other guys that are cheap players who don't demand minutes and spend a little more on two multi-position guys off the bench. It makes your rotation more settled and players all know their roles. On the average night, Paul (36 mins) / SG (28 minutes) / SF (30 mins) / backup PG/SG (28 mins) / backup SG/SF (22 mins) - the minutes can be switched depending on which player is better.

  • off the bench you have a PF/C, big enough to play C, versatile enough for PF, this guy comes off the bench and plays about 26-28 minutes. This is usually easier to do when you have a PF like Duncan, Gasol, Garnett who can play C and you actually have more of a strict PF off the bench and when they come in, the starting PF/C moves up a spot. We don't have that, so out best bet is a guy off the bench that can play both positions. You then have a strict PF and a strict C for size who aren't demanding minutes but can come in and do certain things well

  • this gives you a primary 8 man rotation which is what you use in the playoffs in most settings with a fairly predictable rotation and then you can adjust around that based on what's going on. Fill niche roles with your other 5 guys. A C for size, a defensive PF or shooting PF depending on what your PF/C is, another shooter at SG, etc.

What this does is that it shortens your rotation while also solidifying it in the sense that your first 8 players are all "good" players. Guys know their roles, but it also does not compromise your defense or your size without you wanting to do it. So you can go small if you want, but you aren't just automatically small because you have no other choice. So injuries and foul trouble and blowouts will bring out your strict backup PG, SG, SF, PF and C. This is harder for us because like I said, Blake can't perform the role of C well, and it is more expensive to get a good backup PF/C than it is to get a good one position backup PF (or even PF/SF), though not impossible, but it can be financially savvy since you're just getting one good backup for two positions instead of trying to find two adequate backups.

Other ways of doing it are:

PG | SG/SF | SF | PF/C | C

Main backups: PG / SG / PF

  • off the bench you have a guy who is just a SG. Your starting SG can play SF, so you bring out your SF early, move your SG to SF and being your bench SG in. Have a backup PF (Marvin Williams, Aminu type), they play all the PF minutes which is about 24 minutes because your PF/C plays 12 minutes at C. Your PF moves to C when they come in because he has C length, size and defensive impact. PG (36 minutes), SG/SF (34 minutes), SF (30 minutes), PF/C (36 minutes), C (33 minutes), SG (24 minutes), PG/SG (16 minutes) / PF (28 minutes)

I prefer the team building strategy of just needing 3 good backups who all play two positions, or having two starters who play two positions and needing 1 two position backup and two good one position backups. It is more reasonable financially. If Crawford can play SF, we aren't saying "we need a better SF", we know our 6th man is both our backup SG and SF. If he was a capable PG, then we don't need Collison, and we can invest money into the backup or starting SF and go cheap on a 4th guard. It's both a practical rotation thing and a money and finding the best players with the amount of cap you have thing. The more single position players you have, the more backup positions in which you want to find an adequate payer and that is neither cheap or easy, and good backups don't want to go to teams behind a guy playing 35+ minutes and have to be a 13 minute guy. So you either play them out of position to keep them happy and use their skills more or look forth guy who will playa the backup to two guys and play 26 minutes off the bench instead.

A realistic Clippers roster with the first setup:

Chris Paul (36) / PG/SG (12)

J.J. Redick (28) / PG/SG (10) / SF's play 5 minutes each here

SF or SF/SG 27) / SF or SF/SG (21)

Blake Griffin (36) / PF/C (12)

DeAndre Jordan (33) / PF/C (15)

PG/SG: Livingston or Vasquez

SF: Trevor Ariza, Maurice Harkless, Thaddeus Young?

Bench SF or SF/SG: Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Thabo Sefolosha

PF/C: Channing Frye, Amir Johnson

Livingston or Vasquez and Pierce or Carter (old guys are fine and I think best coupled with a younger guy) can be signed as FA's. Jamal can be traded in some sort of three way where Frye comes here. I'm not totally against a trade with DJ going out and Mozgov and Frye coming in on a financial and minimal difference in production level especially if you trust Moz. His defense has been good. Phoenix gets DJ, we get Frye and Mpzgov and Phoenix sends something to Denver. In this scenario, you still have Jamal and can move him with other pieces to get a SF that you can start. People like Ariza, so he's an option. Harkless in a Orlando is a guy I wanted to and still want to trade for. If you believe Thaddeus Young can adequately play SF, his contract is decent and he can play both ends, but I'm not sold on him all the time, depends when you ask me, outside shooting and SF defense are still iffy, but he's also only 25 years old still. If you get a guy like Young, a guy like Thabo might be better off the bench.

I'm not saying this is happening, but if I'm thinking "what kind of team am I trying to build" , that's sort of my loose template. You have to have a vision of what the team looks like as opposed to just going to free agency and saying whatever happens happens. Hopefully Doc does.

namzug
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I agree with thinking we had enough to beat them. I'm not sure we were prepared for San Antonio, but was very hopeful. I have my thoughts on the refs, and don't think the league would have allowed Sterling to leave with a title; but that is a conversation for another thread. We had more than enough to beat the Thunder in my opinion.

I feel our team really depends on everything clicking on offense. I think some longer more athletic perimeter players would help our defense out a lot.

I think JJ, Jamal and even DC was too much of the same thing at the guard position (offense first). I don't feel any one of those three can play the SF position convincingly. I think all our Small Forwards with the possible except of Danny are only SF and would have trouble playing outside of position.

Agent0
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Actually I agree, we had enough to beat the Thunder, but even how we were beating them was very very delicate. They shot better than us, they held us to lower percentages in almost every game, we just turned the ball over a lot less and therefore got more shooting chances. That speaks well of our best players, but that's a problem. Basically we were living on being as mistake free as possible, we weren't out shooting them, we weren't defending at a high level to limit them, their offense was actually better than usual against us.

I think the way we were winning in itself highlighted our roster deficiencies, and I don't say that in a bad way. Yes, we could have won because one of our main guys is one of the league's most mistake free guys (until he tries to get too smart) and the Thunder can be sloppy, but we could only win on one end of the court and had one method of winning games. We won games only on offense against them, and offensively even it was really about not turning the ball over. Our guys didn't shoot that well. That's a very very small margin of error we had, so winning would have been very impressive, but moving forward, we don't want to be in the same situation. We need to be able to win games / series' on defense.

Agent0
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This is almost my exact feeling, though I think really we had just enough, our margin of error was so little in the games. I'm not too much on the refs, yea, it was rough, but for example, if we were not so reliant on offense and could win games on defense, whatever the refs might have or might not have done is mimimized.

We're better on offense, our previous teams couldn't produce offense like this in the playoffs, so props to Doc/Gentry and the players, but we're still showing to be a one way team. We can't win games on defense, all the pressure is on our offense, and that holds you back.

Our roster needs to better compliment itself. J.J. and Jamal are not the best pair. Davis at his size is not good enough as a primary PF and C backup because PF the length. Our SF's are basically average in everything. Average defenders, average scorers, despite previous success, shot like just barely above average shooters. Two good shooters (Danny and Dudley) who shot average for different reasons, and, one barely average shooter who is now average. Average scorers. At the least if we have one guy who is good on offense / shooting and average on defense paired with a guy who is good on defense and average on offense/shooting, they sort of compliment each other. Even the SSOL Suns gathered defensive guys, Jim Jackson, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Shawn Marion, Kurt Thomas, even they had some guys to mix it up and sort of balance it.

We tried, but I think we just need to make some tweaks to give us more options, more defensively, but even both ways such as a big 3PT shooter for offense so that we can really spread it out with CP/Blake and 3 shooters when we need/want to, etc. Of course, I didn't expect everything on the roster to be filled in one off-season, so as long as I see progress towards that, I won't complain too much.

CP3Best
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I just have to say that if OKC gets a good coach with an offensive system and teaches the players some basic fundamentals they'll be UNBEATABLE, refs were desperately trying to give them game 6. Missed call on that OBVIOUS goaltend, they don't call it, later Duncan gets held TWICE on both arms they call nothin', can you hear me shaking my head?

namzug
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I do feel that until we get some longer more athletic players our identity will not be that of a defensive team. All the teams ranked ahead of us in defensive efficiency have at least one if not two defensive perimeter players.

SA-Danny Green and Kawhi

OKC- Sefalosha (Westbrook and Durant have the athleticism and length to do it when they want)

Ind- All their perimeter players are decent to great defensive players

Chi- Jimmy Buckets and Deng before he was traded (Dunleavy would probably be on par with Matt on our team)

GS- Iggy and Klay (Barnes isn't too bad himself, but that is more potential then anything else)

MEM- Tony Allen and Mike Conley

I thought that defensive team was the identity this team wanted. This is one area where I feel Doc might have overestimated his defensive scheme. All the personnel he brought in were offensive minded players. I felt he was going more for a 3pt shooting team when our team was being assembled. I thought we were headed in the right direction, but we are still missing some pieces in my opinion.

I think it's hard to keep the team focused on defense when everyone on the team is focused on scoring. I think bringing in someone who is a defensive player first would help bring the mentality of getting pissed when they are scored on. I'd love for KG to join Doc's staff, because I think he would bring that to the bench and help both DJ and Blake. Still think the need for an athletic two player or at least a defensive player would be key to take the next step towards a defensive identity.

ClipperPostman
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When you are a top 4-5 team in the league you are very

close to a championship.

Doing anything drastic to jeopardize the success

you are already having is foolish.

We need a solid SF that can rebound, shoot the open 3,

and be athletic enough to take it to the paint.

We need a backup center big enough to rebound and protect

the paint to some degree. Big Baby can be a decent back up

PF, but at center it is a disaster. He his way to undersized.

Fix those 2 things we will be in the running for another championship

next year.

namzug
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I think it depends on what you consider Drastic. Is Ariza and Gortat for DJ and Jamal drastic. I'm not suggesting that just throwing out there as an example.

I agree getting a solid 3 should be a priority as well as a back up Center. I think we all say the same thing in different ways.

ClipperPostman
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Well lets see.

DJ is 25 years old - averages 10 - 13.6 - 2.5 bpg

Gortat is 30 years old - averages - 13 - 9.5 - 1.5

Gortat averages just 3 more points but puts up 4 more shot attempts.

Given those stats that probably wouldn't be a good move.

The reality is for a 25 year old center, DJ is a monster, and after another offseason

will realistically be top 3 most dominate centers in the NBA (Defense wise)

Look at Joakim Noah who won his first DPOY at the age of 29.

DJ is a special player and under the right coach like Doc will be one of the

most dominate defensive forces in the NBA.

As far as Jamal Crawford, it's no secret he is one of my favorite players

on the clippers and I believe critical to our success this season.

Let's look at reality.

Paul goes down 5 weeks. Jamal and Griffin step up and keep us afloat.

Without Jamal we are probably 6th or 7th seed.

Ariza definitely wouldn't be able to step into that type of role. In fact

no one else on the clippers could.

With that being said barring injury if we could get Ariza for Jamal,

and get an Anthony Morrow type sharp Shooter for the bench

I could see that working pretty well.

DC and Jamal on the bench together causes problems since

they both are ISO - Shoot first players.

namzug
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I agree with you Postman, DJ is my favorite player on our roster too (I feel like he is our very own since he is our second round pick); but you also have to take into consideration the pay included with that type of player.

I would rather we build a solid roster and keep DJ. I'm on the fence about Jamal, because I think we have to lose JJ or Jamal. I prefer JJ's off ball movement, but Jamal does have a clutch factor.

Agent0
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Warriors also have Draymond Green, he's a SF/PF.

I had the same feeling all summer than Doc was overrating himself as a coach. I just want think of any other reason why he thought signing Mullens, Jamison, etc would work out into a high level defensive team. His schemes were better, sure, but you still need the personnel up to a level. It's funny that basically DJ, and CP who was aiming to be Tony Allen for the team, despite being the player that handles the ball the most and is expending a lot of energy on offense, those were the two guys most committed to defense. Blake wasn't bad either, not saying he was or anything, neither was Barnes or Redick in terms of their commitment to defense, but those two took it to the next level. We sort of need that to be more widespread, but we still need the players.

Agent0
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I like DJ, a lot more than a lot of our fans did last season, that's for sure, but I do like to also look at the reality of NBA financials. DJ is good, but DJ is not giving you Ben Wallace, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan defensive impact. Of course the question is can he do that in the future? If you say yes, you definitely keep him. If you say "no, but he'll give you good defensive impact", his contract is tough. You can find a player who can do similar things and give defensive impact for a cheaper price. I certainly wouldn't just throw him around for any "next best thing" or some random player, but if the right opportunity presents itself, I'd consider him trade-able.

I actually also respect what Jamal has done for the team, and I believe he has some characteristics that are useful, but the best rosters are about balance and compliment, and Jamal is too much on the bubble when it comes to that, but in addition, one has to question how much longer he can sustain his play? Jamal was 33 years old this season, he turned 34 in March, he will be 35 going into next post-season. We need to let that settle and really consider that it might be time to sell high. Pierce 2 years and 5 months older than Jamal for example. It never seems like it is going to happen, but all players age and all fall off, and sometimes it starts with an injury, so we need to be aware of that.

That's the age part, but game wise, Jamal does some nice things, but with a well built roster, he just doesn't do as irreplaceable things as one might seem to think, but more importantly, because he has never committed to being a playmaker in his career, when he isn't scoring, he isn't bringing you anything on offense, and he's just not a specifically positive defensive player. So Jamal because of the way he chose to direct his game over what has now been a 14 years career is primarily only useful as a scorer. This is why outside of that fact that he's just better, a guy like Ginobili is a better 6th man type guy, because he doesn't just score, he's a high level playmaker.

Now, Jamal actually would be fairly acceptable in that role if the roster was different. Let us say we had Danny Green at SG, well he's a guy with length who defense and can shoot, he brings a lot of the things Jamal doesn't, they fill in the gaps for each other. In reality, we have Redick who is a 6'5 guy that actually is effectively NBA wise in terms of length a PG. Redick and Jamal really give you a lot of offense at SG, but overall, they are just not the best combination of SG's for overall all-round performance at the position.

So the combination of age, the pairing of him and Redick, his obvious limitations that kept him from being an All-Star or starting more than only 4/14 seasons are still evident. In season #15 and at 34 years old, what do you do with Jamal?

ClipperKyle32
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Same Thing happened in OKC lol. Refs must hate all of Docs teams

laboy
Clipper 6th Man
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how about a package of dj, crawford and dudley for l james??

I think that dj could be a great center...but his contract is up next year..

and if you remember ..last time we had to match golden states offer of 10 mil for him..

so if there is a great player to get out there...dj is expendable..

and he has talent....that is marketable...

we could bundle dudley with him..and that would free up 15 mil...

.hopefully we can replace him with a decent center..

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