The 2014-15 Clippers Are Going in the Right Direction

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uncool
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*Discloser- I've had a few beers before writing this post, please forgive typos, incomplete sentences, or mistakes but I feel this is necessary.

We went to 6 games against OKC last year. And even if we had advanced, that was the Spurs' year. Nobody, not even "The King", was getting in their way. But we weren't that far away. Only 2 teams in the west & 1 team in the East were better than us last year, and I'd say Spencer Hawes taking less to join us would put us ahead of OKC, who only added Morrow & Telfair but lost Sefolosha & Fisher, and ahead of Miami who lost the best player on earth. So that puts us around #2 behind the defending champions with all things equal... as a Clipper fan, I WILL TAKE THAT!

What were our weaknesses? Backup Bigs, and defending wings right? Well in one offseason, we completely solved one of those issues! For a capped-out team, how much can you expect? Solving one glaring weakness each offseason is about all a team can do with an MLE available. 3 seasons back, we got a perennial sixth-man of the year with our MLE, last year we got a backup plan for if Dud was a dud, and a backup for CP3 getting hurt, and this year we got a starting-caliber center worth $7-$9 mil to take our MLE & be our third big... that's not bad.

Yes, Doc missed on Dudley. He had tendonitis and was out of shape, but who could have predicted this fall-off? He was a 39-40% 3pt shooter for $4.25 mil, sounded alright to me at the time. The bad thing is that his deal has 2 years left, but its a cheaper mistake than other ideas we had... like Bargnani for DJ...

So our SF's don't defend KD or Lebron very well... who does? Tony Allen is about all that I can think of. I think KD & LBJ are going to get theirs' most nights, at least Matt Barnes irritates and makes guys work... we can't have an All-Star team guys... we're pretty good.

On most nights, 3 of our starters and our sixth man are better than their opponent... how much can we ask guys? Let's all just calm down a little, winning rings isn't easy, but we're getting closer every year and Blake & DJ are still getting better. We'll be okay.

cleepers
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Yeah, you're drunk... but you still make more sense than half of CTB members do when they're sober.

worm
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Yes I agree!

clipper*joe
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Drunk or not, Repped!

CapsNClips
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This is exactly how I feel. Great post.

Dunkathon
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Finally, someone on this board who doesn't think the sky is about to fall and crush them.

That being said, it has been a bit disappointing to see the Clippers not get a clear upgrade at SF so far. That may change in the coming days though.

slestack11
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Well, there's nobody available as a free agent that is worth starting at SF now. It would have to be via trade and I don't think we should trade Jamal Crawford or Deandre for a small forward when we already have Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley.

ClipperKyle32
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I'm freaking hyperventilating. I am trying to deep breaths man... Haha

toohipcliptoslip
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We don't have a good defender at 2 or 3 but we didn't last yr. Collison was better on small fast guys. We don't have Hollins! Reddick will be healthy. Much of our problem was our melt down. We should have handed OKC their heart on a plate. an Farmar lead like Collison if CP gets hurt. BG isn't bad on LBJ and Deng may not be bad on KD but unfortunately the cap rules. Is sucks because LAL bought teams. We could have easily gotten Deng or Ariza a few years ago. Is Hawes an upgrade. If Dud produces Yes. I still think we should consider Hedo. There is a possiility BG will be a more complete player and DJ will have an offense. A lot will depend on that.

botev1921
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This is total bull. A team that lacks balance is NOT going anywhere. For three years now we are going in the wrong direction. We had great hustle bigs in Evans and Martin and we let them go for nothing. So we created a problem sometime in 2012 that we still have not solved - depth at the 4 and 5. What do we have there now - two starters and ONE backup. Not enough depth! Since Ryan Gomes we are short at the 3 and every player we get there is more of a backup than a starter. What do we have there now - NOTHING. This is not about defending Durant or LBJ, it is about not having holes in the starting five. The lack of balance is most obvious in the amount of 2's we have. We have four pretty much identical SG's! What is the point in having Bullock and Wilcox when you have Redick and Crawford? Have you seen McGary play in the Summer League...we were stupid enough not to realize that reliable bigs are hard to find and instead of doing our best to get the guy, we buried ourselves in shooting?!?

Overall - no balance, lack of defending, no idea in the draft, allowing good players to leave just like that...no direction overall and no ambition to win. We will be stuck somewhere between the conference 2nd round and the conference final until CP3 retires - PERIOD!

InlandEmpire
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S/T Crawford and Dudley + Pick for Deng if possible

S/T Bullock for G.Green

S/T Barnes for Aminu and Rivers

DJ Hawes

Griifin

Deng Aminu

Reddick Green Rivers

Paul Farmar

For the PF maybe get Brand Cunningham Blair etc on the cheap...

uncool
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^Overreaction of the century here.

Going in the right direction includes letting your own players develop. As in Blake, DJ, & eventually Reggie. Do you see OKC or SA making huge FA splashes every year? No, & I'd argue OKC's rosters have had a lot more holes than ours'. They don't whine about every position they don't have an all-star at, they grow together, create continuity, & watch KD & Russ get better year after year. And going into the playoffs, all things equal, OKC has as good a shot as any team... year after year. That's all that fans can ask for, after that, things have to break right, like hot shooting, refs, etc... We can't expect to be world-beaters every year.

clip49
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Have to agree with original post.

The Clippers have two all stars: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Two game changers.

A rim protector in DeAndre Jordan.

Got shooting with Redick and Hawes.

Barnes and Dudley will hold down the SF position.

And the bench has large firepower. With Crawford, Farmar, Turkoglu, and Wilcox

coming off the bench there will be no letdown in scoring. Maybe at times

even outscore the starters.

If healthy this is a dangerous team.

JQuick32
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Oh, those two will be holding it down alright.... as in, preventing it from getting better!

clips4life32
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If we are able to pick up Big Baby and Aminu for the minimum, our roster would be solid.

PG: CP3, Farmar

SG: Redick, Crawford, Wilcox

SF: Barnes, Dudley, Bullock

PF: Griffin, Big Baby, Aminu

C: DJ, Hawes

Wild card would be Dudley. If he comes into camp healthy and in shape, he can still make a difference out there. He knows what it takes to be on this team and losing his role could make him play with a chip on his shoulder.

All in all, not a bad roster.

clip49
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Hopefully Rivers will sign a defensive minded SF.

There is enough firepower even if he can't shoot.

InlandEmpire
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Barnes Dudley Crawford and Reddick oh and Turk all injury risk now. There to old to play the roles they need to now. If the bench is out scoring the starting unit from nigh to night its a problem, that's why they brake down and they will continue to due to ageing. We have our core and its fast uptempo and athletic besides Paul lol. We were at our best when Paul went down and Collison ran the show with speed utilizing Blake and DJ's strengths. We need to surround them with speed and defense not ball stopping Crawford and sluggish Dudley and Baby. Barnes is good but if we can sell high on Crawford and Barnes and throw in Dudley to get younger and cheaper id do it...

InlandEmpire
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http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=n2n6th6

worm
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Some of the guys here want an All Star 5 team players that will not happen.

uncool
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Easily the worst trade we could possibly make. We'd have the worst locker room with zero chemistry & zero leadership.

ClipperKyle32
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We were... We were right there. Literally seconds from probably advancing to WCF. We were trending up , but then the offseason started. It was our time to improve. Our needs we PG,Big Men, and....

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JQuick32
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Who's expecting an all-star? We just want a small forward that belongs in the NBA!

uncool
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Now Matt Barnes doesn't belong in the NBA? Simmer down Chicken Little, the sky isn't falling. I wonder if there are even Miami or Laker fans panicking as much as you...

And if I recall, you were livid that we couldn't get LeBron... I'd consider that expecting an all-star... expecting THE all-star.

namzug
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The roster is not bad we just need a defensive wing. If we could get a Starting small forward that would be great. If we picked up Wes Johnson I'd feel better or if we traded for a Gerald green.

Overall I think our offense will be even better (efficiency wise and flow). Our defense will slightly improve due to continuity. There are still upgrades that can happen, but it isn't an emergency.

I would like to bring Dantoni to continue Gentry's work. If Garnett retires Id like to bring him on to the staff.

pageC4
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uncool, that is a bad comparison. The Spurs and Thunder each have reached the finals with their core, while we have not. For them it makes sense to just retain what they have, we have never made it past second round so we need to make changes. The thing that people keep forgetting is that we are not the Spurs and to compare their trajectory to our is incredibly erroneous.

uncool
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The Spurs core has grown together for over a decade... CP, BG & DJ have had 3 seasons and only one with a great coach that is anywhere near Pop's level. We should understand giving our core a level of patience more than most after wanting to give up on DJ & even Blake a year ago, & then seeing them both explode after 1 year with Doc! Every good team can't be in the finals or even semis every year, there is a process. OKC went through the process from 8th seed all the way to finals, we can do the same, from perennial lottery team to now.

tense2
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Well said uncool. Some people here just don't get that it's a process that in most cases takes time to built. There are exceptions to that rule sometimes (recently, Boston/Miami) but those situations are rare.

We are on the right path and hopefully we can reach the top sooner then later.

BaadMaster
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Voice of reason: with the new CBA (and even before it), EVERY team had a bum at one or two key positions. The good coaches and teams work around it. Miami covered for Chalmers, the Pau Lakers covered for old man Fisher and the Spurs covered for Splitter with team defense.

Short of the caveman NBA era, you cannot have an All-Star -- or even a good player -- at every position. That's the facts, Jack.

All you need for a title is a Big Three, great coaching, fair reffing and some luck. And still, thirty teams fail every year.

After all these lean years, Clipper fans should be in seventh heaven to have a contender, an exciting team to watch. Titles, shmitles. Lots of things have to break right (like that Horry prayer for the Lakers, phantom call for DWade years ago, Dirk playing out of his mind, Manu bricking free throws last year, etc.) to win a title.

Enjoy the ride, wherever it ends.

Addendum: props for uncool for setting the "sky is falling" crowd straight. And for the the "sky is falling" set, there is always the Lakers. They don't even have a sky!

realbull17
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Lakers get our 2015 2nd rounder.

clippyclip
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For what?

realbull17
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from the jeremy Lin trade.

clipperboy24
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Spurs made the finals and won Duncan's second year. Pistons core group was together for less than 3 years with their finals trips. Lakers were together less than 3 years when they starting hitting the finals in 08 and in 99 Mavericks really only had Dirk who had been there long term. What do all these teams have in common? It wasn't homegrown let them grow together talent but key acquisitions that brought them to the finals and titles.

It's great in theory to say lets gel the team together and let them grow into a championship team but the proof isn't there. You can say certain players need to grow but they need the acquisitions to get then there. Thunder are one of the rare teams to grow over time and I think most would agree they probably aren't winning a title with their current composition.

puddnhead83
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All 3 of those players played their role the way the coach wanted them to play. I don't see how any of those players are bums since they are crucial got their team winning a championship. Especially Fisher who even at an advancing age was a great role player. Nobody worked around these players, these players covered for the deficiencies of the all-stars on their teams.

clip49
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The Clippers are going in the right direction and the window to win is now.

The Clippers have made no stupid moves, but smart moves for good players who will

contribute.

Doc Rivers is a great coach and the organization is in good hands.

Worldbthree
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Love it and agree, I remember fans on here saying things like "If we let Trey Thompkins we will pay for it" and now we get the We don't have a complete team crowd. Totally funny.

Dunkathon
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Yeah, and the Clippers have only had a championship caliber coach for ONE year, even less time than any of the teams you just mentioned. Yet you and other detractors here expected them to win it all this year. Also, the Clippers aren't going to get a top 5 player all time all of a sudden (like the Spurs did in 1999). All the other Spurs championships were won with the core of Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan, and their success is largely because they've all been playing in the same system for years now.

The Lakers got Pau Gasol (and Bynum from the draft a few years before) in what many considered one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history at the time. The Mavs had Carlisle and his system there for two years before their championship year came, and Cuban gave up any chance at a repeat by swinging for the fences for CP3 and Dwight instead of letting his current core gel together.

I do agree that just having homegrown talent grow together alone doesn't win rings, but neither does key acquisitions. Unless you're getting an all time great, your team is going to need at least 2-3 years to gel and get used to playing with each other.

Scplum
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To get to where we want to go we will have to make improvements and to do that we have to make smart moves but also take risks. Drafting CJ wilcox is debatable and I understand that some will say that late you take the best available player but you could also make an argument that he wasn't and it wasn't at a position of need. We needed a SF or at least a versatile player that can slide to the 3 and provide options. I admit its difficult to find the perfect 3 that late so you pick either a player with a high offensive ceiling or a lock down defender. The West is the most difficult conference and to compete we can't stand pat. So yes I agree we are going in the right direction but when you have an opportunity to move up by trading a pick or picking up a vet you have to do it.

Agent0
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...and some luck.

clipperboy24
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I am not such a detractor of the clippers, I am a fan of the team and just saying what I think would be the best decisions based on what I see. I was against the Dudley deal from the beginning, hated on baron davis for the same reason being overweight and unmotivated. I didn't like the way vinny picked his rotations but liked the way he developed talent, but wish he played bledsoe more. Wanted DJ to play more solid fundamentals. the one most don't agree with is my criticism of chris paul slows down the ball movement and wastes too much clock dribbling. These were my main gripes over 6 years!!!! I have supported this team through thick and thin (mostly thin) and want to see them do the best possible.

Signing Hawes was awesome but we needed a SF even more than a backup big but Hawes was a great price. For me it's always a matter of making the best decision we can and the players and coaches giving their full effort. If they do that then what happens happens. We had a chance to add a starting SF and so far have struck out. If we add Turner, that would be a nice addition especially if paired with AFA.

CapsNClips
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LOL, the Rockets gave up Asik, Lin, Parsons and draft picks for Ariza.

Talk about NOT going in the right direction.

Remember when people were crying about how great Darrell Morey is and how Doc isn't doing anything? Good times...Good times.

BaadMaster
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And then the Lakers treated Pau like he had leprosy after three straight Finals, two titles. And what did they get for their actions? Nil as the soccer people say.

I am glad Doc has not "trade rumored" DJ or any of the Clips starters. Not even Dudley. You either do a Timmy and keep a player for the whole duration, if you can, or "surprise trade" him.

Doc is doing it right -- even if many here like the "Clippers interested in" crap.

Shut up until the deal is done. That is the way teams stay on top. Kudos to Doc and the FO!

JQuick32
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This! I'm so happy Pau walked and the Lakers got nothing in return. They deserve it. Lakersground was in meltdown mode after that, LOL.

Pau is one of the few Lakers I have ever liked and respected.

UKClipper
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They move up a back up center and a back up point guard making nearly 15 million each and you're laughing at them?! Hilarious..

Also if you read you'll see they are not resigning Parsons because it prohibits what they can do in future even though I think it's a mistake as Parsons could develop into that 3rd superstar.

They cleared room to try and get in a 3rd superstar which is fair enough, more than what we've tried to do. (As far as we know)

I've seen you praising this offseason and I think the signings we've made are really good but the one we needed most hasn't appeared. If we go into the season with the current lineup we are in big trouble. We have 2 players in our starting line up who can create their own shot and one dead eye shooter. Against the top teams that play good defense that won't do it.

Notice the championship teams the last few years have basketball players at most positions and no black holes. The SF position is a crucial position and we need to make a move to ensure we make progress this year

CapsNClips
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Asik and Lin make $8mil a year each.

And I'm not worried about what past champions have done. I want us to set a new trend where every team covets an explosive PF who has the handles of a PG and the ability to run it up himself.

The SF spot is only crucial if your trying to play catchup with past teams. Let's be trend setters, not followers.

clipperboy24
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They got screwed by Bosh, so not really fair what your are saying. If bosh had taken the deal they offered him and had planned for, their lineup would have been:

PG: Patrick Beverly

SG: James Harden

SF: Chandler Parsons

PF: Chris Bosh

C: Dwight Howard

With a backup big of Terrence Jones or Donatus Montejunas (depending what trades they did) that is insane. Who knows how the chemistry would have worked but I think it would have been good because Bosh is a complementary player and doesn't need the same amount of touches.

Now they have some cap room so it will be interesting. They did save $7mm per year on Ariza over Parsons, that's pretty significant.

UKClipper
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CapsNClips the cap hit is 8 mill but they're making 15 million, which is a lot for two back up players! It just means they're set up to make a run at Kevin Love if he doesn't get traded next year. Or Rondo or Millsap. They now have good cap space.

We will never win a championship the way the team is set up. Blake is elite and a top 3 player but he can't do it by himself.

Deandre just sits in the paint so teams don't have to pay attention to him and he can't hit 50% free throws.

Matt is a great bench player but he can't create or facilitate. And JJ is a great player but only a shooter. To win a chip the team has to be full of capable basketball players who play both ends and have a wide range of skills. We don't have that right now

CapsNClips
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Sure it would've been good IF they got Bosh, but Morey was reckless and traded away Asik weeks before getting a commitment from any star player and traded J Lin before getting a verbal commitment from Bosh. He also denied Parsons qualifying offer this year which means if he didn't do that they'd have Parsons for one more year for under $1mil next.

All those things would've been fine if his team was already terrible, but he already has Dwight and Harden. There's no need to risk everything for one more star player. They could've used their $20mil in cap space to actually fill all their holes (which were a lot of holes).

tense2
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This will be the 3rd year together for the 3, so will see what transpires this season.

Different time also. Harder to get those key acquisitions with the changes in the new CBA.

And Agent0 mentioned, we need a little luck.

clipper*joe
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Parsons screwed the Rockets, not Bosh. Miami gave him a better offer, you can't blame him. Bosh never committed to the Rockets.

CapsNClips
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Parsons wouldn't have been able to screw them if only they took Parsons qualifying offer.

There's no reason any team should turn down Chandler Parsons for 1 more year at $900k.

Rockets scewed themselves in a big way.

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