ESPN Dallas: Sizing Up The Competition

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no1wammy
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Instead of just copy-pasting the links as I've done in the past, I decided to copy-paste the entire article here. The address will be provided below to identify the source host. Insider articles, however, will only have the address and its regular instructions.

Article written by Jeff Caplan

Source: espn [dot] go [dot] com [slash] blog [slash] dallas [slash] mavericks [slash] post [slash] _ [slash] id [slash] 4691552 [slash] sizing-up-the-competition-l-a-clippers

No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers

There is not a more beleaguered coach in the league than Vinny Del Negro. During a particularly trying spell last season in which the Clippers went 7-12 bridging February and March, some pundit on a daily basis was calling for Del Negro's head on a platter, and it even seemed as though the players were fed up, too. But then something happened. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Co., won six in a row to right the ship, and they closed out the final 19 regular-season games with a 14-5 record. They produced one of the most remarkable comebacks in playoff history in Game 1 on the Memphis Grizzlies' floor and then won there again in Game 7 despite Paul and Griffin being badly banged up. Sure, the Clips were easy pickings for the rolling San Antonio Spurs in the second round, but Del Negro -- for better or worse -- kept his job. The Clippers, who won 40 games for the first time since 2006-07 despite playing just 66 games and at least that many for just the sixth time in Clippers franchise history, look to have the pieces in place to build upon that this season.

Last season's results (Clippers won, 2-1)

@Clippers 91, Mavs 89

@Mavs 96, Clippers 92

Clippers 94, @Mavs 75

This season's games

Dec. 5: @Clippers (ESPN)

Jan. 9: @Clippers (ESPN)

March 26: vs. Clippers (TNT + Inside The NBA, with Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny "The Jet" Smith and Sir Charles Barkley!)

What's changed?

First off, the Clippers hope the knee injury Griffin sustained in July working out with Team USA is a non-issue when training camp opens. It might also serve as another signal for Griffin to find less violent ways to play the game and score the basketball. The All-Star power forward is widely criticized for possessing little offensive prowess outside of catching lobs and punishing defenders on his way to a posterizing dunk. Even so, Griffin has averaged a double-double in each of his first two seasons, averaging at least 20 points in both. He averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds last season, so if he does develop a true low-post game, the 6-foot-10, 251-pounder will be downright scary if not indefensible. The Clippers believe they've enhanced their roster, starting with the return of veteran guard Chauncey Billups, who missed 46 games last season with an Achilles injury. Grant Hill is one of several new additions. The 39-year-old was brought on board for his heady defense and his steady head. They also signed sharpshooter Jamal Crawford to replace Randy Foye and Mo Williams. The wild card acquisition was taking Lamar Odom off the Mavs' hands. The Clips will pay Odom his full $8.2 million and they hope to get a rejuvenated effort out of one of the league's most versatile forwards.

How the Mavs match up

No one can seriously claim they match up well with CP3, but as with the Nuggets' Ty Lawson and the Spurs' Tony Parker, Dallas can now at least shadow Paul with the youth and quickness of Darren Collison, as well as O.J. Mayo. L.A.'s backcourt could be dynamic with Paul fresh off winning the gold medal, Billups returning, Eric Bledsoe healthy again and Crawford popping 3s off the bench. The front court will also be a load. Mavs center Chris Kaman will likely be assigned to Griffin, just as Brendan Haywood was last season, allowing Dirk Nowitzki to handle the mostly negligible offensive threat of Clips center DeAndre Jordan. Sturdy defender Elton Brand will be a welcome addition to take turns on Griffin as well as Odom, whom Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has predicted a big season for in his return to his cherished L.A. And then there's still the toughness of Caron Butler, who played in the postseason with a broken wrist, and the declining but still dangerous mid-range game of old man Hill. At least Shawn Marion knows he won't have to tackle Paul this time around. All-in-all, the Mavs possess more speed and athleticism on the perimeter to play with the Clips, but this looks to be a very difficult matchup, particularly in a seven-game playoff series.

PleaseSellDTS
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Appears to be an honest asssessment of both teams. Unusual to read something other than a "homer" perspective from a Dallas sports source. So when can Blake get into Olajuwon school and become indefensible?????

CP3Best
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Man, Dallas will be good this season!

PleaseSellDTS
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^Not sure. After making a run at the big FA's they had to settle for Mayo, Kaman, Brand, Collison etc. That's not a bad group, but not a top tier playoff team either. They were looking to acquire superstar talent to support their aging superstar, like the Lakers did. Instead, they have just an aging superstar with ok talent around him. I see them as a 45 win team, but if anyone can coax extra wins out of them, it will be Carlisle.

CP3Best
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Yeah if they can get to 50 wins they are better than expected!

CP3Best
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Oh wait I forgot they parted out with Jason Terry and got Mayo who chokes in crunch time! Forget them!

clippersfan85
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Seems like an honest assessment of our team. If we finish with the 3 or 4 seed its a real possibility we will get the Mavs in the first round if they are the 5 or 6 seed. I really don't see Dallas surpassing the 5th seed this year with their current roster. Then there is always the possibility Brand and Kaman find the fountain of youth and play for them like the did in the Sam Cassell years here.

I would guess Dallas is a 40-45 win team this season. I think the Clippers will be 45-50.

tense2
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If everything goes right (no major injuries) I expect the Clippers to improve to a 55+- win season and get pass the 2nd round.

PleaseSellDTS
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I can't remember a window closing on an NBA championship team as fast as it has on Dallas. Even if the owner had kept Chandler last year, it was a long shot for them to repeat.

Clipswhit
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Nobody expected Dirk to get so hot during that playoff run. He was unstoppable.

seanrooks
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tense2 wrote:
clippersfan85 wrote:
Seems like an honest assessment of our team. If we finish with the 3 or 4 seed its a real possibility we will get the Mavs in the first round if they are the 5 or 6 seed. I really don't see Dallas surpassing the 5th seed this year with their current roster. Then there is always the possibility Brand and Kaman find the fountain of youth and play for them like the did in the Sam Cassell years here.

I would guess Dallas is a 40-45 win team this season. I think the Clippers will be 45-50.

If everything goes right (no major injuries) I expect the Clippers to improve to a 55+- win season and get pass the 2nd round.

Yeah, but that's a big "if". It's unfair that some people(not you, just people on this site in general) say the Lakers will have injury/age problems, but in the same breath say things like "Clippers will win 60 if they are healthy" because both teams have age/injury problems to deal with. If the Lakers and Clippers were both healthy in some hypotheical world, the Clippers could win 60 and the Lakers 70. But we all know that that's very unlikely. I'd say, realistically(taking age, injuries into account) the Clippers are a low-to-mid-50s win team.

CP3Best
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No clipper starters are as old or as injury prone as the ones from the lakers. D12 bad back, steve nash is almost 40.

pageC4
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i am amazed how people keep dismissing the lakers because of a perceived back problem for dwight howard. this is the first year in his career that he has ever gotten injured people need to stop that wishful thinking. by that logic the clippers will not have a healthy lineup because blake griffin had knee surgery

seanrooks
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Hmmm...not as old or injury prone? Let's look at the lineups:

Clippers:

Paul- 27 years old. Has had major knee surgery. Had thumb surgery this summer.

Billups- 35. Coming off an Achilles' injury, only one of the most serious injuries there is.

Butler- 32. Had knee surgery a year and a half ago that has slowed him down considerably.

Griffin- 23. Already 2 knee surgeries in his career.

Jordan- 24. Only one who has a clean bill of health.

Not to mention we have Hill, who is actually 40, on the bench, and has had a terrible history of injuries before playing in Phoenix.

Lakers:

Nash-38 years old. Has a bad back but in the last 11 seasons, has never missed more than 8 games in a season. He doesn't miss much time.

Kobe- 34. Has a ton of injuries, but manages to play through them and play well.

MWP- 32. No real injury history, but he's no good so whatever.

Gasol- 32. Another guy with no serious injury history who is still playing at an All Star level.

Howard- 26. Aside from this back injury, is known to be an iron man. How he recovers is yet to be seen, but I think he should be fine...

So when you actually compare the two starting lineups, I'd say ours is more injury prone, but theirs is older.

CP3Best
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That looks a little biased to me! Paul played almost every game last year, so find something else, and Blake hasn't slowed down in the 2 years that he's played every game since he got injured , had athroscopic surgery, if you know what that is you'll get to know that it is very MINOR, which is less than I can say for D12. Butler also played a lot of games last season. If you're mentioning Hill, that's stupid, because it's not like he's gonna be a main guy in our roster, so if he gets injured we'll just swing someone else at the 3! If you wanna measure up Butler to MWP, fine because MWP missed more games from suspension than Butler from injuries. Only question for us is Billups, so there you go! Can you tell me how the 2 knee injuries are related for Griffin? One more thing, we're not more injury prone, because we have a deep bench, no more 40 mins per night for Chauncey or anyone else, that's only available for the Lakers, it's gonna be a tight matchup can't argue about that, but don't say things that aren't true!

lucas26
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looks like we will own the Lakers this year!! Can't wait!!!

austin009009
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Its gonna be great to watch!!

lacsmoove
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I think both teams improved in the off-season. The Clips just improved a lot more in my opinion

CP3Best
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I kinda don't understand all this hype from the D12 aquisition, you can't say that defensively Bynum was way worse. They're numbers are almost identical, and Drew had to share the spoils with the likes of Gasol. D12 is .3 blocks and 1 point better than Drew and D12 played more minutes by like 2, and Drew is better offensively because he has a tremendous post game, and can knock down fts, shooting 690 in the reg season, 760 in the 1st round and 840 in the semis! SO where is D12 better?

seanrooks
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For one thing, Dwight brings it every night. For all the talk about his attitude, he never had games like Bynum did where Bynum just flat out stopped playing hard and finished with like 6 points and 4 rebounds. Also, stats don't tell the whole story on defense--in fact, they tell very little. For example, DeAndre Jordan averaged 2.1 blocks, and Tyson Chandler averaged 1.4. Does that make Jordan better? No, it just means he'll block a few more shots than Chandler over the course of a season. Blocks per game doesn't tell you how well you can guard a man one on one, can rotate on defense, or how often you go for pump fakes and get out of position--all things that Chandler does better than Jordan, which explains why the Knicks defense improved immensely with Chandler and why he got Defensive player of the year, while the Clippers were a mediocre defensive team and Jordan got little consideration for DPOY.

So in this case, maybe Bynum's stats are similar to Howard's, but it's widely accepted that Howard is still the better defender. Howard's Magic teams were consistently top ranked defensive teams despite starting the likes of Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and other poor defenders in the front court. The Lakers were good defensive teams as well, but Bynum always had another 7 footer next to him in Gasol, a good big defender in Odom, and good perimeter defenders in Artest, Ariza, etc.

One thing I will say about the Howard/Bynum comparison is that Howard matches up much better with the Clippers than Bynum did. While the Lakers' combo of Gasol/Bynum was much bigger and longer than Griffin/Jordan, the Clippers' bigs had the athleticism advantage. Bynum and Gasol could not run with Griffin and Jordan, and the 2 got some easy buckets in transitions or on lobs as a result. With Howard able to keep up with them, those opportunities will drop. Also, Chris Paul took advantage of this as well. We all know how much he loves to use a screen and force a big man to switch onto him, and then run circles around him and score. This worked well against the slower, plodding Bynum. It won't work as well or as often on and quicker, more athletic Howard. So in the Clippers matchup, Howard is a big improvement over Bynum.

Offensively, while I think Bynum's game is a bit more refined, he also got to play alongside a good passing big man in Gasol, who, along with Kobe, took pressure of Bynum. Howard was always the focal point of his offenses and drew a ton more double teams and more pressure than Bynum did. Now that Howard is playing with better players and a great passing big man, we can see how he does with fewer double teams and less pressure.

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The big difference between Bynum and Howard will end up being free throws late in games. That is where I think we can either take out Howard by making him score on the line, or have the other Lakers go away from him to stop him from going to the line. We have 3 centers that have 5 fouls to give without fouling out. If teams can game plan the same, this can frustrate Howard and the Lakers. Howard has had bad games, and centers tend can get frustrated when they don't get the ball. Howard has already been frustrated by that. He has already went public with wanting the offense go through him more when he was with the Magic.

You keep the ball away from Howard and foul him when he does have it and you'll see Kobe ball reemerge it's ugly head. If Stan Van Gundy went away from Howard due to his poor free throw shooting, Kobe and Potato head will do the same. Frustrate Frustrate Frustrate the hell out of Howard and good things will follow...For us. Smile

Yeah, Howard is on another level compared to Bynum on defense but everyone knows the bigs need to get rewarded, otherwise, they get frustrated. Howard included.

seanrooks
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Fair points about Howard, but despite his poor free throw shooting, he had success with his teams in Orlando, including a finals appearance. Being on a better team with Nash, Kobe and Gasol as other options, Howard will not have to touch the ball late, and while it might frustrate him, I think he'd sacrifice some touches for the good of the team. Also, the Clippers have this same problem with 2 of their starters--Jordan and Griffin. Hopefully the improve, but as of now they're on the same level as Howard.

seanrooks
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We've seen hack a Shaq employed time and time again, and it's usually not too successful. Teams tried hacking Evans, Jordan and Griffin and it never really mattered much. On a bigger scale, teams have hacked Howard and Shaq and their teams have still had a high level of success. Not to mention there is the rule about fouling in the last 2 minutes...

CP3Best
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If you're talking post season, when it matters BG shot a marvelous 80% in the semis and 70something% in the memphis series

seanrooks
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He shot 59% in the Memphis series, and the San Antonio series was only 4 games. His playoff total(for all 11 games) was 64%. So still not that good.

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The Magic had one of the highest payrolls during the time he was there. The Finals appearance had Hedu and Rashard at their best. That team had good players in a weak East conference.

As far as being on a better team, sure, I'd agree with that if we saw it on paper. The difference is that Howard isn't playing with players in their prime. On paper, it's one of the best starting 5. In reality, it's basically the oldest starting 5 in the league. No doubt that if this team was put together 5 years ago, it could win a title. But this team hasn't had one practice yet. It has 3 players that are effective with the ball. We don't know how that will work out but if I had to guess, judging by what Kobe usually does, it ain't going to be easy.

I don't think Howard will sacrifice touches. He has always put himself above every team and coach. He didn't want to be a Laker because he was being put in as a third option. Only reason reason why he accepted was cause it was either the Rockets, or Lakers. That's what you have to take into consideration when you say he will give up touches for the team.

He settled into a situation he didn't want to be in. That's what you have to remember.

clipper*joe
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If it wasn't successful, it wouldn't be called a hack-a-shaq. It works. Teams still do it and it worked on us in several games this past season.

seanrooks
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clipper*joe wrote:
seanrooks wrote:
We've seen hack a Shaq employed time and time again, and it's usually not too successful. Teams tried hacking Evans, Jordan and Griffin and it never really mattered much. On a bigger scale, teams have hacked Howard and Shaq and their teams have still had a high level of success. Not to mention there is the rule about fouling in the last 2 minutes...

If it wasn't successful, it wouldn't be called a hack-a-shaq. It works. Teams still do it and it worked on us in several games this past season.

Obviously it works occasionally. But for the most part it's not a successful strategy. Shaq won 4 rings in his career despite the hack a shaq stuff. Dwight Howard's Magic teams were always a contender(excluding last year when he was hurt), and that was when Howard was the focal point of their offense. With Dwight having much better support on offense, hack a shaq stuff will be an even smaller detail. I don't think that should be a focal point in slowing down the Lakers. To me, hack a Howard will only be a minor detail. There should be plenty of other strategies put in play before this one when facing the Lakers.

CapsNClips
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^ if dwight has more fire power on offense now, than that means it's even more important to hack-a-Howard.

seanrooks
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clipper*joe wrote:
seanrooks wrote:
Fair points about Howard, but despite his poor free throw shooting, he had success with his teams in Orlando, including a finals appearance. Being on a better team with Nash, Kobe and Gasol as other options, Howard will not have to touch the ball late, and while it might frustrate him, I think he'd sacrifice some touches for the good of the team. Also, the Clippers have this same problem with 2 of their starters--Jordan and Griffin. Hopefully the improve, but as of now they're on the same level as Howard.

The Magic had one of the highest payrolls during the time he was there. The Finals appearance had Hedu and Rashard at their best. That team had good players in a weak East conference.

As far as being on a better team, sure, I'd agree with that if we saw it on paper. The difference is that Howard isn't playing with players in their prime. On paper, it's one of the best starting 5. In reality, it's basically the oldest starting 5 in the league. No doubt that if this team was put together 5 years ago, it could win a title. But this team hasn't had one practice yet. It has 3 players that are effective with the ball. We don't know how that will work out but if I had to guess, judging by what Kobe usually does, it ain't going to be easy.

I don't think Howard will sacrifice touches. He has always put himself above every team and coach. He didn't want to be a Laker because he was being put in as a third option. Only reason reason why he accepted was cause it was either the Rockets, or Lakers. That's what you have to take into consideration when you say he will give up touches for the team.

He settled into a situation he didn't want to be in. That's what you have to remember.

High payroll doesn't always amount to good players. Rashard Lewis was one of the most overpaid players ever. That was insane. And yes, he had some good teams, but defensively they were terrible. Lewis and Turkoglu, as good as they were on offense, were awful defenders.(Also, on a side note, I don't think either of them in their prime were ever All Star caliber players). And that team beat the Celtics and the 60 win LeBron Cavs. So it wasn't such a terrible conference, although I agree it is weaker than the west.

And you mention players in their prime--I mean, prime or not, isn't 34 year old Kobe better than 29 year old Rashard Lewis? Isn't 32 year old Pau better than 30 year old Turkoglu? Isn't a 38 year old Nash better than a 27 year old Jameer Nelson? Past their prime or not, Kobe, Pau and Nash are still all very, very good players. I think the thing with this team is that what they have now may not last past one or two seasons--but for the time being, I have to believe that this supporting cast is the best one Dwight has had in his career.

And in terms of age--they aren't THAT old. Nash and Kobe, yes. MWP and Gasol are only 32. That's not that old by NBA standards. Look at the Boston Big 3, as assembled in 2007: Garnett was 31, Pierce was 30, and Allen was 32. And they basically contended for the next 4 or 5 seasons. Gasol is 32, so no reason to believe he can play a few more good seasons, and while Nash and Kobe are older than those Celtics guys, Howard is much, much younger, and much better.

Also, all this talk about chemistry--I think it's a bit overrated. Look back at the last few teams where chemistry was questioned: First, the 2008 Celtics: Same questions--can these aging veterans make it work? Can they play together? Who gets the last shot? Etc., etc...they win the title. 2011 Heat: Same old chemistry questions. Can LeBron and Wade play together? Who gets the last shot? Who's their team leader? They have some trouble out of the gate, people question if the experiment is a failure, do LeBron and Wade play to similarly to play together...then they still finish 2nd in the East with a record of 58-24 and come within 2 wins of a title, then won the title the next year. And how about the 2012 Clippers? They added their best player(Paul) along with 2 other starters(Billups and Butler) just a few weeks before the season, and added key bench players(Martin, Evans, Young) to the mix during the season. And they got their chemistry down just fine. The Lakers even have the benefit of a full training camp with their new people, unlike the Clippers. And just like how Paul is an offensive wizard who was able to create team chemistry instantly, Nash will likely have a similar effect.

Also, I think you are exaggerating Howard's and Kobe's selfishness. Kobe put his ego aside for the Olympic team. He knew LeBron was the best player, and he stepped aside. Sure, these guys have big egos and there will likely be some drama as always with the Lakers. But I don't think it will be so overwhelming that it will be detrimental to the team. These guys are still professionals.

Look, I don't think the Lakers are perfect. I think they are a very scary team, just below Miami and OKC. But I also don't think there's any need to downplay the talent they have by calling them old or past their prime when in reality they are all still very good players.

CP3Best
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You're right seanrooks, but for the record 64% for a big man is medium good at ft shooting, it's not bad!

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seanrooks wrote:

High payroll doesn't always amount to good players. Rashard Lewis was one of the most overpaid players ever. That was insane. And yes, he had some good teams, but defensively they were terrible. Lewis and Turkoglu, as good as they were on offense, were awful defenders.(Also, on a side note, I don't think either of them in their prime were ever All Star caliber players). And that team beat the Celtics and the 60 win LeBron Cavs. So it wasn't such a terrible conference, although I agree it is weaker than the west.

Rashard Lewis and Hedu were the reason why that team functioned great with a big man and vice versa. Those Magic teams were known just as much for their 3pt shooting as they were defense. In fact, I'd say they were more of a 3pt shooting team than a defensive team.

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And you mention players in their prime--I mean, prime or not, isn't 34 year old Kobe better than 29 year old Rashard Lewis? Isn't 32 year old Pau better than 30 year old Turkoglu? Isn't a 38 year old Nash better than a 27 year old Jameer Nelson? Past their prime or not, Kobe, Pau and Nash are still all very, very good players. I think the thing with this team is that what they have now may not last past one or two seasons--but for the time being, I have to believe that this supporting cast is the best one Dwight has had in his career.

What? Are you talking valuable in terms of what they produced as individuals? Or are you talking about what they did in their respective roles on that specific team? Rashard shot 40% from the arc when they made it to the finals. Jameer shot 45% from the arc. Hedu shot 45%. So did Pietrus. Courtney Lee shot 40%. That team was stacked with 3pt shooters shooting over 35%. Look at the roster. When I remember that team, I remember one of the best 3pt shooting teams, not a Howard led defensive team. So what do you mean?

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And in terms of age--they aren't THAT old. Nash and Kobe, yes. MWP and Gasol are only 32. That's not that old by NBA standards. Look at the Boston Big 3, as assembled in 2007: Garnett was 31, Pierce was 30, and Allen was 32. And they basically contended for the next 4 or 5 seasons. Gasol is 32, so no reason to believe he can play a few more good seasons, and while Nash and Kobe are older than those Celtics guys, Howard is much, much younger, and much better.

MWP can't defend like he used to. He's an old 32. Gasol is a role player now. he was last season and he will continue to be with Howard there. Those guys are slow so yeah, they are old in terms of the speed of the game.

The Celtics played defense first. They created off of defense. They dictated the pace. But even the Celtics knew they had to get younger in order to compete. They lost Allen, gave the team to Rondo, and are letting Peirce go after this season. the Lakers got even older after they tried to get younger. Aside from that, the Celtics had Rondo and Perkins to balance out the age. Lakers got an older center than they had and brought in more age. Look at it this way:

Aside from Howard, the next 5 guys are between 32 and 39 years of age. 2 of which are 39 yrs old. 2 are 32 yrs old, and Kobe is 34 playing in his 50th season.

clipper*joe
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seanrooks wrote:

Also, all this talk about chemistry--I think it's a bit overrated. Look back at the last few teams where chemistry was questioned: First, the 2008 Celtics: Same questions--can these aging veterans make it work? Can they play together? Who gets the last shot? Etc., etc...they win the title.

The Celtics won cause of Thibs. They all bought into the defensive philosophy of Thibs. What is Mike Brown bringing to the table? Nothing but doing whatever Kobe wants him to do.

Quote:

2011 Heat: Same old chemistry questions. Can LeBron and Wade play together? Who gets the last shot? Who's their team leader? They have some trouble out of the gate, people question if the experiment is a failure, do LeBron and Wade play to similarly to play together...then they still finish 2nd in the East with a record of 58-24 and come within 2 wins of a title, then won the title the next year.

The Heat had stars in their prime. 2 of which are top 10, arguably top 5 at the time. Lakers don't have that. Lakers don't have athleticism.

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Also, I think you are exaggerating Howard's and Kobe's selfishness. Kobe put his ego aside for the Olympic team. He knew LeBron was the best player, and he stepped aside. Sure, these guys have big egos and there will likely be some drama as always with the Lakers. But I don't think it will be so overwhelming that it will be detrimental to the team. These guys are still professionals.

Look, I don't think the Lakers are perfect. I think they are a very scary team, just below Miami and OKC. But I also don't think there's any need to downplay the talent they have by calling them old or past their prime when in reality they are all still very good players.

How am I exaggerating their selfishness? It's all documented, FFS! Kobe had to put his ego aside in the olympics, he was playing against the younger and arguably better players. This wasn't his team, this was their team. In LA, that's a different story. Kobe knows he's the man in LA. In other words, he couldn't be shotcaller when other players had more current accolades than Kobe. LBJ and Durant made the finals, it was their time, not Kobe's. Kobe, in his stomping grounds will act like the king.

He did it to Howard in that phone call that Kobe confirmed. He told Howard he had to wait in line behind Kobe and Gasol. That's why Howard didn't want to go there. Kobe finally confirmed, but downplayed the phone call. 2 Big egos, and one will have give in to the other.

They're both selfish and it's all recent stuff. Not sure how the Olympics is being used as an example.

Jeezus, in terms of basketball longevity, the team is freaking old! They're old and nothing you can say will change that. It is what it is. Look at MWP's stats. They're waning. So are Gasol's. Kobe is becoming more inefficient by the day but his ego still tells him he is 25 yrs old.

I ain't trying to downplay anything. father time is undefeated and he's knocking at the door.

ClipperB23
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Look, I think that you defend the Lakers more than you defend the Clippers but I guess ever since we started winning you've been whining.

Oh, and its VERY fair to say that MOST the Laker players are on decline/old, and that is not an opinion, but a fact.

toohipcliptoslip
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The key to LAL success is Nash Nash, Nash. Not Kobe or D12. I still believe that when Bynum grows up he will be as good as Howard. Nash can turn Pau into a ~ 20PPG guy. Nash is probably the only player in the league to whom Kobe may defer. He's one of the best pure shooters in the league and can close almost as well as Kobe. At crunch time it's pick your poison. They are still better thas 90% of the rest of the NBA age or not.

LAL has make signifigant additions from last yr and have to be considered seriously as a title contender

The difference between us and them is with them there will be no surprises. What you see is what you get. They'll bring what they've brought for years.

With us there are a million "IF"s.

1 Will Billups come back a year older and gimpy OR will his total body remake add youth to his game

2 Will DJ play like a $10 mill center?

3 Will BG have at least ONE post move and ~ 70% ft

4 Was Bultler's last yr, the worst of his career a fluke?

5 Will Lamar be a monster? (I think so)

6 Will Bledsoe's game have improved?

  1. Will VDN do OK with a good training camp and time to talk with CP3 and CB?

It everything falls together this is a championship team

I wonder if D12 is really going to re up with LAL when EVERYONE knows that given him the choice it would be

D12

BG

CP3

If the LAL don't get real close to a ring don't count it out

CP3Best
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4917
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Is seanrooks mad that we gave Kaman away, and that's why he's opposing everything about the clips and kissing the lakes!

toohipcliptoslip
CTB MVP X1
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http://img.spokeo.com/public/900-600/os ... _01_01.jpg

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multime ... innati.jpg

http://www.bigovideo.com/images/5years.jpg

Thanks for tha avatar help Joe.

Oscar was the third (or maybe 2nd) best player ever. BG is accepting an award from him. Compare his stats to MJ's and remember they didn't have a 3 pt shot. Check out his rebounds. On youtube there is a clip where he rips a board away from Wilt and Jabarr.

Who blocked 26 shots in one game? D12? Hakeem?

seanrooks
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clipperBryan32 wrote:
seanrooks wrote:

Look, I don't think the Lakers are perfect. I think they are a very scary team, just below Miami and OKC. But I also don't think there's any need to downplay the talent they have by calling them old or past their prime when in reality they are all still very good players.

Look, I think that you defend the Lakers more than you defend the Clippers but I guess ever since we started winning you've been whining.

Oh, and its VERY fair to say that MOST the Laker players are on decline/old, and that is not an opinion, but a fact.

Again with the personal attacks. This site is so f***** retarded. The rules here seem to be "Support the Clippers in anything they do, and know they are always better than the Lakers, and you are always right." In the past like 30 years, the Clippers have had a better record than the Lakers a total of what, 2 times? Last year, the two teams were about even. This summer, both teams improved--I just think the Lakers improved more, so I think they will be better than us. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I LIKE THE LAKERS. I am still a Clipper fan, but being a fan of a team does not mean thinking they are the best team. Holy ****, hasn't anyone here ever rooted for the Clippers before they were good? Remember just like 9 months ago when we didn't have Chris Paul and we sucked? Remember that we weren't the best team? Now that we have Paul we're a whole lot better, but don't get mad at someone for thinking we're not the best. I only come off as a Laker supporter because I always get frustrated when stupid people on this site say things like "Lakers suck, Kobe will just chuck bad shots and Pau is a vagina and Nash is old and Howard is a baby and they have no bench so they will not make the playoffs!" Christ, the Lakers improved since last year, and they were 3rd in the conference last year, and people are saying they got worse????!!?! If people were making dumb arguments the other way--"Lakers will go undefeated, we're perfect, the Clippers suck because they're the Clippers!" then I'd get mad too. I like to keep things realistic, on both sides, except I never find myself having to argue with dumb Laker fans on this site, only dumb Clipper fans. **** man. The Clippers are a really good team this year, but so are the Lakers. And there's nothing wrong with being a Clipper fan and thinking they aren't the best team in the league, or in this city.

seanrooks
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And it's true that 3 of the 4 Laker stars are declining--but how much? Nash was still an awesome point guard last year. His scoring dipped, but his shooting is still elite. Still one of the most efficient scorers and shooters in the league, and can still run an offense. Pau still averaged 17.4, 10.4 and 3.7 assists last year. His career numbers are 18.7, 9.2 and 3.2. So that's a slight decline, but he's still a pretty damn good player. Kobe's percentages dropped a bit, but he still averaged 28 5 and 5. So sure, they're declining a bit, but all 3 are still all star caliber guys. And Howard is just 26, so he's not old.

It's funny, the guys in LA who are declining faster are the ones on our team. Odom, Crawford, Hill, Butler...these are the guys whose numbers and games and dropped much more drastically than any of the Laker guys. And yes, they are only our role players so they're not as important to the team. But Nash, Kobe and Pau are all still playing at a very high level, and are in a sense more role players themselves when you take into account that they are playing with each other and that their best player is 26 years old. Kind of like how the Celtics have become Rondo's team while Pierce and Garnett and Allen have aged. All 3 are much older, but still played efficiently because they weren't counted on to carry the team by themselves. Same thing with the 3 "aging" Lakers with Howard.

CP3Best
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They swapped the 2nd best C for the best C, stats are almost identical, they improved at the point but lost major defense, and that best C is not gonna be available for a chunk of the season, we have chances to win the Pacific next season!

seanrooks
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Stats are almost identical, but stats don't tell the whole story. Howard is better. And they improved A LOT at the point guard position. What defense did they lose? Sessions/Fisher/Blake are not good defenders. The Lakers always got beat by good point guards before anyway, so I don't think they really lost anything by getting Nash.

CP3Best
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How is Howard better? especially when he'll miss 1/3 of the season?

seanrooks
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1/3 of the season? Yesterday, someone said 40 games! Then I heard just the first 3 weeks. There is no official timetable for Howard, so it's possible he'll miss 40 games and it's possible he starts the first game of the season. To me, what matters is this: will Howard be ready for the playoffs? And I don't think anyone will say he won't be. I'm not sure the Lakers would trade for him, especially after meeting with Howard and his doctors countless times before the trade, if they felt his injury would hamper him that much. So sure, let's say he misses 40 games. Nash, Kobe and Gasol is still probably enough to go 25-15 in those 40 games. Then have Howard come back for the last 42 games and make a run, and they're in great shape for the playoffs. So fine, if Howard misses 40 games, the Clippers have a chance for a better record. But I still think come playoff time, the Lakers would be better.

pageC4
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clipperBryan32 wrote:
seanrooks wrote:

Look, I don't think the Lakers are perfect. I think they are a very scary team, just below Miami and OKC. But I also don't think there's any need to downplay the talent they have by calling them old or past their prime when in reality they are all still very good players.

Look, I think that you defend the Lakers more than you defend the Clippers but I guess ever since we started winning you've been whining.

Oh, and its VERY fair to say that MOST the Laker players are on decline/old, and that is not an opinion, but a fact.

seanrooks is entitled to his opinion. he has been a loyal fan and a member here for quite some time. his allegiance should not be in question just because he thinks another team made good moves. please respect other view points

cleepers
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SeanRooks -

Whoever ends up being better, if you're expecting to read glowing testimonials of the lakers on a Clippers fan site, one has to question your sense of reality.

If you're so convinced they'll be better... call your bookie, bet the farm and be done with it because you're not going to find many like-minded people here.

At this point, predictions are nothing but projections of our emotions anyway... Hope (that the Clippers will be better) or fear (that the lakers will be better).

I'm choosing hope... because I hate everything the lakers stand for, I'm sick and tired of reading how great they're going to be - even on OUR board, and because witnessing a hodge-podge of overpaid, declining "superstars" squirm and squabble over every shortcoming and failure under a huge spotlight promises to be almost as much fun as watching our TEAM hand them their asses.

seanrooks
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Question my sense of reality? I'm not expecting "glowing testimonials" for the Lakers, but I am hearing some ridiculously unrealistic ideas thrown around here. I predicted the Lakers to win 58 games and the Clippers to win 53--both good teams, with the Lakers slightly better. Is that realistic? I'd like to think so. But the responses I get are "you're a Faker fan!" or "stop hating the Clippers!" or "Stop whining!" or "The Lakers have no bench so they suck!" or "Steve Nash is washed up so they suck but DeAndre Jordan is better than Dwight" or "Pau sucks because he is a vagina." And MY sense of reality is being questioned?

ClipperB23
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Nobody is questioning your ''sense of reality'' but I've noticed that everytime the Clippers and Lakers are used in a topic/argument, instead of giving support to YOUR team, you become a debbie downer and take shots at YOUR own team and give the Lakers much more props than they actually deserve, especially when they haven't proved squat.

I would like to know which poster declared DJ better than Dwight because I don't think anyone ever said that, even if your the biggest Clipper homer (someone like me) they still wouldn't rank DJ above Dwight. I'm not trying to take shots at anyone and if you feel as if I did, I apologize to you seanrooks, I'm just trying to get my point out and give support to the team I've been loving since I was introduced to basketball.

seanrooks
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There is a difference between supporting and rooting for your team and thinking your team is the best team. You can love your team while at the same time thinking they are flawed or not liking some things they are doing. I am not taking shots at my own team by thinking they aren't the best team. And the Lakers have proved just as much as the Clippers have, so yeah, nobody has proved anything yet. The DJ>Dwight comment was an exaggeration, to show a point, but I'm pretty sure all of the other ridiculous comments I posted were said at one point or another. That's the stuff that pisses me off. If someone has a fair argument for why they think the Clippers will be better, that's fine. I don't know everything and don't claim to know everything. In my opinion(which is attempting to be unbiased and fair, not anti-Clipper) the Lakers are a better team than the Clippers. This doesn't mean I hate the Clippers, it doesn't mean I love the Lakers, it doesn't mean I'm not a fan, it doesn't make me a Debbie Downer. From what I have seen from these two teams, and from what I know about the players they have each acquired, I have tried to form an informed and unbiased opinion, and have come to think that the Lakers are better. Do I know this as a fact? No, that would be ridiculous for anyone to say. Nobody can predict the future. Do I want this to happen? No, I want the Clippers to go 82-0 and win the title. But from what I know and have observed over years of watching NBA basketball, that is what I believe. I believe that the Lakers will have a better season than the Clippers, and it doesn't make me any less of a fan.

Now, I have voiced this opinion pretty consistently, and instead of getting fair, unbiased opinions of why the Clippers might be better, I get a whole lot of responses telling me I'm a terrible fan because I'm hating on my team or I'm a Laker apologist or that clearly the Clippers are better because the Lakers are old and washed up. And when I show that the Lakers' older players aren't all that washed up, and have been very effective, good players even as they age, I just get angrier responses. It gets frustrating. I'm a Clipper fan, but I don't think the team is perfect, and I think the Lakers are a better team. If someone has some fair points to show why the Clippers are better without being a total homer or completely bashing the Lakers or belittling my opinion, that's fine.

ClipperB23
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Repped High Quality Post

Fair enough, I respect your opinion. Maybe I'm too optimistic but I will never change, I don't think that the Clippers will have a better record than the Lakers this season, I KNOW they will!

wavyballer
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I understand that you are putting forth an objective opinion in

Evaluating the Lakers roster.

But just don't expect to be praised.

I hang out at clipsnation mainly. It's been a little dead over there

So I thought id join up over here.

It would be nice to have a definite timetable for the return of DH12.

What we do know is that he hasn't been cleared to run or lift.

I have a clinical background & work closely neurosugeons so I kind of know

What type of procedure he had to repair his herniated disc.

The most likely had to bone removed from the canal where spinal cord

Goes thru since it was being pinched. With his surgery being back in April I can realistically see

Him back on the court in January. Since I don't know if the procedure was on thoracic

Lumbar or the sacrum its hard to say exactly.

Nash also has some back issues of his own too.

I'm not foolish enough to underestimate the Lakers & agree

That they are a 50+ win team. I've also gone over the clips schedule

& its possible we can win 60 games depending on health and well we do

On those late season road trips.

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