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Spurs Did In Their Heels - Clippers Looking At March 1 Deadline?

Posted by: JamFan on Thursday/February 14/2013 - 11:23 AM
Clipper Blog 
PIC OF THE DAY - Goes to Tony Parker who demolished Chris Paul and the Clippers last night. Tony went for 31 points leading the Spurs to a 26 point victory.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES - The Clippers go out and thump the Lakers before the All Star Break and they looked like the team to beat in the Western Conference. Then Chris Paul wins the All Star MVP, and all the commentators were hinting that not only was CP3 the best point guard in the league but maybe a top candidate for MVP. Then, in the first game after the break, Tony Parker felt like he had something to prove. Tony, who just happens to play for the Spurs who have the best record in the NBA, went out and demolished the Clippers 116 - 90, and demolished Chris Paul along the way. Tony went for 31 while Chris had more fouls than points. Suddenly, the TNT commentators are all saying that maybe Tony Parker is the best point guard in the league and maybe he should be considered for MVP. What a difference a day makes.

CLIPPERS COULD BE LOOKING AT MARCH 1 DEADLINE - One of the reasons the Clippers did not make a trade is because they are now looking to free agency. There is a March 1 deadline for teams who are not in the playoff hunt, and who have players that they could not trade with big contracts, can by them out and release them so they can sign with teams who do have a chance in the playoffs. The Clippers did not want to give up the youth and potential of EBled and DJ to bring in a stud small forward. But if the right player becomes available at the right price, they do have a roster spot available.

LA DOMINATES ALL STAR WEEKEND - CP3, Blake, Kobe, and Dwight all perforned well in the All Star game. CP3 was the MVP but Blake Griffin had 19 points and a couple of earth shattering dunks. Kobe played the role of faciliator and took a back seat to Chris and Paul, but did play some good shut down defense on Lebron during a 4th quarter comeback attempt. He even blocked on of Lebron's jump shots. Howard didn't play that much, probably because of his injury, but did hit a 3 point shot, and a half court hook shot during warm ups. Gee, I thought he had a shoulder injury.

CLIPPERS ON EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER - After beating the Lakers by 25 points before the All Star break, the Clippers come back from the break only to lose to the Spurs by 26. OK, the entire roster is back, and we are as deep as hell. But this team still plays at times like a young team with a lot of emotional baggage. Having won 3 in a row, it certainly seems like they have things going in the right direction again. But how they won against the Rockets still bothers me. They went out and scored an unbelievable 48 points in the first quarter. That was followed by only 60 points in the next 3 quarters. In fact, they were outscored after that. They seemed to have gone from an unbelievable high to start the game, only to sink to an unbelievable low to finish the game.

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Jamfan's Fast Break - Clippers Dominate At The Garden

Posted by: JamFan on Friday/February 08/2013 - 11:20 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

PIC OF THE DAY - Today's honor could go to Jamal Crawford who led all scores with 27, but Chis Paul did it all. Chris went for 25 points while hitting 10 of 17 shots and 3 of 5 from downtown. He also had 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals in 29 minutes.

CLIPPERS HAVE A GARDEN PARTY - After being demoralized in Miami, and having to stay in South Beach with time to dwell on the defeat, then having to arrive in New York late because of the storm, and having to play a game with a very early start time, all the excuses for a flat performance were there for the taking. Instead, the Clippers came out looking like the team that won 17 straight not to long ago and handed the Knicks a convincing 102 - 88 defeat.

Chris Paul and Chauncey Billips started the game by hitting 3 straight shots from beyond the arc. Chris finished with 25 points and set the table for Jamal Crawford who went for 27 off the bench. Blake Griffin had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Our starters outscored our bench bya margin of 54 -48. But the +/- rating was dominated by our bench. That means the starting lineup was treading water while the bench was exploding when they were on the floor and playing great defense. Grant Hill was the only guy who could slow down Carmelo Anthony holding him to 4 points in the 4th quarter. Without Grant, Carmelo could have went for 60. Imagine this40 year old guy becoming our defensive specialist.

NEXT UP - The Clippers travel to Phildalphia for a back to back game on Monday night. This is the last game of the 8 game road trip, and a win would salvage a record of 4 - 4. Considering what the Clips have gone through lately, that would be a good finish to a grueling trip on the road.

ROAD WARRIORS GO HOME - With the Philly game, the Clippers will have played 14 of their last 17 games on the road at a time when they had so many key players out with injury. It is easy to see why they have struggled lately.They will go home to play 5 in a row in LA even though one game is a Laker home game. They will play 12 of their next 16 games at Staples. With every one healthy, look for them to get healthy in the win column.

SLAM DUNK CONTEST - It has been announced that ERIC BLEDSOE will in fact participate in the Slam Dunk Contest during All Star Weekend. It was also reported that DeAndre Jordan turned down an opportunity to show off his Lob City skills.

TRADE RUMORS - Rumors have circulated that the Clippers and the Boston Celtics have been talking about a trade that would bring Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler. Those rumors say the Clippers are willing to give up Bledsoe, but I think that giving up a young future all star quality player for an aging superstar whose days are numbered, is probaby the reason the deal hasn't gone down. More likely the Clippers would love to move Butler and other assets for Garnett. Both sides are denying the rumors but they always do so as to protect the players involved. Can you imagine a front line of DJ, KG, with Blake Griffin moving to small forward. Pound it in baby! The trade deadline is looming.

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Clippers Reign Supreme - Magic Johnson Goes Off....Again

Posted by: JamFan on Friday/January 04/2013 - 11:26 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

THE BATTLE GOES TO CLIPPERS - A battle is something that goes on for one game, one playoff, or maybe one season. But a war is something that goes on for a long time. The Clippers are clearly winning the season battle so far and took the second game in the Battle for LA 107-102 despite a furious comeback attempt by Kobe Bryant that fell short. In the end, it was Kobe vs CP3. This time it was CP3 who prevailed. With 16 championships, the Lakers have clearly owned LA for over 5 decades. They have already won the war. But there is a new kid in town. And they are not going away.

THE RIVALRY - After last nights game, the Clippers have the 2nd best record in th NBA at 26 - 8 and would be the 2nd seed in the playoffs. The Lakers are now 15 - 17 and wouldn't even be in the playoffs if they started today. Kobe said that fans expect the Clippers to blow them out. A couple of times it started to look that way as the Clippers built a couple of big leads as high as 18 only to have the Lakers fight back each and every time to make it a competitive game. The Rivalry will resume on 2/14 with a Laker home game, followed by a 4/7 Clipper home game. The rivalry continues.

THE STREAK - The Clippers surprised the NBA with the longest win streak of the year and the 3rd longest since 2000, only to falter and lose two road games while showing little of the team that dominated the NBA during the month of December. You could see it in their faces, the energy was gone, the fire had burned out. Maybe it was the post holiday blues. Now they start a new streak with 11 straight home wins that equals the franchise record.

MAGIC JOHNSON GOES OFF...AGAIN - During halftime on the ESPN feed, Magic displayed a big smile and then started to slice and dice the Lakers organization into threads. He started to sound like a Clippers fan instead of a Laker Hall of Famer. He called the way the Lakers played "stupid." He did not call the players stupid. He was clearly talking about the coaching. The other commentators piled on as well. It was all about the Jim Buss decision to hire Mike D'Antoni instead of Phil Jackson when the team is clearly built to run PJ's system. But nobody ever said that Jim Buss knew anything about basketball.

STEPHEN A SMITH GOES OFF - I was watching ESPN this morning and during an interview he went off on how great the Clippers are. "These dudes are legitimate." He went to say that the Clippers have to be in the conversation with the other top teams when talking about who will go deep in the playoffs and contend for the title. Then the shot heard round the world. He went on to say that the Clippers "the best show in the NBA, as far as I'm concerned, since Showtime." I assume that he is talking about the Showtime Lakers of the 80's. So, that is qute a statement.

LAKERS TURNAROUND - The Lakers had begun to turn it around recently winning 5 in a row only to lose 2 of the last 3. Kobe has declared the Lakers old and slow. It definitely seems that way on defense. The offense is really a roster more designed to flourish using the triangle offense that Phil Jackson would have brought to the table. Instead, Jim Buss, forever the fool, brought in a coach who has never been successful with his teams on defense, was run out of town on his last job in NY, and has an offense more suitable for Oklahoma or Golden State. These teams are young and fast and shoot extremely well from the outside. The Lakers are none of these things.

JIM BUSS IS THE PROBLEM - How long will it take for Laker fans to revolt and run Jim Buss out of town. Magic Johnson seems to have already started his revolt. Maybe the pending nuptials of Phil Jackson and Jeannie Buss will encourage the old man to rethink the power structure in the Lakers front office. There are smarter people all over the Laker organization than Jim Buss. Maybe his dad will be the last person to figure that out.

KOBE HAS BLAKE'S BACK - Kobe actually came to Blake Griffin's defense recently while reacting to all the talk about how frustrated teams have restarted what we saw so often last season.....really hard fouls. Earlier this season, the hard fouls had subsided, mostly because Blake wasn't always the focus of the offense since the Clippers have so many weapons and the scoring is more often than not spread around to so many players. Defenses had a lot of things to worry about and Blake wasn't always their biggest problem. Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, and Matt Barnes has been giving opposing teams fits. Kobe said that Blake should "smack the F.......out of somebody." That's Matt Barnes job. When Matt is on the floor, I would be very careful about committing a flagrant foul on Griffin. Matt is not afraid and he might just come after you, so I would stay on the ground and out of the air.

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Oh Me Oh My - A Miracle Comeback - Sweet 16

Posted by: JamFan on Wednesday/December 19/2012 - 10:05 PM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

PIC OF THE DAY- Chris Paul gets the honors after leading the Clippers to one of the biggest comebacks in Clipper history. Not only did he have 29 points but also hit key shots down the stretch to secure the victory.

LAST GAME- The Clippers beat the Utah Jazz 116-114, after being down by 19 points with 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Chris Paul led the way with 29 points while Blake Griffin had 22 and 13 boards. It was a miracle comeback that highlighted how the Clippers can utilize different players in different situations to get a difficult and hard fought win. We need to start giving Coach props for his effective use of all of his players talents.

THE STREAK- Not only did the Clippers eclipse the franchise record, they now hold the NBA's longest streak this season with 16. The Clippers record now stands at 23-6 which is for now the best record in the NBA.

NEXT UP- The Clippers host the Utah Jazz at Staples on Dec 30.

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE - Many of us believed early on that the Clippers would have a good team this year, but I think few of us would have bet the family farm on whether or not they would have the best record in the NBA at Christmas. And yet, here we are. Few would have bet that the Clippers would have the longest streak in the NBA. And yet, they have broken there own franchise record and lead the way with 16 games in a row. Few would have bet that by Christmas the Clippers would be ranked as the #1 team on many NBA power rankings. And yet many are starting to affirm what JamFan's power rankings has been saying for over a week now. The Clippers Christmas gift to their fans is in deed all of these miracles.
The Clippers are playing with a confidence that says "We can win any game against anybody." It is hard for any team to hold on to the best record and the #1 ranking has changed a gazillion times already this season with many of the top teams taking their turn. The Clippers will indeed have thier moments this season when they will stumble and have to find a way to regroup. For the moment, they are the best, and who know how far they can go. An NBA Championship???

CHRIS PAUL- CP3 hit a milestone last night by hitting 5000 assists for his career. Only four other players in the history of the NBA made it to 5000 faster that Chris including Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, and Isiah Thomas. He is also the third youngest player to achieve that goal.

MATT BARNES- Matt has been playing so well that coach is using him down the stretch most of the time in the 4th quarter. Not only has he been shooting 57%, he has been very effective on both ends of the floor. He has brought energy to the floor and has been a lock down defender. He has also been one of important guys on the fast break. His lob pass off the backboard to Blake for a dunk at the end of the break will be a highlight in promos forever.

BLAKE GRIFFIN- Before the streak began, blake almost looked like he had taken a step backwards in his development as a player. In the last 14 games he has shown that he has now brought his game up to another level. If he would stop hesitating when they dare him to shoot his jumper and make them pay, he will become unstoppable.

THE BENCH - The Clipper bench has now definitely proven that they are the best in the NBA. They outscore any other bench by far. And they are finishing most games. Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes lead the way with Eric Bledsoe orchestrating the attack. Then you add Ronny Turiaf and Lamar Odom and you have the best there is. 64 points last night. Amazing.

BALANCE SCORING- We could give glowing reviews to other players who have stepped up during the streak, but the teamwork and the balanced scoring is the diference. On most nights we have 5 to 7 players in double figures. The numbers are not always huge and it is a different player every night leading the way. It's all about depth baby.

11-New Orleans
16- Utah
17- Utah???

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He's Back - Chauncey Billups Returns Only To Leave Us Once Again

Posted by: JamFan on Wednesday/November 28/2012 - 07:59 PM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

PIC OF THE DAY - Obviously goes to Chauncey Billups. We have waited a long time. Nice to have him back.

UPDATE- Chauncey is back on the injured list with a foot injury. The date of return is not available. His return to the lineup was shortlived. His return did help the Clippers turn around a short losing stint. The good news is that even though he has left the lineup, the Clippers winning streak continues.

CHAUNCEY RETURNS- Chauncy Billups finally returns to the Clippers lineup after a leg injury that has kept him out since the before the playoffs last season. His return is heralded as a triumph because many thought that a PG his age would have taken a lot longer to make the comeback.

Some sports writers even hinted that they thought that maybe Chauncey would call it a day and retire. But Chauncey quickly put those rumors to rest and told the world that he was going to work very hard to come back better than ever. His efforts have apparently paid off with the earlier than expected return.

Chauncey may have even come back earlier if it weren't for the fact that the Clippers bench is so deep. The deep bench is a luxury that allowed him to take some extra time and make sure his injury was completely healed and his game conditioning was up to speed.

WILLIE GREEN - You have to feel a little sorry for Willie Green who has been starting in Billups absense. It is now a sure thing that he will get buried behind Chauncey and Jamal Crawford in the depth chart. His chances of playing minutes might be reduced to a mop up role in garbage time unless there is an injury to another player that would move him up on the depth chart. An injury to one of our point guards might mean that Crawford or Billups might would move over to play PG and then opening up some minutes for him. Then again, the return of Grant Hill will make things even more crowded.

THE FUTURE - One thing that worries me is how Chauncey got hurt in the first place. He didn't have a collision with anybody. He didn't land on another players foot. He was simply starting to run down the floor and "Pop." These things start to happen to some players as they get older. Let's hope this is not a recurring glimpse of things to come. One thing for sure, we do not need to work Chaucey to death. He can start and keep his minutes limited. We have the luxury of bringing in Jamal Crawford and he is more than capable of handling the big minutes. Then at the end of the game, we can have both of them on the floor. Pick your poison. Are you going to try to stop CP3, Jamal Crawford, or Mr. Big Shot. Teams will definitely not be able to double team anybody. If they do they are likely to get burned.

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1st Battle Of LA Goes To Clippers

Posted by: JamFan on Monday/September 17/2012 - 02:08 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

PIC OF THE DAY - Against the LA Lakers, you need a steady hand. And Chris Paul guided the Clippers to a victory in the first sqirmish in the Battle of LA. CP3 had 18 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals

BATTLE FOR LA - The opening salvo in the Battle of LA went to the Clippers 105-95. For the Lakers it was a story of to much Kobe and not enough team. Coach Brown played four of his starters 38 minutes or more and would have played Dwight Howard more except for foul trouble. Kobe went for 40 points in 43 minutes but his team didn't follow. If the Lakers are going to try and use this strategy for the rest of the season they are going to lose a lot more than they should.

But what are they going to do? The Clipper bench had another monster game outscoring the Laker's bench 46 -16. The Clippers bench scored 49 on opening night. Overall, the Clippers had 7 players score 8 points or more. Jamal Crawford led the way with 21 points for the Clippers, and Chris Paul had 18 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Even if Steve Nash plays, the Lakers do not have the answer for CP3 and Eric Bledsoe at the point guard position.

CENTER - ADVANTAGE LAKERS - Dwight Howard won this battle last night but had subpar game for him. He finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while DeAndre Jordan had only 4 points and 5 rebounds. Both player sat our with foul trouble and were not decisive in the game.

POWER FORWARD - NO ADVANTAGE - Both power forwards played well with Blake having 15 points, and 8 rebounds, while Pau went for 10 points and 14 rebounds.

SHOOTING GUARD - ADVANTAGE LAKERS - Kobe went for 40 points in 43 minutes while Jamal Crawford had 21 points off the bench for the Clippers. Kobe's heroic effort couldn't bring the Lakers a win because the rest of the team didn't perform.

SMALL FORWARD - ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS - Caron Butler had a nice shooting night hitting 5 of 7 shots in route to 14 points. Metta on the other had hit only 3 of 10 shots and went 1 of 7 from the 3 for 8 points.

POINT GUARD - ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS - This battle wasn't even close as the combination of Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe dominated the Laker point guards. Having Steve Nash available would have help but he is just not fast enough to contain either one of the Clippers PG's.

THE BENCH - ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS - The Clipper bench ourscored the Lakers bench 46 - 16. Enough said.

SEASON ADVANTAGE - CLIPPERS - The Clippers have now beaten the Lakers once in the preseason, and in their opening game of the regular season.

OUR NEW STARTERS - THE 2ND UNIT - In the second game against the Lakers, the 2nd unit scored 46 of the teams 105 points while the Laker bench only score 16. In the season opener, the second unit came into the game in the second quarter and it looked like "Showtime." It was awesome. They showed great energy on both ends of the floor. They had twice as many blocks as the starters, and scored almost half of the teams points, in half of the minutes the starters played. Fast Breaks for everyone. They built a 12 point lead and then VDN brought the starters back in and Memphis went on a 12-0 run. We ended the half down 4. When the starters came in it was like a great sucking sound vaccuming the energy out of Staples. It was like watching a tire with a blowout going flat. The game slowed way down. It was like watching the game in slow motion. If this continues, I don't have a problem with starting the guys who come to play. If that is the 2nd unit, the so be it. Let them start. Maybe it will wake up our current starting unit. In the end the bench score 49 of the teams 106 points.

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Chris Paul Recruits Again - Matt Barnes Now A Clipper

Posted by: JamFan on Thursday/September 13/2012 - 05:15 PM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

Nobody saw this coming. Reports say that Billups, Griffin and point guard Chris Paul were all involved in recruiting Barnes. Barnes also had interest from the Miami Heat and the Lakers. One report says that Barnes had been working out at the Clippers practice facility that last few weeks. Maybe his new team mates liked what they saw and encourage the Clippers to bring him on board.

The Clippers already have 14 players under contract. It seemed like everybody in the front office was taking some time off before training camp was to start. And then, out from nowhere, the shocking announcement that Matt Barnes was joining the Clippers caught everybody by surprise. Many believed if they they did add a 15th player, it would be somebody like Adam Morrison who had already been added to the training camp squad. Not to mention that normally the Clippers don't carry 15 players anyway. Matt was drafted by the Clippers out of UCLA and played in LA his first season. He returned to LA to play for the Lakers the last two seasons.

Matt Barnes is the player that many fans love to hate until he joins your team. Then you love to have him available for Coach to use because he can actually ball. He shot 45% from the field last season and a respectable 33% from the 3. He has shot as high as 50% from the field a couple of years ago for Phoenix. But shooting the 3 is not what he is known for. He is known for playing rock solid D. He is not afraid to get physical, and plays smash mouth in your face Defense. In the current NBA Player Rankings, Matt Barnes is rated the #26 at small forward. By comparison, Caron Butler is #18 and Grant Hill is #38.

Many have speculated that the Clippers have the best locker room in the NBA. They are probably right. But someone might say that maybe we are to nice. To many "sweet" guys with sweet dispositions. Actually Matt Barnes is a good locker room guy. But he has a "bad boy" reputation because he is always trash talking to players, trash talking to fans, and wrecking havoc on the court. I think he actually promotes that rep on purpose. So maybe the Clippers actually need at least one guy with the rep that Barnes carries around on his shoulders.

During the 2010-11 season, Barnes threw a Dallas Mavericks assistant coach to the floor during an in-game skirmish and shoved Blake Griffin to the ground early in the 2011-12 season, earning a flagrant foul. He is not afraid to pick a fight, but he only does it only enough to keep the rep going. How many opposing players are now going take a cheap shot at Blake while he is in the air for a monster slam, with Coach VDN tapping Barnes on the shoulder to go into the game? Getting payback won't be to hard for Barnes, he will find a way. And I expect his first "incident" to happen early in the season, just to send a message. If you go after Blake, your coach better pull you off the floor quick. The MattAttack is coming into the game. If Matt gets a T or gets ejected, so what. Everybody will just throw a few bucks into the secret fund to help pay for his fines. I'm just kidding, right? I will speculate, you decide.

Matt Barnes had 8ppg and 5 rpg last season which is right at his career average. He also started at times for the Lakers and played well most of the time. Also, Matt is a UCLA guy, and JamFan supports all things UCLA. He will not be first on our depth chart, but for the vets minimum, not a bad player/enforcer to have at our disposal.

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Clippers Finally Get Their Shooter- Willie Green

Posted by: JamFan on Tuesday/July 31/2012 - 11:07 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

As the Clippers build their new lineup for next season, the fans noticed a nice blend of savvy veterans mixed with younger superstars. The went from a team that was at a height disavantage last season to a team that was taller and better able to defend both at the perimeter and in the paint. But where did all the shooters go?

With Mo Williams, Bobby Simmons and Randy Foye departing, the Clippers lost their two best shooters from the 3. They were replaced with players whose forte was not shooting from downtown. Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, and Grant Hill are definitely upgrades to the roster, and they are all veteran players who shoot well, but just not from the 3. And for a team that says they need to spread the defense to make room for Blake Griffin to work down low, they would be relying on Chauncey Billups and CP3 to provide the 3 point shooting.

The Clippers made a major move to bolster the bench with the free agent who had the highest 3 point shooting percentage of any free agent on the market this summer......Willie Green. At 6'3" Willie is a 31 year old shooting guard who shot 47% from the field and 44% from the 3 last season for the Atlanta Hawks. Somehow the Clippers traded the rights to Sofo while using one of their trade exemptions to sign Willie to a one year deal at the vets minimum. Along with shooting a very respectable 86% from the line, Willie Green also has a 38" verticle leap. Willie, who played one season with Chris Paul in New Orleans just two years ago, also enjoys the moniker.....Superstar Defender. Whether or not that nick name is deserved remains to be seen.

So the Clippers added the one thing to the roster that seemed to be the biggest need in another shooter. That brings the roster to 14. There is no immediate need to add another player at this point. The team seems to be deep at every position now. The Clippers still have one more trade exemption and a 15th player could be added at some point, but I am betting that this will only be done if a young player with a great future could be acquired. Another veteran we don't need and we are not weak at any particular position. A player could be added later if the Clippers suffered a major injury to a key player. Depending on who is doing the math, the Clippers appear to have a team payroll at about 63 Mil, which is over the cap, but not over the Luxury tax of 70 Mil.

The big elephant in the room that nobody is talking about is Dwight Howard. The Clippers are not part of any rumors or discussions regarding Howard at this time. But as the trade deadline approaches, Orlando is going to feel increasing pressure to do something. Howard already makes his summer home in LA. So far he is reluctant to commit to the Lakers. Some people speculate that he doesn't want to follow in the footsteps of other great Centers. He wants to make his own legacy.

The Clippers do not have any such heritage at center. And if the Clippers come out of the gate strong and are looking like a team that could possibly win a championship, the Clippers could become a part of the conversation. Having a very deep team with key tradeable pieces is key. DJ would definitely be a part of any package for Howard. Other players who would be included are not going to be CP3 or Blake Griffin. But the Clippers have enough other enticing pieces to possibly make the best offer that Orlando is going to get.

It will then be all about whether or not Dwight Howard would agree to sign a max extension with the Clippers moving forward. Having a deep team would allow them to move 3 players and still have a competitive bench. I would imagine Eric Bledsoe would be gone, so their biggest concern would be at PG. Am I just dreaming here? Let's wait and see. I don't know how the Clippers can afford the contracts of CP3, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard and stay under the luxury tax. But I do know that this trio of players is a championship waiting to happen.

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Clippers Go Big With Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins

Posted by: JamFan on Thursday/July 26/2012 - 11:00 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

Just about the time you think the roster is set, the Clippers go out and make another move. Things are about to get a little crazier in Clipperland as Ronny Turiaf, the NBA's most prolific cheerleader and all around crazy guy, is about to become a Clipper. The Clippers not only added to their depth at center and power forward, but added another player who continues the Clippers quest to have quality guys and a quality locker room.

This signing, reported be at the vets minimum, marks a return to Los Angeles where Ronny started his NBA career. But his career started with a life threatening condition that required heart surgury before he ever played his first game. After he recovered, he became a fan favorite in LA because of the energy he brought to the court and his eye popping antics on the sidelines as he cheered his team on. Expect to see a lot of dancing and celebrative towel waving along the bench as the Clippers win games. And expect to see a lot of heart and energy on the floor that will remind you of Reggie Evans, who was our energy guy last season.

Ronny will not bring big numbers or stats to the Clippers. For his career he has scored 5ppg with 4rpg in 18 minutes. However, in the last 4 seasons he has shot 60% from the field and 68% from the line. At age 29, Ronny is 6' 10", and could be used at center or power forward.

It is obvious that the Clippers are determined to have plenty of depth in their lineup to protect the team against players who get in four trouble or players who get injured. Ronny brings playoff experience and a guy who what it is like to win a championship. He played for Miami last season and this summer, Turiaf is playing for France in the Olympics.

The Clippers recently announced the signing of 27 year old Ryan Hollins to back up DeAndre Jordan at the center position. Ryan is also making his return to LA where he played his college ball at UCLA. Ryan's numbers are not going to raise any eyebrows because he has been a back up center his whole career. He has averaged 4ppg and 2rpg but has shot a respectable 58% from the field and 65% from the line.

Adding another 7' center like Ryan to the lineup add depths in an area where the Clippers were weak last season. When DJ left the game last season we were often replacing him with shorter players who couldn't shoot free throws either. Notice that both Ryan Hollins and Ronny Turiaf are at least respectable free throw shooters. If teams employ the "Hack a DJ" tactic late in the 4th quarter the Clippers will now have an answer.

The Clippers are probably not finished yet. They will probably fill one more position to bring the roster to 14. The smart money is on signing a 3 point shooting specialist in the form of a combo guard or wing who can play the 2 and the 3. This final piece to the puzzle will make this one of the deepest teams the Clippers have ever had. There is some talk of bringing back Bobby Simmons or maybe even Adam Morrison who had a great summer league run where he shot a very high percentage from the floor and from 3. There was also a false report of the Clippers signing Willie Green. Personally, I am anticipating the Clippers hit us with another big surprise.

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Grant Hill Joins The Clippers

Posted by: JamFan on Tuesday/July 17/2012 - 01:38 PM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

Kobe Bryant wanted him. Steve Nash lobbied for him to join the Lakers. Instead Grant Hill decided to join the team of the future.
Clippers fans knew something was up when Grant met with Vinny Del Negro a couple of days ago during the Summer League games in Las Vegas. Within a couple of days the deal was done. He has agreed to sign a two year deal, but that agreement could be altered if the Suns decide they want to execute a sign and trade with the Clippers.

Grant Hill gives the Clippers another veteran leader who is great as a facilitator and making others around him better. Moreover, he will become that wing defender that everybody has been clamoring for. In addition to being able to add scoring off the bench, Grant was the guy that Phoenix used as their defensive stopper. If you need someone to guard Kobe, Lebron, or Kevin Durrant, he was the one who was assigned to get the job done. You don't really stop those players. All you can do is try to slow them down and reduce their numbers. He was even asked to guard some of the top point guards in the league like Deron Williams.

At age 39, Grant Hill is now the second oldest player in the league. He just doesn't play like it. Because he missed so many games early in his career, there isn't a lot mileage on his body. In the last 4 years playing with Phoenix, he has actually been available for as many games as anybody on their roster. He played in 49 games in the shortened season last year. In the 3 years prior to that, he only miseed 3 of 246 games.

Grant has a 48% career shooting percentage and during the last 5 years with Phoenix he has continued to hit his career percentage. He has shot 32% from the 3 during his career but only hit 26% last season. In the two seasons prior to that he hit 44% and 40% respectively. Grant has averaged 17ppg during his career and went for 10.2ppg in 28 minutes last season off the bench. Grant had a 10.33eff last season and hit 77% from the line.

At 6'8", Grant Hill will be that small forward who will come in and back up Caron Butler. When defense demands it, they could both be on the floor at the same time.

So the Clippers have added another veteran leader who is has been an All Star, a member of the Dream Team, and has won way to many awards to list here. He is a great locker room guy and has plenty of experience in the playoffs. Clipper fans are hoping he still has plenty in the tank and can help them get to the finals over the next two years.

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Clippers Add Veteran Leadership- Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford.

Posted by: JamFan on Tuesday/July 03/2012 - 10:09 AM
Clipper Blog 
Jam Fan
aka Don Allen

Bringing back Chauncey Billups was a no brainer. A 5 time NBA All-Star and a 3 time All-NBA selection, Chauncey has also been an NBA Finals MVP and on the NBA Second All Defensive team. Chauncey has tons of playoff experience. He is one of only 5 players in the NBA who went to 7 straight conference finals.

During his career, Chauncey has averaged 15.5ppg while shooting 42% from the field and 39% from the 3 while hitting 90% from the line. Before going down with injury last season, Chauncey had no drop off in his numbers.

Chauncey has earned the reputation as Mr Big Shot. He is not afraid to take the big shot late in games and gives the Clippers another 4th quarter finisher along with Chris Paul. He told the world that he wanted to return to the Clippers and spoke glowingly about the culture change in LA for the Clippers. He even signed for about 4 Mil, which is way below the money he earned on his last contract. So bringing him back was a quite a big move for the Clippers. Not to mention that Chris Paul had already gone on record saying he definitely wanted him to return to the team. The good news is his return from injury could be earlier than expected. Many feel his return could be by Christmas but Chauncey says he could be in the starting lineup on opening day.

If that wasn't enough, the Clippers made another move to bring in the former 6th Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford. He was sought after by at least 6 other teams including the Knicks and the Lakers. At 6'5" and 32 years of age, the Clippers hope that Jamal has plenty left in the tank to back up Chauncey at shooting guard and even be able to start if Chauncey return is delayed.

Jamal has had a stellar career so far with 15ppg while hitting 41% from the field and 35% from the 3. He led the league in free throw shooting last season at 92.7%. He went for 52 points against Miami in 2007. On February 5, 2010, Crawford set an NBA record by surpassing Reggie Miller and completing his 24th career four-point play.

The Clippers now have two former 6th Man of the Year recipients as they added Lamar Odom to the lineup as well. In fact, two years ago when Lamar won, it was said the Jamal was second in the voting that year as well.

The signing of Jamal, continues the trend by the Clippers of surrounding their young superstars with veterans who have playoff experience. They have also been replacing shorter players with taller players. Last season the Clippers seemed to be undersized at almost every position in many games. This year they will be taller and better defensively at every position.

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Blake Agrees To Extension - Chris Paul Plays The Waiting Game

Posted by: JamFan on Monday/July 02/2012 - 12:01 PM
Clipper Blog 
Blake Griffin has reportedly agreed to sign the max contract extension that the Clippers immediately offered him the moment they were allowed to do so at 9pm Pacific time on Saturday night. There was no hesitation by the team or the player. If Blake reaches certain incentives the contract could we worth as much as 95 Mil over 5 years. Blake can not officially sign until July 11.

Chris Paul reportedly did not agree to the extention that the Clippers offered him, but this move was actually expected. The Clippers could only offer him a 3 year extension this summer worth 60 Mil. If Chris waits until next year, the Clippers can offer him a 5 year extension worth over 108 Mil.

This move locks up an important piece in the puzzle as the Clippers attempt to lock in a core of key players that will be the cornerstone of the franchise for the forseeable future. Caron Butler, Trey Thompkins, and Eric Bledsoe are under contract for 2 years, with Bledose and Thompkins becoming restricted free agents after that if qualifying offers are given to them. DeAndre Jordan was already extended and locked in for 3 more years as well. If they can get CP3 next summer then the Clippers will become a destination resort for players that want to play for an up and coming franchise that has a chance to win a championship.

The Clippers still need to decide who is going to be the starting SG. Chauncey Billups is telling the world that he wants to return to the Clippers as soon as possible, but do due to his age, would probably not be considered the long term answer.

Lamar Odom is in the last year of his contract as well, so if the Clippers consider him to be one of the conerstone players of the franchise moving forward, an extension will be necessary with Lamar as well. But don't look for a real long term deal. At age 33, Lamar is likely to get only 2 to 3 years.

The Clippers have reached out to Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Ray Allen and Nick Young once the free agency period began. If they are able to add 2 of those players to the current lineup, they would have a very formidable team going into next season. Having a successful season with the right players under contract is the kind of situation that will keep Chris Paul around for a very long time.

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Lamar Odom Returns To The Clippers

Posted by: JamFan on Saturday/June 23/2012 - 11:54 AM
Clipper Blog 
aka Don Allen

The trade sending Mo Williams back to Utah and Lamar Odom back to the Clippers is interesting in that both players are returning to the the teams where they started their careers. The deal was finalized once Mo agreed to pick up the option year on his contract.

The Clippers feel they have really helped themselves in that they received a versatile big man who is one year removed from winning the 6th Man of the Year award. With the emergence of Eric Bledsoe, and the need for a tall shooting guard, Mo Williams was expendable.

This trade really works out for Lamar, because he really wanted to return to LA after a dismal season in Texas with Dallas. Since the Lakers were not an option in the light of the fact that they traded Lamar away just last just, the Clippers were the only team that Lamar could go to where he has a chance to reclaim his game and once again become 6th Man of the Year. Or will he be starting at small forward? And could Caron Butler be starting at shooting guard?

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Clippers Only Formal Interview - Kiki Vandeweghe

Posted by: JamFan on Friday/June 08/2012 - 10:13 AM
Clipper Blog 
ALERT- With the draft 2 days away, the Clippers still haven't yet named Olshey's replacement. Tony DiLeo, the vice president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, is among the latest to have spoken with team president Andy Roeser about the gig. Mark Warkentien, Jim Paxson, Jeff Weltman, John Nash, and Scott Perry are also reportedly in the mix. David Griffin has reportedly removed himself from consideration. But all of these conversations have been by phone. If they were serious about any of these guys they would have met with them face to face.

According to reports, ex-Nuggets GM Kiki Vandeweghe is the only candidate who has had a formal interview. According to the New York Daily News and many other sources, Vandeweghe is considered to be the front-runner.

The clock is ticking with so much to get done.

Could the Clippers be promoting from within and giving the job to Gary Sacks, who is the current Director of Player Personnel and reportedly a friend of Sam Goldfeder, the agent for Blake Griffin? There isn't a lot posted about Sack's background other than he used to be a scout for the Clippers. So why would they pick Gary over somebody more qualified and with experience? Money. Gary will likely work for a much lower rate. And he is already in house and familiar with the Clippers and their players. No to mention they might try to do to him what they did to Niel Olshey, let him work without a contract for chump change.

If geography had anything to do with it, Kiki Vandeweghe would already be our GM. He was a college star at UCLA. He played his final season in the NBA with the Clippers. Last season he roamed the sidelines of Clipper games as a TV commentator for Prime Ticket/Fox Sports. He recently purchased a new estate in Encino so he certainly has a short drive to the Clippers front office. Moreover, he is leading the vote in the latest CTB poll and the fans here rarely get anything wrong. So the Clippers are going to have to look around and past Kiki to hire somebody else.

So far, Kiki is the only subject of speculation as to who is the Clippers top candidate for the job. And why not? He was a star player in college at UCLA, an two time All Star player in the NBA with 20ppg while shooting 53%, an NBA TV commentator, and has extensive experience as a GM and a coach in the NBA as well. He had front office or coaching positions with Dallas, New Jersey, and Denver. He has done it all. Most importantly, he has a high profile, and would presumably be able to relate to the players and foster good relationships with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

He should be able to at least match Olshey's abilities in managing the front office, the coaches, the players, and the press. You could make the argument that he is the perfect guy for the job. But nothing is done overnight, and the Clippers usually work in silence giving little hint as what they are thinking. Soon, we will hear about who they are interviewing, you just can't keep a lid on that. Or maybe they just hire Kiki, without going through a long drawn out process. The Clippers need to make a bold move and make it quickly. Going through a long process interviewing second tier candidates in my view is just a waste of valuable time. They need to focus on the top 2 or 3 guys and get it done.
Reports are that they will make the announcement before the Free Agent signing period begins on July 8.

aka Don Allen

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Vinny Del Nego Stays - Neil Olshey Walks

Posted by: JamFan on Thursday/May 24/2012 - 11:10 PM
Clipper Blog 
ALERT - Last Friday many Clippers fans were relieved to hear that the team and Neil Olshey had agreed in principle to a contract to keep Olshey here in LA as the Clippers GM. Then on Monday, for some unreported reason, the deal fell apart. There is a lot of speculation as to what happened. Did Olshey back out on his word? Did Donald Sterling back out? Did Portland raise their offer to a level that DTS didn't want to match? We have more questions than answers at this point.

Not all the fans are disappointed to see Olshey go. He did orchestrate a team that had the highest winning percentage in franchise history. And even though he managed to get CP3 and Chauncey Billups here, and made some nifty draft picks, many believe he gave up to much to get Chris Paul. He traded away Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, and a 1st round draft pick to get Paul. Moreover, many feel he overpaid for Caron Butler and way overpaid to match the contract offer for DeAndre Jordan. Then, when you throw in the contracts of Ryan Gomes and Mo Williams, many feel he has mortgaged the future.

Olshey's supporters point to that winning percentage and a trip to the second round of the playoffs as evidence he has been an effective GM. They also liked the additions of Reggie Evens, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and Nick Young, all of whom Olshey acquired for chump change. They also like the draft picks of Trey Thompkins and Eric Bledsoe, whom Olshey refused to include in the trade for CP3.

As usual, when you evaluate the performance of a GM, it is a mixed bag, unless you are the San Antonion Spurs, who seem to make great roster moves almost every year. I wouldn't mind hiring the "understudy" who is now walking in the shadow of their GM. Meanwhile, there is a short list of experience GM's looking for a job that just might make a good fit for the Clippers, including Scott Perry, David Morway, and Jeff Bower. And then there is Shaq, who was recently considered for the Orlando job. Shaq declined and hasn't really shown an interest in being a GM.

One interesting candidate is Kiki Vandeweghe. Kiki was a star at UCLA before going on to a successful NBA career. Kiki initially had a front office role with the Dallas Mavericks, where he was instrumental in the development of Dirk Nowitzki. In 2001, Vandeweghe was named to the Nuggets' general manager position and ushered in a return by the Nuggets to the NBA playoffs. Interesting moves by Vandeweghe included the drafting of Carmelo Anthony in 2003, the trade for Marcus Camby in 2002, and hiring of George Karl as head coach in 2005. Shortly following a first-round playoff elimination at the hands of the Clippers in the 2006 playoffs, the Nuggets announced that Vandeweghe's contract would not be renewed.

After a stint as an NBA analyst for ESPN in 2007, the Nets announced that Vandeweghe would join the team as a special assistant to team president and general manager Rod Thorn. In 2009, Vandeweghe agreed to dual duties as interim head coach of the Nets while continuing to be general manager. After Nets ownership changed hands, Mikhail Prokhorov announced that Vandeweghe would not return the following season.

This summer will be different. This summer will actually be exciting. Why? Because instead of spending the next few months wringing our hands and fretting about how we are going to move this team from 16 wins to 20 wins, we will instead be getting excited about all the possibilities and opportunities that await the Clippers.

It will be all about how to get a playoff team that won 50 games (projected) up to the next level, a championship. But instead of being a franchise that players are trying to avoid, we will be the franchise that players will have their agents call. They will be wooing us this time around. And we won't have to overpay to get productive players.

The Clippers just announced that they have indeed picked up the option on Vinney Del Negro's contract for next season. In the announcement, they made it seem like the possibility of bringing in somebody else was never even open for discussion.

VDN coached the Clippers to the highest winning percentage in franchise history. That happened despite a slew of injuries that started with Eric Bledsoe missing a lot of the first half of the season, and losing his starting shooting guard, Chauncey Billups, for the balance of the season and the playoffs. We made it to the second round of the playoffs with our starting SF, Caron Butler, playing with a broken hand, Blake Griffin working through a sprained knee, and CP3 nursing a couple of mysterious injuries.

There was still a lot of speculation about whether or not VDN was the right guy to get the Clippers to the next level. The set offense, the pick and roll, and the pick and pop, were not a thing of beauty this season. It seemed that the Clippers were getting by on pure athleticism and talent rather than great coaching. They even had a hard time getting the ball inbounds immediately after a time out where VDN was busy crafting another one of his bloopers. Also, in certain critical areas, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan did not seem to improve this season at a time when they need to be making big strides in their development.

Adding fuel to the fire, we had coaches like Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Jerry Sloan, Mike D'Antoni, Phil Jackson, and others, who were availalble now and just might want to take over the reigns of a team in LA who is on their way up. Not only do you get Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but you get to coach on the biggest stage in the world....Staples Arena.

However, it is unclear who was instrumental in the return of VDN. If it is Donald Sterling, then maybe we just got punked. Many believe he is certainly not qualified to make any basketball decisions. And if it was Neil Olshey, then maybe we got punked again, now that he has left to go to Portland. One has to wonder if he was keeping his first choice for coach in his pocket so he could play that card in Portland.

If you don't want to miss out......stay tuned to CTB. Your buds here won't miss a thing, and it will hit here before anywhere else.

aka Don Allen

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