The Clippers had an absolutely amazing offseason and they barely had to think. This offseason will probably wind up making Mike Dunleavy as GM look good even though this was an offseason even Elgin Baylor couldn't mess up.
Blake Griffin (No. 1)
The keys to Clipper offseason success:
1) Draft Blake Griffin...CHECK
This is going to make any GM look good. It's easy to do. Even Elgin Baylor wouldn't have messed this up. Even the Warriors wouldn't have messed...hmmmmm wait a second, not sure about this one with RR around. I digress, Blake Griffin will single handedly turn this franchise around and give them a legit shot at making the p-word.
How can you not root for this guy?
2) Remove The Black Hole (aka Zach Randolph)...CHECK
After drafting your new prized toy, you don't want to corrupt or poorly influence him. I already posted a video of Blake's work ethic, you think Zach Randolph does any offseason conditioning? Neither do I. You think Zack Randolph will get an assist this year? Neither do I. You think Zach Randolph will put up anything but hollow numbers? Neither do I. Thus addition by subtraction. Clear some extra PT for Blake and make sure he's learning from the best, Mike Dunleavy. Wait, can Mike Dunleavy fire Mike Dunleavy? I guess they still have some work to do.
3) Get Baron Davis to exercise rather than Jenny Craig-ify...CHECK?
The Clippers will not have a chance to make the playoffs without a healthy and motivated Baron Davis. As funny as it seems to write about the Clippers making the playoffs, it might be even funnier to write about the Warriors making the playoffs. Anyways, we all know what Baron can do when healthy and motivated. The problem is, he's rarely healthy or motivated and even more rare is healthy AND motivated. He's a top-notch player when he wants to be. He can carry the Clips if he wants to. The question is, how bad does he want to win?
Baron doesn't need Jenny, he needs these guys
A Look Ahead
Blake Griffin comes into the NBA with all the right attributes. But he's joining the Clippers, a franchise that historically slobbers on the promising and leaves them reeking of defeat. Will coach Mike Dunleavy be able to keep a future star's development on the right track if the veterans revert to losing habits and me-first play? Check back after the first month.
The Clippers have a long way to go but they've taken a significant step towards making the playoffs by drafting the Rookie of the Year. They're pairing him up with another key to their future, Eric Gordon. Don't sleep on Gordon this year. He's been known to light it up in a hurry.
The Clippers have a shot at the playoffs if everything falls into place. It's certainly not going to be easy but there's a chance. Steve Perrin over at Clips Nation shares his thoughts on the things the Clips need to do to make the playoffs: Beat out the Western Conference bottom feeders and then surprise some people by being better than Phoenix and Houston.
I don't think the Clippers will make the playoffs but they'll get close. At the very least, early on, people will come out to see them with Blake Griffin around. And people will continue to come watch if they prove to be competitive. They'll still be the "other" team in LA, but at least they have a bright looking future.
A .500 season is more likely than a playoff appearance, but even that is a significant improvement over what they were last year.
Excellent Clippers coverage over at Clips Nation.
2009-2010 Around the Association
- Atlanta Hawks: Sorry, Mrs. Jackson. The Hawks are for real.
- Boston Celtics: Sheed in Green + Another Answer
- Charlotte Bobcats: They Do Exist
- Chicago Bulls: Ring Around the Rose-y
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Now or Never
- Dallas Mavericks: The Curse of the Dampier
- Denver Nuggets: If it ain't broke...
- Detroit Pistons: The Return of the Bay Boys
- Houston Rockets: Yao-ch!, that's gotta hurt
- Indiana PacersOne Man Show
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Jersey Nets
- New Orleans Hornets
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Super Sonics
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia Sixers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland TrailBlazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards