Can the addition of Doc Rivers as coach turn the Clips into a contender?
Despite not a minute of action being played so far this NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers loom as a real threat in the Western Conference this year.
It’s amazing to think how the team has turned itself around in such a short period time from being the punchline to a joke, to having the gall to cover up the Lakers championship banners in the Staple Center.
But after last season’s effort few could argue that have taken the step up from also-rans.
But is this the end of their run towards the top?
fanatix does not think so. The Clippers have been active in the player market this season, but perhaps the biggest addition to the side was Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics.
The new coach was one of the big reasons why Chris Paul elected to re-sign with the side after cracks started to appear in his relationship with the front office.
And for that reason along, Rivers’ signing has been a good one, let alone what else he brings to the table.
The Clippers will also be one of the more exciting teams in the league, but that will be offset with the defensive toughness made famous by Rivers’ past teams, something the 2013-14 LA side will need to beat the West.
Los Angeles managed to win 56 games last season, a figure many teams would kill for, but can they get around the same mark again in a deep Western Conference to ensure they have a top four seed?
Yes if certain player step up their games.
New recruit J.J Reddick is crucial as he will space the floor for Paul and company, and expect to see him being used in much the same way Rivers used Ray Allen when he was still in Celtic green.
Jamal Crawford will need to continue to be efficient off the bench, while Jared Dudley’s addition to the team cannot be underestimated.
Blake Griffin continues to show signs he is diversifying his game, and not just being a player model out of NBA Jam.
His work on the low block will need to improve as well as his mid-range jumper to compliment his physical gifts that will again see him wreck havoc on most nights.
If Griffin can continue to improve and DeAndre Jordan can shoot better than 38 per cent from the line and thus earn a place in the side in tight games in the fourth quarter, the Clippers have the chance to stun the NBA and win the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Clippers: 3rd
Front court: 8.5
Back court: 9