Tag Archives: Blake Griffin

Will Spencer Hawes be the X-Factor for Lob City

Every year in the NBA we get to see some players who start off the LA Clippers Ticketsseason as underrated, non – factor players and end up being significant pieces of their respective teams. The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping that Spencer Hawes will emerge as one next season. Lob City brought in the versatile 28 – year old forward to upgrade their weak backup front line. Will Hawes be the X-Factor for the Los Angeles

Clippers next season? And can he make the difference during the playoffs?

spencer hawes la clippersThe certain fact is that Spencer Hawes is not a typical player. He made his presence felt last season both when he was playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and after he got traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite his 7’1” height he is a very versatile player and a great shooter. In fact, Hawes averaged 44.8 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc after he joined the Cavs. The 2013 – 2014 season was a breakaway for him.

Now, Hawes will be assigned with the task of providing some productivity when Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are catching a breather. And chances are he responds to the call in a perfect way. After all, Hawes was very productive last season and his performance is only getting better, as he is entering his prime.

Although he has little postseason experience, the versatile forward is now mature enough and he can be a factor for Lob City during the playoffs next season. Doc Rivers’s team is looking to seriously contend for the NBA Championship. And it will need all its weapons lined up when the time comes. As a matter of fact, Spencer Hawes may end up being the most underrated player of the team next season.

The Los Angeles Clippers were that close to making to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history last season. They were really powerful, they had lots of strengths but also a few holes in their team. One of their most significant weaknesses was the lack of quality backup big men. Glen Davis was just not at his best last season, Ryan Hollis was never reliable and the rest of the big men just couldn’t vitally help the team.

The addition of Spencer Hawes came to address that exact need. InClippers Blake Griffin Chris Paul order for Lob City to seriously contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy next season, it will need to fix all those little holes it has in its roster. Now, with Hawes on the bench, Doc Rivers will have yet another reliable option to use. Hawes is a player who can make the difference on both ends of the floor, thanks to his size and his shooting abilities. Chris M.

The Los Angeles Clippers will enter the 2014 – 2015 season with significantly more chances to make it to the top this time. And Spencer Hawes may end up being the X-Factor for Lob City.

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Predictions for the Los Angeles Clippers lineup next season

Clippers 2014-2015

CLIPPERS

The Los Angeles Clippers have done a few changes in their roster up to now but the core of the team remains the same as the 2013 – 2014 campaign. The Clips will enter the upcoming season as one of the strongest favorites for the title. So, which will be the starting lineup of the team? Let’s break down.

Point Guard

Chris Paul CP3

CP3

There’s no question about who the starting point guard of the Clips will be. Chris Paul will be the starter and as long as he stays healthy, he will be Lob City’s facilitator. Last season we saw the Clips using Darren Collison as their starting point guard during the time CP3 was down with an injury. However, after Paul’s return, Collison was switched back to the backup role.

Shooting guard
Another position in which Doc Rivers had to use a backup player as a starter is the shooting guard spot. Jamal Crawford took over for the Clips due to J.J. Redick’s injury. Nonetheless, Redick returned back healthy and he will be LA’s starter at the spot next season. With that said, Crawford will play the role he knows best, he will be the sixth man of the team.

Small forward
The small forward position is the least deadly in the Clippers’ starting lineup. Lob City has been trying to upgrade this spot since the free agency commenced but up to now, it has found no success. Paul Pierce was rumored to show interest in the Clippers and a few other names were thrown on the table. As it now seems, Matt Barnes will be the starting small forward for the Clippers once again. Barnes is a very effective player although he doesn’t put up huge numbers. He is also a terrific perimeter defender.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin deserves respect

Griffin

Power forward
Paul’s fellow superstar, Blake Griffin, will of course be a starter, too. Griffin recorded a terrific season in 2013 – 2014, taking advantage of CP3’s absence. This was the season Griffin saw an increase in almost any aspect of his game. Next season, he is projected to come back even stronger, better and more ready to lead his team to the top of the NBA. The truth is that Griffin has been criticized for his explosive character and his lack of focus when the game is on the line and especially in the playoffs. Nonetheless, in Year 1 of his cooperation with Doc Rivers, Griffin saw a significant improvement in that area, too. So, next season, he is expected to be even more mature and better poised.

Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Deandre Blake

Center
DeAndre Jordan was counted in as the third superstar of the Clips by Doc Rivers last season. And he will be LA’s starting center in 2014 – 2015. Jordan emerged as one of the top defending big men in the league last season and he also saw major improvement in many aspects of his game. Thankfully, the Clips will now have a quality big man on their bench, Spencer Hawes, who will be able to back up Jordan and Griffin, too.



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BY: Chris M.

Are The Clippers Poised For No.1 Next Season

Clippers 2014-2015

CLIPPERS

The Los Angeles Clippers have still not sorted out their ownership situation. Steve Ballmer is the person who will most probably be next owner of the team, hopefully next season, but Donald Sterling is not giving up the fight just yet. Assuming that the ownership situation will be sorted out by the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 campaign, the Los Angeles Clippers will be one of the strongest teams entering the upcoming season. But are they really the favorites for the championship? In other words, how far can they really go?

The answer is unknown. And that’s not mainly due to the ownership instability. It’s not even about the assets Lob City possesses, its roster and the way it plays. It’s because we currently have absolutely no clue how the competition will shape up next season. We don’t know where megastars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will play next season and as a result, we don’t know which teams will highlight the top spots when it comes to championship contention.

Blake Griffin Chris Paul

BLAKE & CHRIS

Nevertheless, what we do know, again assuming that the ownership situation gets resolved, is that the Los Angeles Clippers possess a superb roster and one of the best head coaches in the league. They do have two All-Stars, in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, an emerging star center, in DeAndre Jordan, the Sixth Man of the Year 2014, Jamal Crawford and several other quality role players. And of course, this entire group is orchestrated by Doc Rivers, who seems to be a head coach capable of leading Lob City to the top of the NBA.

Lob City LA Clippers

Lob City

At the moment, apart from the Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs, who will be one year older, there is no team which seems to stand better chances to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. And even the OKC Thunder are not looking that lethal. In fact, unless the Thunder makes some changes in their style of play and become more of a team rather than a two – headed “beast”, which heavily relies on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they seem anything but invincible.

Blake Griffin LA Clippers Super Star

GRIFFIN

This summer offseason might be one that includes lots of star movement but it might also be a very silent one. But even if we see LeBron, Carmelo and other big name players like Luol Deng and Pau Gasol changing teams, the Clippers will hold the advantage. This group has been together for three years now and they have now managed to develop their game. Especially since the arrival of Doc Rivers last summer, Lob City further improved its game and reached a championship – contending level. The Clips fell short against OKC in the Western Semis but be certain that they will come back even stronger next season.

There is not much of room for changes for the Clips this summer. The Clips have most of their core players under contract for the upcoming season and we can only expect a few correcting moves, unless a major surprise occurs. But this roster, this group seems to have enough to make it to the top and the upcoming season will give a big opportunity for Lob City to eventually celebrate its first title.

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BY: Chris M.

Clippers Look To 2014-2015

Clippers 2014-2015

CLIPPERS

Despite of all the changes and additions the Los Angeles Clippers did to start this season, they didn’t go much further than one more round in the playoffs, comparing to their 2012-2013 course. Lob City fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder after six games in the Western Semis and those championship dreams will have to wait for at least another year. But can the Clips really stay at the top next season? Will they really be championship contenders?

First and foremost, the ownership issue will have to be resolved. It might be a long and tough process for the Clipper Nation but it’s also a necessary one. Only after Donald Sterling is removed from the owner’s position can the team truly focus on its ultimate goal for the upcoming season but also for the ones to come after that.

Assuming that the league and the people taking care of the issue eventually find a solution, the Los Angeles Clippers can start building their future. And of course, you might wonder, they do have a great team even now, right? So do they really need to plan on the future or just the upcoming season?
As head coach Doc Rivers stated after the elimination in Game 6, this is not the end. This is the beginning.

Clippers Blake Griffin Chris Paul

Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have one of the greatest and most powerful star cores in the NBA. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are under contract at least for the next three seasons, J.J. Redick is in the books until the end of the 2016 – 2017 season, Jamal Crawford for one season less and DeAndre Jordan will be with the team at least for the next season. Doc Rivers was also signed in a long term contract and assuming that Donald Sterling will be removed prior to the start of the 2014 – 2015 season, he will have no reason to not use up his contract.

Of course, we might see the Clippers performing a few moves during the offseason to try and find those missing pieces, those players who can further increase their chances to seriously contend for the title next season. But the team’s core will be the same. When it comes to changes in the style of play, Chris Paul might want to eventually start utilizing and trusting Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan more. As Rivers stated through the season, Jordan has superstar potential and if the Paul manages to find a way to utilize him more, he could emerge as the third pillar in the superstar line of the Clips.

LA Clippers Tickets

CLIPPERS

If the Los Angeles Clippers achieves what they did in Year 1 under Doc Rivers and after all they went through during the last month, it will be really interesting to see how far this team can go. The Clips improved in almost every aspect of their game this season both as a team and as individuals and they are projected to continue getting better.
The Los Angeles Clippers are here to stay.

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BY: Chris M.

Emerging powers in NBA’s Wild Wild West

Western Conference

NBA WEST

The Western Conference has been the more powerful of the two in the NBA for several years now. This current season is no exception. Apart from the powerhouses, which were expected to dominate and they eventually did, we also saw several underdogs making their presence felt. The San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder are considered as the three elite teams in the West but the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors are also powerhouses, emerging ones. In fact, we could even say that the Los Angeles Clippers are an emerging powerhouse, given that it’s been just a couple of seasons since Lob City has made it to the top. Let’s examine each emerging power in the West.

Golden State Warriors

GS Warriors Tickets

WARRIORS

The Warriors are definitely an emerging powerhouse. Although the Dubs experienced several ups and downs this season, they also showed their potential. The Warriors entered the 2013-2014 campaign as one of the strongest championship contenders in the Western Conference and the truth is that it took them a while to showcase their abilities. Playing without their starting center, Andrew Bogut, the Dubs did manage to drag their first round series against the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. They eventually fell to Lob City but the future seems to be bright for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and the rest of the crew. Every core member of the team is under contract for at least one more season.

Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers Tickets

BLAZERS

Rip City made it to the second round of the playoffs this year and but it also managed to made its presence felt across the NBA world. The Blazers have now found their new face of the franchise, in Damian Lillard. The second-year point guard as already reached a superstar level and although he is just 23, he seems to be ready to make it to the list of the elite point guards in the NBA, together with Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook. On top of that, LaMarcus Aldridge has managed to revamp his career and although he had some cold streaks during the playoffs, he seems to be capable of being the second star pillar, alongside Lillard. Nicolas Batum is the third member of Rip City’s Big Three and things in Portland now look better than ever in the recent history of the team. Look for the Blazers to continue emerging in the seasons to come.

Los Angeles Clippers

LA Clippers Tickets

CLIPPERS

Forget about the Lakers. The next big thing in LA is the team called “Los Angeles Clippers”, also known as Lob City. The Clips possess every single element a true powerhouse, an elite team needs to have. They’ve got two megastars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, an emerging star, in DeAndre Jordan, the best sixth man in the NBA, in Jamal Crawford and also one of handful of guru coaches in the league, Doc Rivers. The Clippers have already emerged as a powerhouse in the West but they are continuing their upward course. If they don’t win the NBA Championship this year they will certainly have the chance to do so in the seasons to come. Chris M.

Clippers Steal The Thunder

Clippers Vs Thunder Tickets

CP3

One of the big storylines heading into game one of the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder second round series was the two point guards, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, even after dealing with a knee injury for the better part of a year, is one of the most athletically gifted point guards in the NBA. Paul, the consummate veteran, had a solid opening round series against the Golden State Warriors, but has had to deal with a strained hamstring during the postseason. While many wondered how Paul would fare against an athletic Oklahoma City team, many pointed out how Paul always seems to step up big when challenged.

Boy, were they right.

LA Clippers Vs OKC Thunder

CP3

Behind one of the greatest performances of his career the Clippers traveled to Oklahoma City and blew out the Thunder in the opening game of their second round playoff series behind a virtuoso performance from Chris Paul. Paul scored 32 points in just 28 minutes of play, shooting 12 of 14 from the field and 8 of 9 from behind the three point line. He also notched ten assists while just turning the ball over two times. Paul made six three-pointers in the first half as the Clippers jumped out to a massive 17 point halftime lead on the way to a 122-105 victory.

Overall the Clippers shot 55% from the field with five total players in double figures. Blake Griffin scored 23 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists, while Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and JJ Redick also hit double figures. Los Angeles had 26 assists and just 8 turnovers. It was a perfect start to game one and a message to the Thunder and the rest of the NBA that the Clippers are ready for a long playoff push.

Thunder Vs Clippers Tickets

BLAKE

For Oklahoma City the story was again their lack of balance offensively. As this year’s postseason has evolved, the Thunder has become one-sided to a fault, relying solely on the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Other than a couple of big performances from Reggie Jackson in the Grizzlies series, the Thunder has become the ultimate example of a two man team. After three quarters on Monday night the Clippers led the Thunder by a score of 104-78. Of the 78 Thunder point the combination of Durant and Westbrook scored 54. This deficit included a 22-7 Clippers lead in bench scoring.

Victory in hand the Clippers have a massive opportunity to send the series back to STAPLES Center with a commanding 2-0 lead. They’ll face a desperate Thunder team hoping not to fall behind in the second round like they did in the first round. The Clippers will start game two with a tremendous amount of confidence due to the sheer size of the blowout. Game two is Wednesday night at 6:30 Pacific.

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BY: Chris M.

Blake Griffin the Key to the LA Clippers Playoffs Success

LA Clippers Blake Griffin

BLAKE

There are two superstars in Lob City, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both of them have a huge impact in the way the team plays and their performance usually is a key to the team’s successful results, in most of the game. Of course, the Clips have a bunch of quality role players who greatly support the superstar duo. Nonetheless, LA needs at least one of them to lead the way night in and night out. So is Blake Griffin or Chris Paul more important to the Clippers and who will be more important for the team during the 2014 NBA Playoffs?

First of all, they are both essential pieces of Doc Rivers’s puzzle. Each one does a great job contributing on his sector. However, I can fairly now say, after two games into the postseason that the performance of Blake Griffin plays a bigger factor to the outcome of the game for the Clips rather than Paul’s output.

Blake Griffin Chris Paul

BLAKE & CHRIS

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t mean to say that Griffin is a better player than Paul. On the contrary, they can be characterized as stars of almost identical quality. What I can say, though, is that Paul will do his job one way or another. Even when he has off – nights, shooting badly from the floor, he will contribute in other ways. CP3 always sets up the team, on both ends of the floor and orchestrate the offensive plays. Even during the nights that he’ll finish in single digits in scoring, he will most probably dish out a bunch of assists, make some crucial defensive plays and in overall help his teammates perform better. In a way, the Clips can always rest assured that they’ll get at least something from Paul.

On the other hand, when Blake Griffin is off, the Clippers transform from a dominant, almost unstoppable team to just a good one. That’s what we saw happening in Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors and also several times during the regular season. However, when Griffin plays close to his full potential, the Clips are lethal, one of the scariest – if not the scariest – teams in the West.
Griffin’s big performances can take Lob City to the next level. When BG plays like his shown he can this season, scoring in a variety of ways – yes he can even hit the step back jumper now – that’s when we see the point margin exploding in Lob City’s favor.

The thing is that Griffin has proven his full potential this season. He has shown that he can be the player the entire Clipper Nation expected him to be but up to now he wasn’t. So, if the Clips really want to make it to the top and win the Larry O’Brien trophy, Griffin will have to give his 110 percent in every game. That’s what will make the Clippers the highflying, unbeatable monster it can be, the one that can top any opponent in the league.

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BY: Chris M.

Let the Clippers Vs Warriors Playoffs Begin

Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets

CLIPPERS Vs WARRIORS

In one of the most eagerly anticipated first round playoff series the Los Angeles Clippers will face the Golden State Warriors in the opening round of the NBA’s Western Conference playoffs, starting Saturday at STAPLES Center Saturday, with game two scheduled for STAPLES Center on Monday night. The Warriors, who finished sixth in the Western Conference playoff standings, were dealt a major blow this past week when starting center Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured rib.

The Clippers are coming off of their second consecutive Pacific Division title and the top record in team history. After a disappointing exit at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies in last season’s playoffs the Clippers, with Doc Rivers at the helm, enter the playoffs with high expectations. The Clippers success has created major expectations in Los Angeles that the team is primed for a finals run. When star point guard Chris Paul went down with an injury early this year, power forward Blake Griffin took his game to the next level, garnering attention as a potential dark horse MVP candidate. In Paul and Griffin the Clippers have two established superstars, arguably two of the top ten players in the NBA. With the return of JJ Redick the Clippers are also healthy for the first time in several months, with the entire starting lineup intact.

The series will be defined by the point guard matchup between Chris Paul and Warriors superstar fourth-year forward Stephon Curry. Curry has nearly unlimited range and along with Klay Thompson forms the premier shooting backcourt in the NBA. Curry, arguably the best three point shooter in the history of the NBA, is the catalyst for the Warriors offense, constantly pushing the basketball with the ability to score from the outside and in transition.

Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets

CLIPPERS Vs WARRIORS

Due to Golden State’s unique home court advantage at Oracle Arena it’s important for the Clippers to get off to a fast start at STAPLES Center, not letting the Warriors steal a game before the series heads to the Bay Area. With Bogut out due to injury the Clippers will have an advantage inside with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Veteran Jermaine O’Neal will be forced to play extra minutes alongside David Lee inside. Lee is already a weakness on the defensive end, and the Warriors interior defense will suffer mightily without Bogut, who is a strong presence on the boards and as a shot blocker. The Clippers extraordinary depth, which includes Matt Barnes, Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford, Jared Dudley and Danny Granger off the bench gives them depth advantage. If they can exploit their depth through an up-tempo style they should be able to offset the firepower of Curry and Thompson.

Prediction: The loss of Bogut will have a major impact on the series. The big Aussie is a major presence inside and the Warriors interior defense will suffer without him. The Clippers tremendous overall depth, as well as the coaching of Doc Rivers, should overwhelm the Warriors. Clippers in five.

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BY: Chris M.

Who will be the sixth man for the LA Clippers in the playoffs?

The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to enter the playoffs strong. With Blake Griffin playing at an MVP level and with Chris Paul at his best, the entire Clipper Nation is optimistic that this will be year the Clips will make it to the top. But who will be the most significant role player for Doc Rivers’s group during the playoffs? Who will be the sixth man?

One names comes in my mind when I hear the phrase “sixth man” and that’s no other than Jamal Crawford.

The 34-year old veteran guard won the Sixth Man of the Year award back in 2010 and he is set to win it again this year. He has been exception all season long and especially during the time Chris Paul was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Crawford is putting up 18.4 points per contest this season and I expect him to continue putting up points in bunches during the postseason.

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DOC

Of course, Doc Rivers has more than one weapons to line up against any potential opponent. The Clips hope to have their entire roster available during the postseason, right from Game 1. Danny Granger, who is currently out with a hamstring injury is set to return to action. The 30-year old forward hasn’t been a big factor in the 12 games he appeared with the Clippers uniform, after he was brought in LA. Nonetheless, thanks to his veteran experience he could be a key for the Clips in the postseason. Granger can space the floor thus opening the lanes to Chris Paul, Crawford and also give more space to Griffin to work close to the basket. The playoffs are the reason why Lob City decided to acquire Granger in the first place.

Clippers JJ Redick

REDICK

Another role player who could prove out to be a big factor in the Clippers’ championship course is J.J. Redick. The 29-year old guard played in just 35 games up to now in the season due to back injury and he instantly made his presence felt. If there was one thing the Clips tried to improve this offseason that’s team three-point shooting. J.J. Redick adds up to the team’s firepower from beyond the arc. Thankfully, Redick now seems to be ok and his 12.4 points per game average over the last five games show exactly that. The sharpshooting guard has to play big for the Clips during the postseason.

Finally, Darren Collison and Matt Barnes will have to contribute, too, during the playoffs. However, none of them has shown up to now in the season that he can be the true sixth man for the Clips. Certainly, Collison was reliable when CP3 was out. Nevertheless, unless Paul suffers an injury once again during the playoffs, Collison’s role will be limited to the backup point guard. Barnes, on the other hand earned the starting job midway through the season with Jared Dudley sliding to the bench. However, his role can be characterized as supportive rather than a sixth-man-type one.

Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets Playoffs

Clippers Vs Warriors

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BY: Chris M.

JJ Redick Factor In Clippers Postseason

Clippers JJ Redick

REDICK

Can J.J. Redick be a factor for the Los Angeles Clippers during the postseason?
The Los Angeles Clippers will need all their weapons lined up come playoff time. Of course, Lob City appears to be very powerful this season and most ready than ever to contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Although there are some true powerhouses in the West, which the Clips will have to try hard to top, I strongly believe that if Head Coach Doc Rivers has all pieces available, this will be the Clips’ year.

Talking about pieces of the puzzle and their availability, one of the Clippers’ newcomers this season, shooting guard J.J. Redick just returned to action, after missing a big chunk of the season due to an abdominal injury. Redick returned to action on Thursday, April 4, in a game against the Dallas Mavericks, after missing 36 games this season. Of course, Redick was rusty during his first couple of games, following his comeback. Especially in Thursday’s game against the Mavs, when he played for 24 games, he finished with 12 points, going three for 10 from the floor and two for six from beyond the arc. This was an uncharacteristic output for the 29 – year old guard.

However, Redick made sure he bounced back in the Clippers’ next game. Playing again for 24 minutes during the Clips’ battle against the (former) city-rivals, Los Angeles Lakers, he shot 63.3 percent from the field and a little over than 33 percent from three-point range. Redick finished with 15 points and three rebounds but this wasn’t the most aspect of his game. What was most significant is that he showed positive signs, sings that Doc Rivers but also the entire Clipper Nation was able to see.

JJ Redick

REDICK

There are five more games left till the end of the regular season, in which J.J. Redick will have to find his rhythm and pace. If he manages to return to a level close to the one he was prior to his injury, he will certainly be a big factor for the Clippers during the playoffs. After all, the sharpshooter is fourth leading scorer for LA this season, putting up 15.5 points per contest. He is also one of the best shooters the team has, from mid and long range.

But if you look closer at the way the team is playing, you’ll realize that Redick’s contribution goes above and beyond just shooting. In fact, thanks to his lethal shooting ability, defense always has to pay close attention to him. That gives more space to CP3 and Blake Griffin to operate and work their magic. And that makes the team much more dangerous.

Hopefully, Redick will retain a high level of performance during the postseason and hopefully Doc Rivers will have all his players available, right from Game 1 of the first round. After all, the competition level is extremely high in the West this season and not even the first-round matchup won’t be easy. Chris M.

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