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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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The End of Lob City?

LA Clippers Lob City

Lob City


After winning their first Pacific Division title the Los Angeles Clippers flamed out in the first round of the NBA playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies. After a strong regular season the early playoff exit forced some needed changes. Head Coach Vinny Del Negro is out, replaced by one of the most respected coaches in the NBA, Doc Rivers. The Clippers also re-made an already solid bench, emphasizing character guys with the ability to play multiple positions and hit the three point shot. In a loaded Western Conference the Clippers should be in contention for the top overall record in the west. After consecutive strong regular seasons expectations have risen in Clipper-land, with a deep playoff run expected from the club’s burgeoning fan base.

Here are five things to watch as the Clippers head into the all-important 2013-2014 regular season:
Doc Rivers:

After leading the Celtics to an NBA title and several team playoff runs Doc Rivers is now regarded as one of the elite coaches in the NBA. He’s a well respected game manager who players love to play for. His Celtics teams played hard and played tremendous defense. Basketball is a confidence game and elite NBA head coaches can have a dramatic impact on the fortunes of a franchise. Vinny Del Negro was widely regarded as a great guy but one of the worst in coaches in the league. His late game decisions and rotation choices often left Clippers fans shaking their heads. The presence of Rivers on the bench should pay dividends come playoff time. His reputation for coaching defense should improve an area where the Clippers had some struggles in the past few seasons. Most importantly the presence of Rivers signals to the Lakers and the rest of the Western Conference that the Clippers are locked and loaded and legitimate NBA title contenders.

The End of Lob City: The Clippers open court style and the incredible athletic ability of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan helped create “Lob City” at STAPLES Center the past couple of years. The Clippers made plenty of Sportscenter highlights but had difficulty adjusting to the half-court nature of playoff basketball. With Rivers the Clippers will now employ the half-court style Rivers employed in Boston, which stresses balancing the floor and player movement. It’s a proven style of play and the Clippers made some wise moves in the offseason to build a bench that will compliment the style. The Clippers may not be as exciting as in years past but the revised style of play should pay dividends come playoff time.

The Revised Bench: The Clippers had a strong bench last season, one of the elite groups in basketball. After starting strong they fizzled towards the end though, and went through bouts of inconsistency. Early signs are positive regarding the Clippers offseason additions. Jamal Crawford, who provided so much instant offense off the bench last season, has returned and should make a run for top sixth man in the NBA once again. Darren Collison had an up and down season last year in Dallas, but is a solid veteran point guard who should prove an excellent backup to Paul. Phoenix Suns import Jared Dudley is a character guy who can hit the tough three point shot while providing solid defense off the bench. If there are any questions regarding the Clippers depth it’s related to their interior backups. Lou Amundson, Ryan Hollins and Byron Mullens each have their own strengths, but may have their hands full with some of the deeper front courts in the Western Conference.

Blake Griffin Time? Due to his remarkable athletic ability Blake Griffin has become one of the most popular players in the NBA, a human highlight film that rivals past greats like Dominique Williams. With the Clippers as serious title contenders it may be time for Griffin to put it all together and become one of the most dependable post scorers in the league. The Clippers more conservative style may eliminate some of the open court opportunities that Griffin likes to cash in on. The key for Griffin is to prove his ability to capitalize in the half court game. If the Clippers star can elevate his game to superstar levels the Clippers just may have the classic “two superstars” needed to take home an NBA crown.
The Health of Chris Paul: The Clippers have the best pure point guard in the NBA. They also have a player who has suffered from knee problems and missed thirty-five games in his two seasons as a Clipper. The Clippers will go as far as Chris Paul can take them. The presence of Darren Collison will give the Clippers a solid player to spell their superstar and keep him fresh for a playoff run. Paul is already hinting to an interest in perhaps a shorter NBA career than many and his chronic knee issues may eventually force a truncated career. He’s in the prime of his career now and the upcoming couple of seasons may represent the zenith of his NBA career. It’s essential for the Clippers to breakthrough and make their deep run this season, with Paul leading the charge.

Prediction: The Clippers win the Pacific Division again and eventually lose to the Heat in the NBA finals.

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By:Chris Michaels