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 the favourites for the championship? In other words, how far can they 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 significant 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 celebrate its first title eventually.
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BY: Chris M.