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.
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.
Another position in which Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers Coach 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.
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.
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.
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.