I'm hearing enough different opinions to make a poll out of this. Let's assume that no team wants to spend more than the vet's minimum on Bynum, so that we end up with a realistic opportunity to...
This poll is inspired by Charles Barkley’s recent armchair analysis of our beloved Clips. At halftime of the Boston game, he tagged our team’s half-court offense as its Achilles heel, so much so...
Blake's approach here made me chuckle.
Not really a Clipper story, but I found this whole article riveting. What on earth was Artest thinking when he laid down on the scorer's table? I suspect he was flamboyantly "playing it cool," while also looking for some sort of trouble. The article, and especially Stephan Jackson, isn't kind to him.
Trade deadline fixes: Pacific Division Los Angeles Clippers The problem: How good is the combination of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Well, consider the Clippers currently rank as the league's fourth most efficient offense despite the fact Vinny Del Negro hadn't coached any of his previous three teams to a top-half finish on the offensive end. That's despite the presence of Derrick Rose on his first two teams and Griffin on last season's Clippers. Unfortunately, the Clips' 22nd-ranked defense hasn't been able to keep up despite the elite athleticism of starting big men Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Jordan ranks third in the league in block percentage, which is really all L.A.'s defense has to hang its hat on. According to 82games.com, they are 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse defensively with Jordan out of the game. Opposing centers have an 18.2 PER versus Jordan, so it seems as if he's protecting the rim at all costs, even if it means abandoning the man he's assigned to guard. If the Clippers are going to be able to deal with efficient opponents like Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the postseason, they are going to have to get consistent stops. The fix: The Clippers' defense has been better in the nine games since Kenyon Martin joined the rotation. However, Del Negro is still a man short in his big-man rotation, with scrappy but undersized Reggie Evans still logging too much court time. A trade isn't necessarily the remedy here. Eventually, some team is going to snap up solid defensive center Kyrylo Fesenko, who is surprisingly still dangling on the free-agent market even though he's reportedly recovered from knee problems. The Clippers would be a good fit for him as they wouldn't expect much out of his limited offensive arsenal but could really use his butt-kicking presence in the lane. Los Angeles can only offer Fesenko the veteran's minimum, so it'd have to sell him on the opportunity to be a part of a contending rotation. Fesenko WARP: --/minus-1.5 (over two seasons)ESPN Insider
A Concern For the Clippers The assertion that "continuity matters in a shortened season" may on the surface sound like a lazy explanation to a complicated topic, but when you look deeper into the data it seems that continuity does matter. We find a handy measure of continuity. For these purposes, we'll take a look at percentage of minutes retained from last season (retention percentage). It tells us the percentage of this season's minutes that are coming from returning players. The Oklahoma City Thunder boast an absurdly high percentage of returning players (95.5 percent of 2011-12's minutes have been played by returning players). On the other end of the spectrum, the Clippers pretty much overhauled the roster around Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (54.7 percent retention). But do familiar teams actually play better in a crunch? It sure seems that way. The following chart illustrates the relationship of continuity and performance in back-to-backs. If you're a coach, you want to see your team in the top right of the chart: good performance and familiar faces. The bottom left? Well, that's when you get some ugly play along with some new faces. Sorry, Clippers fans. [Ugh, the graph won't post. The Clips have the lowest continuity rating, and they're in the bottom third in terms of back-to-back performance] Evidently, continuity isn't just an empty load of coachspeak: We're seeing a pretty consistent relationship above (and a stronger relationship than what we see in regular games). Teams that play well on back-to-backs tend to have a lot of continuity on their roster. Other teams have struggled with their new teammates when they hit the grind. You rarely see a team with low continuity and a good record or a bad record and a high retention rate (notice the empty pockets in the bottom right and top left corners). The Clippers, as good as they might be, have really struggled to maintain their performance when they play without any rest. So it's not just that bad teams play poorly; unfamiliar ones do, too.ESPN Insider
ESPN's NBA Future Power Rankings 4. Los Angeles Clippers | Future Power Rating: 749 PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT 479 (4th) 81 (16th) 92 (18th) 80 (5th) 17(27th) The Clippers are eight spots ahead of the Lakers? Yes, the times are changing in L.A. It's very possible the Clips will be Southern California's top basketball team over the next three seasons, as they've positioned themselves for a very strong run. Let's start with the players. We ranked the Clippers fourth based on the superstar nucleus of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul; while we wished they had a bit more help, the supporting cast at least possesses some solid complementary pieces and trade assets. And the market rates fifth, as the combination of coming to L.A. and playing for a winner should be a powerful lure -- as it was in their recent signing of Kenyon Martin. Finally, the Clippers are in pretty good financial position for a contending team. They're well under the tax line and should feel free to add players via exceptions over the next couple of years, filling the roster holes on the wings and at backup center. The worry, alas, is that these are the Clippers and they'll find a way to screw it up. We rated L.A. 16th in management, and that might have been kind. While GM Neil Olshey has mostly done good work, owner Donald Sterling is a buffoon's buffoon and head coach Vinny Del Negro still seems overmatched. The latter has an expiring deal and may not be retained, but the Clips may have trouble getting somebody better given The Donald's history of not paying his former coaches. (Previous rank: 9)ESPN Insider
Hollinger: Time to play let's make a deal. O.J. Mayo and Ramon Sessions to Indiana in a 4-team deal (Proposed trade) Admittedly, this one is a little difficult, but put the pieces together and it all makes sense. Cleveland trades Sessions and Ryan Hollins and gets back a great guard prospect in Eric Bledsoe. Memphis trades O.J. Mayo and Marreese Speights, and gets back a real power forward in Tyler Hansbrough and a real backup guard in Randy Foye. (Side note: The trade machine blew up once I added Speights to this deal, so I left him out in the link. But he'd need to be in it to keep Memphis under the luxury tax. Speights can go by himself to Cleveland and not as part of the rest of the package since Cleveland is under the cap.) Indiana gets a guard who can actually pass in Sessions, a long-range shooter in Mayo, who they can keep as a restricted free agent, and a fourth big in Hollins, and deals out three bench players (Hansbrough, Dahntay Jones and Amundson). And the Clippers deal from their excess at the guard spots to fill in the roster, sending out Foye and Bledsoe and getting back a wing defender (Jones) and a frontcourt reserve (Amundson). If they really need another point guard I'm sure Indy could add A.J. Price to this swap, too. (Finally, a quick aside on the Clippers -- heck yes, that was the best dunk I've seen since Vince posterized Frederic Weis.)ESPN Insider
Could L.A. trade Griffin for Howard? Los Angeles Clippers trade Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson Yes, I went there. I hate to break up the Clippers, a team I have predicted will win the Western Conference. But Howard is the greatest big man in the league by a mile, and the chance to pair him with Chris Paul, arguably the league's best pure point guard, is just too good to pass up. Giving up both Griffin and Jordan for Howard alone is too much, but throwing Anderson into the deal makes it something I believe is fair for both sides. There is one caveat to this trade: Jordan has to give his consent. Because the Clippers matched the offer sheet the Golden State Warriors gave Jordan, the 7-foot center has the right to reject any trade for one year from his signing date, which was in mid-December. Though I imagine Jordan would consent, since he then would be aware the Clippers are looking to move him, there is the risk he would decline. If that happened, the Clippers' chemistry could be destroyed, as both Jordan and Griffin could be upset, and this season could go down the drain. Nonetheless, this deal would work for both clubs. First, for the Clippers: While it would be hard to part with Griffin, not only for his 22 points and 11 rebounds but also for the exciting brand of play that has made him must-see TV, there is little doubt the Clippers would improve by getting Howard. For all his excellence, Griffin still does not have a go-to move; he may be even more raw than Howard, who has developed a nice running hook shot. Howard is a better rebounder and the best defender in the league, so while losing Griffin and Jordan would hurt, the Clippers would improve in two of their weakest areas (defense and rebounding). Actually, make that three areas -- their foul-shooting would improve, too. While Howard is a poor free-throw shooter, Anderson is one of the best in the league at 91 percent. Adding Anderson, whose seven rebounds per game matches Jordan's output, would give the Clippers a 3-point shooter to stretch the floor for Howard's paint touches and Paul's drives. While I'm one of the few who have picked the Clippers to reach the Finals this season, I'm sure many, if not most, observers would have them Finals-bound if they make this move. And just as important, Los Angeles finally would be theirs (at least for the next five seasons). No question about it. And if you're Orlando, it doesn't get any better than this. Chances are you're losing Dwight anyway, and this is about as close to equal value as it gets. This is better than getting Andrew Bynum, even better than getting Bynum and Pau Gasol, due to the latter's age. It's better than Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, better than Brook Lopez and a host of draft picks. The Magic would remain a playoff team and still be among the league's most exciting draws. Magic fans would forget about Howard faster than a speeding bullet.Chris Broussard, ESPN Insider
This one has a few implications. Ginobili broke his fifth metatarsal and is out indefinitely. Meanwhile, Rubio continues to impress. Check out his defensive play on the video. Go Wolves!
A possible landing spot for Mo Williams There's been some chatter that with Chris Paul now on the Clippers, Mo Williams could be expendable as a trade chip. And in Thursday's Daily Dime Live chat, ESPN"s John Hollinger tosses out a possible trade scenario involving Williams: "Wouldn't be surprised to see him go to New Orleans for Trevor Ariza. Clippers need either a wing defender or a better backup big man."ESPN RumorCentral
Ricky Rubio wowed an eager crowd with some slick passing in his NBA debut and Kevin Love had 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 117-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in their preseason opener on Saturday night. Rubio had six points, seven assists and six rebounds in 23 minutes, eliciting chants of "Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!" in the fourth quarter in homage to his Spanish roots. Michael Beasley scored 21 points and No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams had 14 points for Minnesota in coach Rick Adelman's debut.http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=311217016
Clippers match four-year, $43 million offer sheet for DeAndre Jordan: Thumbs down It was a worse move by Golden State to sign Jordan to this offer sheet, but it is by no means a good idea for the Clippers to match. Obviously, this is colored by my feelings on Jordan -- I don't see him as any kind of a star in the making, just a dunks-and-little-else guy who has the requisite size and athleticism for an NBA center. You don't pay $43 million (with a trade kicker -- which would increase the salary should the Clippers deal him -- in case you ever want to get rid of him) for a guy like that. You might argue that the Clippers "need" a center and that centers can be hard to come by, but L.A.'s home market gives them a leg up in any free-agent chase. The Clippers could have easily played this season with another center on a one-year deal (like, oh, say, current Clipper Chris Kaman), amnestied Mo Williams in July and been $33 million under the cap next season. You know why that matters? Because the NBA seems determined to keep Chris Paul in New Orleans all season, and the Magic seem equally determined to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando. So they may both be unrestricted free agents after the season, and the Clips will have the space to sign both. Can you say "Superfriends 2.0"? Even if that dream scenario didn't work out, the Clippers dramatically reduced their options and flexibility for a loaded offseason crop, all to overpay a guy they didn't especially need. While this wasn't quite as bad as the Caron Butler deal, it's unfortunate that L.A. used its rare free-agent splurge so unproductively. The Clippers will be better in spite of themselves, because a team with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon isn't going to lose 50 games again, but were it not for the winning amnesty bid for Chauncey Billups, this would have been a wasted offseason for the Clips.Hollinger, ESPN Insider
So many questions, so little time to come up with 75 words. Was Olshey right to walk away? Was he clear enough about his intentions for EJ? Did he risk too much by entering into an indirect...
Cleaning out the locker: If the Sixers lose, what should they do next? Mark Haubner, The Painted Area: The Sixers are in a quandary: They have multiple quality 23-or-under players, but can't truly contend to win the East in the near future with the present roster. Philadelphia might need to deal Andre Iguodala for improvement in the long term, though it could be a serious short-term hit to lose one of the league's best wing defenders. Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game: Secure Thaddeus Young, don't give Spencer Hawes the benefit of the doubt with an extension, and hope for internal improvement. The Sixers' books are pretty cluttered, and if there's a market for Elton Brand's bloated deal, I know not of it. Philly should let Young, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Louis Williams and Marreese Speights incubate and see what happens. David Thorpe, ESPN.com: Punt. Doug Collins has wrung all that could be wrung from this roster. They have too much money tied up in guys who are just too flawed to anchor a 55-win team. Time to move them, but try to keep Holiday and Young in the process. Jeremy Wagner, Roundball Mining Co.: Pray that Evan Turner can improve enough after a disappointing rookie season to help the Sixers challenge the Hawks and Magic for home court in the playoffs, while counting down the minutes until Elton Brand's contract expires in June of 2013.http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2011/news/story?page=5-on-5-110427
Weak draft means draft for need. Minnesota Timberwolves: Even with all the high draft picks and some free-agent acquisitions, the Wolves have holes at every position except whatever spot Kevin Love plays. Though they still own the rights to Ricky Rubio and sit on a very disappointing -- but talented -- Jonny Flynn, the Wolves clearly will have to consider taking Kyrie Irving, of course. But pairing up your best player with a complementary one makes sense, and if the Wolves decide to go that route, they'll have to consider Bismack Biyombo. If you think he's too raw a talent to go No. 1, you're wrong. Think of it like this: He averages 6 and 5 with more than two blocks a game while playing in Spain's top division, which is the second-best basketball league in the world after the NBA. And he does that while playing less than half the game. It's a league far more rugged than college. How would Irving fare over there in 17 minutes? Biyombo pairs up perfectly with Love, as his above-the-rim game and high intensity matches up with Love's solid positional defense and calm demeanor. BB would give the Wolves a constant threat in the paint to dunk anything he touched while allowing Love to float outside for his great jumper. And they would form one of the top rebounding tandems in the league. His energy alone would help Love and every other player on the team. Flynn, Wes Johnson and Love all want lots of touches and shots, and BB could excel just playing off their misses. The two players he's always compared to are Ben Wallace and Kevin Garnett.ESPN Insider
9. Los Angeles Clippers | Future Power Rating: 567. It appears the Clippers may become good in spite of themselves. L.A. moved five spots north to No. 9 in our future power poll, based mostly on the spectacular exploits of rookie Blake Griffin. With a fantastic rookie power forward and a few other strong young players -- shooting guard Eric Gordon, center DeAndre Jordan, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and point guard Eric Bledsoe -- the Clips have a solid base on which to build success. They also have plentiful salary-cap space in future seasons thanks to the midseason trade of Baron Davis, and Los Angeles is a major lure to potential free agents. Finally, they own a completely unprotected 2012 pick from the lowly Timberwolves. With all these assets, you'd think the Clippers couldn't possibly screw this up. And with any other team you'd be right. But the lingering fear remains that the Clippers will somehow find a way to botch a near-perfect setup. We rated L.A. 27th in the Management category, and that might have been kind. Owner Donald Sterling is the worst in all of sports -- a cheapskate who heckles his own players, can't hire a good coach because of his history of not paying his employees, and has interfered to block countless transactions. Unheralded GM Neil Olshey did well to dump Davis' contract, but he has several more difficult battles ahead of him as he tries to build around Griffin. The scary thing is that Griffin and Gordon are so good it may not matter. As long as the Clippers extend those two players -- a no-brainer, one would think, but never assume anything with this franchise -- L.A.'s other team seems set as a playoff regular. (Previous rank: 15)ESPN Insider
I hate the Warriors. They may be pesky enough to pull a few upsets, but I don't like their roster, and I don't respect their style. They're not built to ever go far, and they just signed Al...
A little room for optimism
Cool stuff for the stats geeks among us. Finally some measurements for good defense, among other things. If a player's shooting % is aided by crisp passing, then it sure sounds like teamwork matters. No man is an island.
Wow, this is a weird one, and I wonder what you all think about it. School officials are saying that the issue is about commitment to their honor code. That sounds kind of noble, but man oh man the details are invasive. No premarital sex, and no coffee or tea. If Jimmer indulged in a cup of earl grey, would that end their season? How did Davies get caught, anyways?
Oh come on, fellas, when there's a former TWolf available, don't we have to take up the call? I am a little surprised the Knicks don't want him.
L.A. Clippers: C+ Take our point guard ... please. The Clippers wanted to be out from under the weight of Davis' contract so badly that they gave away their lottery pick in this year's draft. I'm not crazy about this tactic, but I should point out that this move isn't just run-of-the-mill Clippers cheapness. The strategic part is that the trade cuts just enough salary to make the Clips something of a player in this summer's free-agent market. They won't have enough space for a max deal but could easily make a play for L.A. native Tayshaun Prince or one of several other promising free-agent small forwards -- the one position that's holding the Clips back at the moment. Additionally, Williams is likely a much better complement to Blake Griffin than Davis was because of his sweet outside shot. The Clips now have two deadly outside shooters at the guard positions in Williams and Eric Gordon, and with Griffin's potent passing ability, they've set themselves up to be extremely difficult to defend in the half court. Jamario Moon is also in the deal and has an expiring contract; I expect the Clips to let him walk and pursue better options in free agency.John Hollinger, ESPN Insider
Miami wants to upgrade at center or point guard. Talk amongst yourselves.
And there you have it
... which position would you prioritize (if any)? For simplicity sake, let's assume that that the Clips don't make any major moves before the deadline. So Kaman and DJ are still on board, along...
Good, meaty article about the scandal. It includes some evidence that Donaghy fixed his own games, but perhaps he had no special insight into other games. I'm actually not familiar with Donaghy's supposed contribution to "the nasty fight in Auburn Hills," if anyone would care to share the story.
The Clippers have frequently voiced concern with the hard hits Griffin routinely takes from opposing defenders, but Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro declined to make an issue of Haywood's foul. "Those things are going to happen," Del Negro said. "Blake's around the basket and he's always going to attack all the time and guys don't want him to finish. We should take a book out of that, too. When guys are around our basket, we need to do the same thing. "They've got a bunch of length up there. They're a veteran team and [protecting the rim is] what you're supposed to do." Haywood, however, doesn't even think he should have been called for a flagrant foul. "No, that's not a flagrant foul," Haywood told ESPNDallas.com's Jeff Caplan. "I feel the NBA should give my money back for that one. It was one of those plays, I just grabbed his arm. He's just so athletic and strong that he was still trying to finish the play and he ends up basically not protecting himself. "On those type of plays he has to realize, 'All right, I got fouled, just throw it at the rim and come down.' Protect yourself for the next play. Every play can't be a dunk-contest dunk."ESPN
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