Posted by Neil Paine on October 21, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
Los Angeles Clippers
Coach: Vinny Del Negro
Record: 29-53, Finished 3rd in NBA Pacific Division
Pythagorean W-L: 24-58 (28th of 30)
SRS: -6.01 (28th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 92.6 (16th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 103.3 (28th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 110.1 (22nd of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Steve Perrin, clipsnation.com
As is often the case, the Clippers look good on paper; four starters include some pretty impressive accolades on their resumes (two-time All Star Baron Davis, 2010 All Star Chris Kaman, Team USA Gold Medalist Eric Gordon and 2009 first overall Pick Blake Griffin) so the talent is there. Of course, three of those guys were with the team last year, and the fourth is replacing Marcus Camby, who was top three in the NBA in rebounding and blocked shots last season. With all that talent last year, they only managed to win 29 games - isn't it asking a lot of Blake Griffin to be so much better than Camby that the Clippers would experience a major improvement?
Sure it is - but he may be up to the task. It's not just his ability to play basketball which is considerable - his per 36 averages in his first 4 pre-season games were 21 points and 15 rebounds, on 66% shooting, and he appears to have every bit of his vaunted explosiveness even after sitting out last season with a fractured patella. Perhaps more important will be his persona - the guy never quits, not on a single possession. The Clippers have quit on their season several years running now, but it will be awkward for anyone to mail it in with Griffin around. Hopefully new coach Vinny Del Negro can help in that regard also - clearly the team had long ago stopped listening to Mike Dunleavy, and for all his shortcomings, Del Negro always had his Bulls playing hard in April.
There are other questions to be sure - will Gordon have a break out season after his break out summer, will Baron stay motivated (coming to camp out of shape wasn't a good sign), can Kaman continue to play at a high level, is Ryan Gomes a viable option at the three, are rookies Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe ready to augment a thin bench? But how good the Clippers can be this season and in the future comes down to Griffin.