Construction Not Finished In Lob City





LOS ANGELES – Don’t come around Chris Paul’s front door trying to sell him a ladder. He’s not one of those who believe that progress has to come one level at a time.

The Clippers finished a season in which they won a playoff series for only the third time in franchise history, but that didn’t leave the All-Star point guard skipping out the door.

“We had a good season,” Paul said. “I think it’s a good sign for our team that there is no moral victory. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we made it to the playoffs, it’s all good and well.’ We feel like we should still have been playing.

“We are going to keep working. We are going to come back next seson ready to go. I have never been one of those people who believes you have to take stepping stones to get to the next level.”

While they did claim an historic Game 7 road win at Memphis in the first round, the Clippers did lose 10 of their last 15 games overall going back to the regular season and were only 2-3 at home in the playoffs.

There are two All-Stars on the roster with Paul and Blake Griffin, but plenty of holes to fill. Can young center DeAndre Jordan fulfill the promise of his $42-million contract? Can veteran Chauncey Billups, an unrestricted free agent this summer, make it all the way back from Achilles tendon surgery?

What do they do with Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Nick Young andMo Williams, all of whom were key parts in the playoff run and are unrestricted free agents?

Do they remain excited about what they saw from back-up guard Eric Bledsoe in the playoffs or use him as bait to shore up other positions? What is the status of coach Vinny Del Negro? Is he the one who can take them to the next level?

It was a nice first splash for Lob City. But how far are the Clippers from being able to swim in the deep water with the real playoff contenders?


55 Comments

  1. Simon says:

    I Was wondering is josh smith a free agent this summer? i mean could you imagine Paul, billups, smith,griffin and deandre or who ever they seek out with trades and free agency.

  2. NBAisMylife says:

    they need fundamentally sound big men. Bigs that can make free throws in the dying minutes of the game. Major lacking in that department.

  3. Frank says:

    Now that BOTH L.A. teams are out of the playoffs, who will ESPN fawn all over?

  4. Jay says:

    The Clippers are a young team with HUGE upside potential. If they were to ad D HOWARD this trio BLAKE – CP3 – HOWARD would win the title. If the Clippers can not get Howard then they must ad a center and big man. They still play too small and rely on BG to score all the points in the paint. Jordan must get some offensive game otherwise he is a good role player for blocks and dunks but not a guy you can go further with. It just defies logic that your starter cant play the fourth quarter.

    The Foye, Butler, Mo Will, Young group needs sorting out. All good players but these types are the dime a dozen in the NBA and it comes down to chemistry. Love Foye works hard has a 3 pt shot now but is he a starter? Young again is a sweet shooter but cant dribble, create, D is a ?…, Mo a good sixth man. Butler is now a vet but not someone I see as a long term need on this team.

    Remember this Clipper squad was just put together. No practice, no real preseason. The future is bright and one more addition could really elevate this group. Billups comes back? Let’s hope. The vet they need to keep. Vinny…? Not so sure. SOmething says the time is now for a proven NBA winning coach to guide Paul and Griffin to higher levels. Don’t be surprised to see this squad as the LOVE of LA next season….

  5. 813snoogy says:

    clippers need o.j mayo and howard paul,mayo,—,blake,howard who for sf they gotta get rid of caron and jordan

  6. jose says:

    The last two games proved that the Clippers could have beat the Spurs, but there was no game plan and even then they got this far, imagine if they had confidence and a strategy. Practically all the supporting players stepped up from time to time so I’m not sure about all this Chris Paul talk. By the way that little running thing the Spurs kept doing going to basket got on my nerves, the Clippers can run a lot more than that.

    • jr says:

      well the 3rd game your talking about….the spurs just missed very easy shots…so it shouldn”t of been that low of a quarter normally..Don’t confuss that with the Clipper being better then that..

  7. AJS - Melbourne Australia says:

    As possibly the only Clippers fan outside the US i have been given great excitement and entertainment to the way the guys have palyed this year. Yes we have holes to fill and hopefully there is more improvement to come from Jordan.
    Dwight “Superman” Howard would be the man to get us through deeper into the play offs but cash constraits might fine that difficult.
    Hoping to travel to the US next year to attend some games at the Staples Center so if anyone out there can hook me up with some tickets that would be great.
    Hoping OKC can get over theh line and win the champioship.
    Go the Clips!!
    Cheers AJS

    • jr says:

      Aj ..you should look at the spur more often…they have someone on their team that from Australia

      • AJS - Melbourne Australia says:

        Paddy Mills has had some good minutes with the Spurs but not a lot of time in the Playoffs.
        It woiuld be good to see how he would go againts Westbrook if given the chance.

  8. Simon says:

    Hi, I’m from the UK and I’m a little less knowledgeable than everyone commenting, forgive me if i am wrong but keep bledsoe and young lets not forget how much growing nick young still has left in him and also before going to the clippers he was playing for really bad franchise in the wizards, i seriously think and again correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure a worth while trade would be Mo Williams and Bobby Simmons, also a 2nd round pick if necessary for Anthony Morrow and Gerald green, again I’m probably wrong but its just a suggestion.

  9. Isaac says:

    What i could say is they are lack of a good small forward to breakthrough or over fulfill the players.
    Blade really needs to improve his shooting skills and steps move, not dunk but be more aggression on offences. His defensive is terrible, using his body explosion advantages on defensive too such as blocks.. Not much of blocks could seen from him.
    Jordan might not be the best center in the lake but he is entitled to be Clippers center but still a lot of improvement. love to see his finishing dunk too. Improving his NBA experiences to take him to another level.
    Paul is doing a great job this year leading his team to this playoff, but not good enough. He needs to be more stronger taking some advantages on the right timing shots A LOT. I am or should said the FANS of CLIPPERS hope that Paul could lead his team to the final. It is sad to watch this 4 losing games. I hope to play like him even better than him as a leader point guard. I am the BIG FANS of HIS. So i am quite sad and disappointed while they lose to a good team spurs tis season.
    Should trade players to co-operate and get stronger.
    Hope CLIPPERS will come back on next season and well prepare to get into the final.

  10. Doug says:

    I think the first step for the Clippers is that they (and their coach, and their fans), need to wake up and realize that the cute Lob City stuff that worked in the regular season will NEVER work in the playoffs, no matter how healthy the team is. Look at any offensive possession for LA in the Spurs series, they all look the same: The Clippers always look like they have no clue what they are doing. If they don’t find an easy dunk, and Chris Paul (who is amazing) isn’t open, they literally don’t score.

    I was impressed by their defense though, I think their defense is very underrated. Their defense will also only improve as their offense becomes more consistent.

    I think the first step for LA is signing 1 or 2 good jump shooters. I don’t mean like JR chuck-Smith, I mean actual good ones. They don’t need to actually take shots, but their existence on the perimeter would space the floor out a great deal, and make Blake and Chris’ jobs a lot easier.

  11. Sea Pea says:

    Hack a Shaq never worked. Ask the Blazers and the Kings. Shaq was getting the dunk regardless. He was a beast.

    • jr says:

      It not the Hack a shaq…..that pop is hoping for…just slowing the tempo down and taking team/fan out of the game

  12. Nguyen-Luan says:

    My bad on the typo:
    Getting defensive players would make this team better defensively. (an area Clippers were NOT good at)

  13. Nguyen-Luan says:

    Howard and Bynum are the top centers in the league. Finding capable big men is premium that is why Clippers match the offer sheet for DeAndre Jordan and kept him when Warriors desperately needed a big man.
    Griffin will work on his game in the offseason.
    As a suggestion, going Hakeem Ojauwon would help things and would be a start.
    Agree that Bledsoe should be the backup point guard.
    In that role, he can maintain the uptempo style Clippers play and can get his shot.
    Getting defensive players would make this team better defensively. (an area Clippers were good at)

  14. Daniel says:

    The reason they kept Eric Bledsoe and didn’t trade him to the Hornets is because they needed a point guard in case Chris Paul bails in 2 years. So Eric Bledsoe is not going anywhere.

  15. troygess says:

    Unless Griffin can hit his FTs, there is no chance of winning it all. Once teams starting hack-a-shaq, there was no chance for shaq to win. Same thing with Griffin. He’s not a good shooter from outside and his hooks and floaters don’t work. He’s the best dunking machine I’ve ever seen, and I’m in his corner, but he has to work on those FTs.

  16. Web4040 says:

    BG and Jordan need to get with Hakeeem Olajuwon (like D. Howard did) over the summer and work on their low post game. Simple as that. Foye needs to go to the airport with his game. First time in the playoffs for this young team. They’ll be fine down the line as long as they find a way to keep CP3 and keep him happy.

  17. Common Sense says:

    Lost 10 of their last 15 games?!?!? are you kidding me? That is a very lopsided statistic. Taking the last four games of the season in order to make his point better since they lost 3 out of those four. But what he fails to mention is that the last 19 games of the season had a total of 5 losses. That’s a 74% record ending the season. Then they defeated what the media called the TEAM THAT NO ONE WANTS TO FACE IN THE PLAYOFFS. The media loves spinning things to make their point. Furthermore Lob City is a misnomer. The majority of their plays come from the outside and Denver had just as many lobs in their game. The only difference is that when the slam dunk champion catches an ally oop everyone sees it on sports center. This is not how they play their game and anyone that actually watches their games would know that. A lot of people especially the media comment on a team that they know nothing about! They simply look at the statistics, spin them to make it seem like they have a good point and then post their stupid comments in an order that makes it sound intelligent!

    • Daniel says:

      THey did more lobs with Baron Davis. Baron Davis was one of the key components. Can’t have lob city without baron.

  18. Steve says:

    I think the Clippers have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. What they need most are 3 point shooters who can spread the floor, specifically big men who can shoot. I would consider maybe trading Mo Williams, since I believe Bledsoe has at least earned a backup PG or starting SG role. I would say maybe trade Mo to Phoenix for Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick. Warrick hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time in Phoenix & Frye can still hit the 3 consistently. They also need to sure up the SG position. Randy Foye was a nice fill-in but he lacks the size and can’t isolate for himself really. Billups is getting old and is better as a PG not off the ball. Since the team is young and inexperienced, I would say go for Ray Allen in free agency. The Celtics like Avery Bradley, who’s proved he could fill in for Allen. If the Clips can get Allen for the right price, he’d be perfect. Why not want the best 3 point shooter ever (statistically) on your team? Allen spreads the floor and his skill will tempt less defenders to gather around CP3, because they know leaving Ray open in the corner is a bad gamble.

  19. 1greatplayer says:

    Trade Deandre Jordan & get a legit center
    Get rid of Williams or Young and get a deeper bench (Young is very inconsistent)
    Keep Bledsoe & train him more
    Keep Martin
    Trade Gnomes, Simmons, Foye

    • Sea Pea says:

      There ain’t no Legit Centers anymore. The 90′s are over. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when Andrew Bynum is the best center in the NBA.

      • jr says:

        Second best…the guy from the magic team is better….hehe uhhh…what his name…HOWARD

    • Mario says:

      I say give DJ another shot, maybe during the summer he develops a lowpost game and so will Griffin, if DJ still hasn’t shown improvement than definitely look to trade him or get a 7 footer…
      Heard Lamar Odom wanted in LA, Clippers perhaps? Nick Young needs to start and if Foye stays put him on the bench, Young is good just not off the bench, the guy can go for 30…
      If the Lakers trade Gasol I wouldn’t mind having him as our starting C!! Ray Allen has injury problems so I wouldn’t want him…

    • Daniel says:

      They only kept Dj to please Griffin. Shouldve stuck with Kaman.

  20. W/E says:

    must trade and get a better and younger SF, or a SG

    • Daniel says:

      how? they sent Eric Gordon packing. They’ve been trying to get a good sf for a while. and they luck out with butler.

  21. Dem' Bulls says:

    I thought billups was out with an Achilles injury. I Didnt know about the ACL Injury. I Didnt know Deandre Jordan had a 42 Million Dollar contract either. Thats not nesscasry, they could really clear up some cap space if they got rid of him

    • Sea Pea says:

      Billups game is not the type where he needs a strong acl. He will be back good as new. If it was Tony Parker with that injury then his career might be done.

  22. Nate says:

    The problem is BG, if he can develop his low post skills, 17ft jumper, and his free throws then that a lone will be a big improvement for the Clippers. You see how the Spurs didn’t even guard BG at all if he was 15ft away from the basket, no threat at all. Because of that they have no low post threat to move the ball in and out and rely too much on jumpers and Lob City. BG is too one dimensional right now, just a highlight reel that’s all.

  23. gregPOP says:

    hacking poor free throw shooters is cheap but legit & it ain’t easy. not for the weak state of mind that is.

  24. ko0kie says:

    -deandre jordan needs to learn how to make a jump shot.. even if its just from 7-8 feet.
    -they need to get rid of young and mo williams… young is too inconsistent and mo is just too small to defend most 2′s.
    -I like eric bledsoe as a backup point guard.. he obviously has talent, had great moments during the spurs series..
    -other than that they need a small forward backing up caron butler or even starting for caron (he’s not getting any younger)..simmons certainly is not the solution there..

    • Daniel says:

      Thats a lot of things to do. Its not that easy. DJ is a defensive player and probably not gonna make a jump shot for a while. They got young and williams to shoot the 3. And they sent Eric Gordon packing, the only guy that can guard 2′s. Plus there aren’t a lot of good 2′s in the market. It was a trouble getting caron butler. He was a replacement for ryan gomes. How are they gonna get a better small forward than caron buter.

  25. OKC2012 says:

    Griffin and Paul just showed up too late in this series to even have a chance to win, Griffin didn’t even seem to show up until the last couple of games of the playoffs really. Also I’m not a huge fan of the whole fouling scenario that Popovic does, it is smart but it’s just kinda cheap. But at the same time a guy like Evans needs to hit those shots and force them to respect him at the line, come on what does this guy really work on in the offseason, no reason for any NBA player to make millions and not have the motivation to spend hours in the gym perfecting something as simple as free throws. It does take years to perfect but it does not take that long to be able to hit on a consistent basis.

    • SA2012 says:

      Whats cheap there? It’s what you call strategy. If your not cool with it. Then you should bench Kendrick Perkins next series because that strategy will give you headaches. Just another hopeful fan. SA ate the best out of OKC and they will do it again Next series. I have lot of respects for Durant(the TRUE MVP) WBRook and The Beard but 3 men is not enough to beat a bench so deep even the movie ABYSS pales in comparison.

      Your OKC lost a game against grand daddy Kobe and a Pau Gasol who doesn’t care about the NBA and only thinks if his Spain winning the olympics.

  26. Lynn says:

    No one will beat the Spurs in a 7 game series. I, for one, got tired of hearing about how banged up the Clippers were against the Spurs. The Clippers must not have been that banged up, they won Game 7 on the road against Memphis to advance. Why do the Spurs not get any credit from the media? All they’ve done is win 18 straight games and now sweep 2 straight playoff series. If this was the Heat or Lakers, this is ALL we’d read about. But not the Spurs. Oh well, guess we’ll just worry about winning our 5th NBA title.

    • Baller says:

      I agree, the Spurs don’t get enough recognition for their success. To me they are the team to beat too.

      Looking at all the other teams it will be hard for any one of them to win it all. The Lakers do not have enough depth to compete (and they will probably fall today against OKC). OKC would need their jumpers to fall consistently to make it a close game and hope Durant hits some Gamewinners to go through San Antonio. The Celtics and Heat are banged up, in addition to that the Celtics are just not good enough to beat the Spurs. Bad rebounding and an unreliable offense will not beat the Spurs. Before Bosh went down I would have given the Heat a chance, but the way it is now without Bosh I don’t think they have enough. The Pacers could compete with the Spurs and they have depth, but they lack experience and will face the toughest opponent this season in the Spurs. I doubt George and Granger could guard Ginobili and I don’t think they can defend Duncan and Tony Parker in the Pick and Roll. That leaves the 76ers and I don’t think they would be a match for the Spurs either. Their defense is at the top of the league but they are struggling to score in almost every other playoff game…

    • Geo says:

      Spurs are THE most Boring Team I have every watched. Hope OKC gives em a good ol fashioned wipping.
      Cant wait to see westbrook break their ankles

      • Sportsdoc says:

        Really stupid comment. Listen to Magic Johnson. Anyone who thinks these Spurs are boring just does not understand BB. You are living in the past, when the Spurs relied only on defense..

      • meatloaf100 says:

        i agree spurs play dirty okc is going to toast them

      • jr says:

        Are you Crazy Geo or Stupid?…You don’t watch the Spurs much because the nba only puts la or the hear for every national game that mean anything…Do forget Westbrook will have to guard parker and he will get tired…very Dumb post Geo

    • Roman says:

      This is in reply to Lynn’s comment,, its so obvious that shes a spurs fan,,, everybody needs to admit that the Clippers did the impossible this year with the short season with realy no training camp and of course one of our floor generals out with an injury in Chauncey Billups, if he would of been healthy the Clippers would of swept the grizzlies,, and we would of got a better seed and faced a nuggets team who we can easily dominate and OKC, the Clippers have proven that they can dominate those two teams,,, they must re-sign Billups, K Martin, R Evans, M Williams, and R Foye and add a Ray Allen to the roster!!!,, another key point is Deandre Jordan must live up to the huge contract, he needs to be a beast down low and put fear into anyone who gets in the paint,, im not worried im sure D Sterling is loving the sucess of the team and we finally have a great GM whos makin the calls to get everything ready for the upcoming season in late October,, the Clippers will hang their first banner with Pacific Division champs,, then The Championship banner!!.

      • Sportsdoc says:

        You did not mention Eric Bledsoe, who is better than any guard the Clips have beside Chris Paul.

      • uoykcuf says:

        This is a reply for Roman, you are obviously a LA fan boy. Do your homework though, You think donald is going to spend that kind of money think again. I hate bandwagon.

      • guprit india says:

        just face it the clippers are done for a long time they couldnt even win a game with san antonio that tells you something. good luck roman.

  27. PETER says:

    The Clippers have plenty of holes to fill next year.No doubt this season is a positive but they need more depth.Eric Bledsoe has plenty of talent and needs more mintues.Hopefully Reggie Evans is back next year , love the way he plays lacks talent but has plenty of heart.Mo Williams & Young are too inconsistent , l thnk one of them will be gone next season.The Spurs have so much depth , that if one player has a bad night somebody steps in and does the job.With the Clippers if Paul or Griffen struggle then they are in trouble scoring and hope Young or Williams have a night out.

  28. tdistor says:

    Well, they obviously need to fill the center position with a first level player, and they have many players that are almost limited to the 3-point shooting role with no other remarkable skill, so keeping just 2 of them and look for people that might have a wider impact in the game should be also necessary, i think.

    The Chris Paul dependency is an urgency resource that, the same way it helps the team at this moment, it limits the team for further success. For a team depending on if one player has a great night or not, this 2nd playoff round is its top possible achievement in normal conditions.

    Also, as long as they keep the highlight oriented approach to the game, they’ll never get much further.

    • Daniel says:

      They can’t fill the center position after they spent all that money on Deandre Jordan and sent Chris Kaman to the Hornets.