Welcome To Camp: L.A. Clippers





For every nifty acquisition the Los Angeles Clippers made this offseason, their fellow Staples Center tenants made one worth two or three. The Lakers saw the Clips’ Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford and raised then with Steve Nash. Grant Hill? Matt Barnes? Ronny Turiaf? Nice, but say hello to Dwight Howard.

In their uncharacteristic attempt to close the gap between them and their more decorated in-house rivals, the Clippers got within one game in the standings. The Lakers seem to have stepped on the gas, Finals or bust, but that just means the Clippers will aim higher. Snipe higher, too.

Veteran Chauncey Billups could claim he was only honoring sports protocol, but he seemed to take a swipe at the market’s “other” NBA team when he said: “When you’re trying to compare and get better – and we want to try and win the Western Conference and have a chance to play for the whole thing – you compare yourself to the Western Conference champ, and that’s not the Lakers.”

It’s on in L.A.

Guy on the spot as camp begins: Chauncey Billups. It’s not that Billups has anything to prove, not after 15 seasons, five All-Star Games, an NBA title and a Finals MVP trophy. But he’ll receive extra scrutiny because of his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. It gave way 20 games into the season and ever since, the now-36 Billups has been playing “Beat The Clock” in his rehab. Initial prognosis? Eight months, which would have him available in early December. He’s been working out on the court and might make or beat that.

What the Clippers need to work on: Development of their bigs. Look, Blake Griffin is a lot more famous for his dunks and YouTube moments than for the refinement of his game. He needed to become more proficient from mid-range even before the meniscus tear that bumped him from the London Olympics. Then there’s DeAndre Jordan, who signed a $43 million contract prior to the season but wound up watching journeyman Reggie Evans take his minutes. If Jordan thought there was pressure with Andrew Bynum playing center in the same town, wait till he sees the head-to-head matchup breakdowns vs. Howard.

Who could surprise: Willie Green. Green chose a roster already crowded with veterans when he worked out his sign-and-trade deal from Atlanta, but the 31-year-old combo guard could log substantial minutes while Billups finishes his rehab. In his bench role last season, Green hit an impressive 44.2 percent of his 3-pointers, a weapon that could keep him on the floor in a season-long role, even with the backcourt crowd.

17 Comments

  1. Angelo says:

    Blake Griffin should have asked Karl Malone to be his mentor this off-season to improve his game. The Mailman is the definition of “POWER” Forward. It would behoove Griffin learning to use his power down low than just jumping high. He should also develop a consistent and more confident outside shot. Then the Clippers would be a team to beat not just in the West but in the whole league.

    • E-SY says:

      Thant’s a good point, if he could copy some skills from the Mailman he would instantly become the best PF of the decade! The Clippers have a team with a lot of potential… like for instance the Nuggets. Now they have to make it work and find a way to score and stop whenever they want to.

  2. wUT says:

    LOL were still talking about the Clips. So sad to see CP3 play out his career there so sad… gimmick team

  3. will says:

    probably best bench in the league

    • AlexanderW. says:

      I Can name 5 superior benches off the top of my head… Seriously?? Best bench?? Washed up Odom.. Trigger happy and inefficient Crawford.. Grandfather Hill… Sub par Barnes.. Ronny Turiaf???? The Clippers bench is filled with Laker throwaways.. Congratulations for the sloppy seconds.. Put emphasis on the sloppy

      • Perry says:

        Really? 5 superior benches? You don’t mean the Lakers’ bench, do you? Jamison, and… who else? I think that Odom is going to play really well this season, and Grant Hill may be old, but he’s still a fantastic basketball player. The Clippers have a great 10 man rotation, with even a couple more guys that can play important minutes.

      • DocktorK says:

        Then again, got to agree a bit on that one…

  4. Owenhart says:

    Yeah… Odom, Hill and Crawford were great addition… Clips are now more complete team than last season, they are now ready for a deep playoff run WCF atleast… :-)

    • Larian1983 says:

      Your name reminded me how I used to cheer for Stone Cold and my friend cheered for Owen Hart, and at the end, I was the one laughing.

  5. W/E says:

    Jordan has the power,energy and athleticism to defend D12,the problem is that he cant play basketball yet on the offensive end the only thing he can do is dunking. Blake has the potential to be better offensively but his defence aint good and that usually never gets better..

    • Guest says:

      Hardly, DeAndre’s been thrown around by Howard ever since he joined the league. Hell DeAndre’s been thrown around by most of the leagues Centers, Roy Hibbert, Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, etc. His “defense” is only attributed to his blocks which come from mostly blocking guys half his size when he goes to cover for a double team. One on One vs other Centers he’s just sad though.

  6. How is no one discussing the impact of Lamar Odom on this Clipper team?

    He is 6’10 point/forward who can shoot the 3 and score attacking the rim, posting up or on jump shots. His biggest impact will be with Black Griffin who will have a big to space the floor and open up the paint for him.

    Let us not forget about the chip on his shoulder the size of the Laker franchise that simply discarded him after being an integral part of a Championship team only two seasons earlier. Watch out for LO who will have every motivation to recapture his form this season.

    • king says:

      Lamar asked to be traded from the Lakers. Getting traded is a part of NBA life if you’re not a superstar. Even then, not many have been traded unless they hate where they are.

      • Realist Laker's Fan says:

        Lamar asked to be traded. Mitch Kupchak actaully asked him to reconsider (from past articles) but LO said he didnt want to be in a team where he felt he wasnt needed. So to stop any locker room animosity, LO was traded.

        LO is a good pick up for the clips. If he gets back to playing like he played for Lakers. He is a very good pick up. We will just have to wait and see…………

    • AlexanderW. says:

      YEAHHHHHHHHHH RIGHTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!! LAMAR ODOM A FLOOR SPACER!!!!???? FUKCING HILARIOUS

      • Scott The Magician says:

        all i have to say is…..if Blake doesnt get some(any) moves, spacing will mean nothing!!!

      • DocktorK says:

        More of a floor opportunist that can be sent out to exploit mismatches like Phil used to use him. Even if i’m not yelling it out i agree that he’s not a floor spacer. When you think about it, who really benefited from his presence on the floor… other than his team and LO himself. Delnegro has got a big challenge ahead of him trying to fit all those unmatching pieces together. Hill, Crawford, LO, Billups, Green… It’s a good list of payers but not easy to gel the types of games they bring to the table.