NBA / Sep 9, 2010 / 2:00 pm

The Biggest Wild Card In The Western Conference

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

The 2009-10 season for Clipper Nation was one to bury deep in the depths of forgotten memories, where most seasons for the Clips consider home. The team went a disappointing 29-53 during last year’s campaign, and once again was an NBA wasteland as the team was in the lower half of the NBA’s attendance. Although we all expect mediocrity and a trip to the Lottery in June, this year will be different. This year, the Clippers will make some noise in the West and bid for a playoff berth.

The Clippers have many of the same faces coming back from last season, but the offseason additions will prove to make a huge difference in the win-loss column. Vital pieces have been added in vital areas. First, let’s start off with the coaching change, as Mike Dunleavy is out and Del Negro is in. While Dunleavy had some success with the Clips in the past, leading them to the playoffs in 2006, Del Negro will provide a new culture and new energy for the players who had not seen success under the previous regime. After leading a very young Bulls team to a near upset of the Celtics in 2009, he can do something similar with this young Clipper team.

The Clippers did not make the big splash in free agency as they may have wanted, but they did add some good pieces. The team signed Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes, two players who will provide depth and key minutes off the bench. The Draft was also successful as the Clips added Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe and Willie Warren. Warren and Bledsoe are young, athletic guards who can push the tempo and provide quality minutes their first year as spark plugs. Aminu is seen as the forward of the future. He is a lengthy and athletic wing that can slash, finish, rebound and has the potential to be an excellent defender. All of these players will comprise a solid supporting cast, capable of not only giving the starters rest, but also exploding on teams and being the reason for Clipper victories

The last and most important addition is not an acquisition at all, rather the return of No. 1 pick Blake Griffin. Griffin is not your ordinary rookie, as he has had a year of adjusting to the lifestyle of an NBA player – usually the hardest transition for a young athlete. Now he’ll have to prove his worth on the court, where he will be dominate from Day 1 and provide the Clippers with star power they so desperately need to improve their offense, rebounding and overall excitement around the team. He and Chris Kaman will grow to be one of the best frontcourts in the League.

With the returning talent of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon (who has been playing well this summer with Team USA) and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have everything a good team needs; the question is can they play up to their potential? Personally, I believe they will, potentially not even making a trip to the Lottery next June.

What do you think?

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  • Jc

    Couldn’t agree more! New coach, new culture, young athletic talent, all the things needed to make a change for the better!

  • That’s What’s Up

    that pic makes him look sofa king we todd did

  • Detroit Dave

    If they can keep Chris Kaman healthy for 80 ganes and have a healthy Baron Davis they could challenge for a playoff spot. Not sure if Blake Griffin will dominate like you said he will but they should def be an exiting team to watch.

  • JAY

    I love the Clips as a video game team. Lol

    But reality has something against the Clippers. Whenever they seem to get things going in the right direction, something ALWAYS happens.
    It’s the curse of LA’s other team. It’s almost like the basketball gods won’t allow 2 successful NBA teams from the same city.

  • LakeShow84

    I agree with the sleeper moniker..

    They are basically short at the SF position but you can hide that easily nowadays in the NBA.. I didnt realize they got rid of Thornton until KDizz said that.. sucks because he would fit nicely into puzzle..

    BUT

    Team could definetely make some noise.. They played us fairly well last year.. They showed signs and having Griffin back will lift their SPIRITS alone.. Not sayin hes that good to make them feel better but just havin him out there with the team should get everyone excited..`

    It really all depends on how dominant Griffin can be.. No one on that roster can DOMINATE besides maybe BDizzle and his days of CONSISTENTLY doin that are over.. And no Kaman can have a few good games but he cant CONSISTENTLY dominate.. It all falls on Griffin.. 15&10 with solid D from the kid could get them into the playoffs..

    Oh and Eric Gordon lookin solid but hes BEEN lookin solid.. Should have EVEN MORE of a breakout year this year..

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    DIME is it possible (or has it been done and I missed or forgot it) to do a write-up or compile a list of players (besides Tracy McGrady) who have yet to make it out the first round of the playoffs?

    Or to trim it, former or current All-Stars who have yet to advance. I tried to find a list on the net and came away with nada.

    I think it would be interesting to see. On a side note if you do make it out the first but never get past the second then, is that really all that better?

  • JAY

    Question….

    If Lebron, Wade and Bosh went to the Clippers would anybody bet on the Clips for a chip like they are doing with the Heat??

    I think, more often than not, people would be extremely hesitant for the simple fact, “it’s the Clippers”. Lol

  • BRUCE

    All depends on Boom Dizzle WEIGHT!

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Has anyone ever spoken to or observed Griffin in real life? He seems like a real hardworking dude, and the Clips are so bad that I kind of want to root for them. Would be nice to know if Griffin was a nice guy or not.

  • WinDelRoj

    @9

    You go back and watch some of the hits dude took in college without sending a dude into the stands or beating their face in, Id say he has some character. I want to root hard for dude but… its the Clippers man

  • Khalvin

    “where he will be dominate from Day 1″

    Really??
    Do they need an editor?
    *sigh*

  • derik

    on order for the Clippers to be good, Baron Davis need to become a pass first PG, because his shooting is just terrible…. and they need to play D, they always gave up tons of points, oh yeah, did i mention they need a new owner?

  • KnicksFan

    Eric Gordon is nice..he gave Kobe problems each time they faced each other last season. Especially the first meeting

  • http://www.flatfeetaxservice.com irs levy

    i couldlnt agree more….with a maturing gordon, blake being in the lineup…kaman playing up to his talent…it may come down to baron driving and dishing and leaving that awful 3 point shot of his in the gym bag.

  • Ryan

    The Clippers will be a .500 team there is no doubt about that, but I doubt they make the playoffs.

    VDN will be the perfect coach for this young group. The Clippers have some of the best young players at each position. Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin will be a dynamic duo for year’s to come.