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NBA / Jan 7, 2011 / 2:00 pm

Pass The Mic: Blake Griffin Has The Clippers Thinking Playoffs

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin (photo. Nicky Woo)

By now you’re familiar with our “Pass the Mic” series – a feature where he give the pen and pad to some of our best readers to let them drop knowledge on the NBA. We’ve had previous posts on everything from game-saving rule changes to essays on how money is ruining the world’s greatest game to imagining what life would be like without Mike. Today, we’re turning the space over to Scottie Braden, who thinks the Clippers may be able to pull off the impossible this season.

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First off, I just want to say this piece is not being submitted by a biased, diehard Clippers fan. Sure I used to choose the Clippers franchise for all of my NBA Live seasons, but never drafted any of their actual players which was done to simply take the worst team in reality and improve them into a championship team via Xbox.

Let’s be honest: the Clippers are the red-headed stepchild to the Lakers. (No pun intended Blake.) They have never lived up to the legacy of the Lakers, and it’s almost as if we’ve all, including Donald Sterling, accepted that as their fate. Regardless, I am here by stating my claim: the Los Angeles Clippers will get the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs this season. Allow me…

In 35 games this year, the Clippers have shown they have elite talent. Eric Gordon is averaging 23.5 ppg and Blake Griffin compliments that with 21.7 ppg of his own. Those averages are good enough for 10th and 15th in the league respectfully, and they’re only getting better.

Baron Davis is “rounding” into shape, and when he is healthy he can be a top 10 point guard in the league if he wants to be. DeAndre Jordan is getting legitimate burn this year with over 24 minutes per game, and proving to be a defensive presence (1.6 bpg) that’s very difficult to shoot over. Rookie Al-Farouq Aminu is showing unexpected range shooting 42 percent from downtown. And that’s not on 15 attempts; he’s made 32 of 76 tries. And don’t let me forget the Clippers’ only All-Star, Chris Kaman, who averaged 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season, but has only played in 10 games this year due to injury. He’s potentially the piece that puts them into playoff contention when he returns sometime this month.

Yes, the Clippers are 11-24 so far this season, but they’ve won six of their last 10 games. The San Antonio Spurs, the NBA’s top team, have six losses on the year, and one came at the hands of the Clippers. Admittedly, the Clippers’ bench is weak, but if Kaman returns and plays anything like last year, and the real Boom Dizzle decides to show up, the Clippers have as good a shot at the eighth seed as anyone else.

What do you think?

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  • karizmatic

    Honestly, I am surprised with the Clippers lack of wins this season which I can only explain by saying well they are the Clippers. Eric Gordon is a great player and Blake is also a great player. I also like Jordan. Davis obviously has been the problem child because everyone knows if he’s in shape and plays to his potential the Clippers become very dangerous. I also agree that if they get Chris Kaman back they could be tough to beat. But this is more just a possibility than actually probable. I actually hope it happens though, I think they have enough talent.

    They’ll be even more tough next year. The other thing that could stop them from making the playoffs is a trade if they find a taker for Baron Davis and have to reset.

  • Ejay

    I disagree that Kaman will help. Why would they move DeAndre back to the bench with the way he’s playing? He has blocked 19 shots in the last 3 games. The Clippers should give Jordan a new contract and see what they can get for Kaman in a trade.

  • karizmatic

    @Ejay

    That’s sensible if they can get rid of Davis in the deal. There are a bunch of team out there that need a big man like Kaman. I wouldn’t do it though..I’d keep Kaman and have them split time. But a trade of Kaman and Davis for some other pieces would be interesting.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Orrrr can they make Jordan a 4? Then push Griffin to the 3? Possibly trade Kaman for a good 3? Luol Deng? Just spitballin.

  • Jane

    I also think that the Clippers can make the playoffs. And if they do…Blake Griffin for MVP (forget ROY)

  • Dang Yaya

    Good article. I used to watch the Clippers when they had Lamar Odom. Parents had season tickets, blah, blah. The problem I have getting back into the CLIPPERS is DONALD F#$% STERLING. There is no reason the Clippers should continue to be so bad. It’s LA and you can’t attract people to come here. I would be surprised if they can keep Blake. I may go see a game or two, but as long as Sterling is around the Clippers will always fall short of what they can be.

  • top_gun

    Griffin at the 3 ? LOL, that would be the worst shooting front court ever.

    They’re better off trading Kaman and keeping Davis. Not sold on Bledsoe and Gordon is always looking for his own shot.