Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Championship Window has yet to open

Published on January 20, 2012 by Anthony Carriuolo   ·   No Comments

For decades, the Los Angeles Clippers have not only been second fiddle to their roommates, the Los Angeles Lakers, but they have been the laughing stock of basketball. The Los Angeles Clippers have been billed as the worst team in basketball, both on the court and off, and one of the worst managed franchises in the history of major American sports. Venturing to any public destination on game day in LA and there will likely be a sea of Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant jerseys, but finding a Los Angeles Clippers fan in the crowd is like playing Where’s Waldo?. Now, with the surefire drafting of high flying superstar in Los Angeles Clippers PF Blake Griffin, the L.A. Clippers finally have someone to rally around as their superstar. Now, more and more L.A. Clippers fans are emerging from the woodwork. Even though some of these fans are likely rooting for the Clippers only because it’s “cool” to be different, there is a reason with all this buzz for band-wagoners to hop on the path.

The Clippers had a terrific off-season, acquiring PG Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade that sent noteworthy Clippers C Chris Kaman and PG Eric Gordon to the New Orleans Hornets. Still, the Clippers left these two cornerstone players scorned, as the front office once again mismanaged their personnel, leaving Kaman and Gordon uninformed of their trade until the last moment.

However, the L.A. Clippers now have the highest flyer at the power forward position and a great passing guard to lob him highlights all day. Factor in the consistency of SF Caron Butler and the emerging presence of C DeAndre Jordan and suddenly this lineup looks like a complete side full of youth and explosiveness.

Not so fast.

The Clippers may have momentum, highlights, personnel, and a buzz about them, but they are not yet ready to win a championship. Forget the fact that the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and the Oklahoma City Thunder stand in the way of their quest for rings, but the Clippers themselves have not yet found their fullest identity. The game against the Heat can be discarded, as the Heat had an off night and have shown that they can crush an opponent while bringing their B game.

The Clippers are going to be like the Phoenix Suns of about five or so years ago when they boasted the trio of PF Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and Shawn Marion. Not only was their style of play against the conventional recipe for winning in the playoffs, but they lacked depth at certain positions. The Clippers are like that team, in that they do indeed have stars, but they are more fun to watch than actual contenders.

Fortunately, Clippers PG Mo Williams will likely be shopped around, and he is a piece that could yield some young talent in L.A. to build for a title run in the next few years. While the Clippers are not yet the team to beat, they are the team to watch.


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