Posts Tagged ‘Blake Griffin’

Ominous words from Clippers’ management, given history of repeated failure

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Read the following quote from this article, concerning the supposed “new” status of the LA Clippers …

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Chris Paul’s arrival signals new future for Clips

“The hardest thing we said in this whole process was, ‘We’re good. We have a chance to be good, and do we really break this up for the home run?’ ” Olshey said. “We told Mr. Sterling we had two really good directions: We could continue to build – we’re going to be better this year than we were last year. We have this draft pick. The players are going to keep developing.

“Or we have a chance to completely change the culture of the organization and make us a contender right away.”

The Clippers opted for the latter, surrendering Gordon, the draft pick, Chris Kaman and forward Al-Farouq Aminu for Paul and two future second-round picks. When the deal was done, Roeser and Olshey celebrated with champagne at the practice facility.

“I’ve enjoyed times of hope and times of agony,” Roeser said. “And I’ve never been more excited for a team at the beginning of the season.”

While the Clippers look good on paper, they will begin the season with the unlikely burden of playoff expectations. They also know they have to win to keep Paul, whose contract runs through the 2012-13 season and Griffin, who could become an unrestricted free agent in 2014 if he doesn’t sign a contract extension. Paul and Griffin also have had knee injuries in recent years that will continue to be a concern.

But instead of worrying about any of that, Paul and his Clippers are focused on the present. For a day or two, at least, the Clippers have become the talk of the town.

=========================

and, then, remember them verbatim, 3 years from today.

When you sacrifice the “near future” for what you believe to be the “present” … and, your team’s current roster still has major holes in it, at multiple positions:

PROJECTED STARTERS

PG/Chris Paul + PG/Chauncey Billups + SF/Ryan Gomes + PF/Blake Griffin + C/Deandre Jordan

PROJECTED KEY SUBS

PG/Mo Williams + OG/Randy Foye + SF/Caron Butler + PF/Trey Thompkins + PF-C/Brian Cook

PROJECTED RESERVES

G/Willie Warren + PF/Adam Koch

PROJECTED EXTRAS/OUTS

PG/Eric Bledsoe [inj.] + PG/Blake Ahearn + G/Travis Leslie + F/Renaldo Major

HEAD COACH

Vinnie Del Negro

rather than being an authentic moment of well-deserved celebration, what it actually is, is a truly sad day, in the inglorious history of your pro sports franchise.

YOU MAKE THE CALL: Clippers or Hornets? … Which franchise would you take, going forward from here?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

A number of NBA observers now hold the belief that the LA Clippers are poised to become one of the elite teams in the NBA, given their recent acquisition of 4-time NBA All-Star PG, Chris Paul.

Yours truly is NOT one of them.

Q1. How come, you ask?

A1. It really is a very simple equation.

No. LA CLIPPERS ADV NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
Administration
1 Sterling-D, Owner –> NBA-?
2 Olshey-N, GM –> Demps-D/Stern-D
3 Del Negro-V, Head Coach = Williams-M
Sub-total: 0 x 50 = 0 Sub-total: 2 x 50 = 100
Starters
4 Paul-C, PG <<– Jack-J, PG
5 Billups-C, PG = Gordon-E, OG
6 Gomes-R, SF = Ariza-T, SF
7 Griffin-B, PF <<– Smith-J, PF
8 Jordan-D, C = Okafor-E, PF/C
Sub-total: 4 x 40 = 160 Sub-total: 0 x 40 = 0
Key Subs
9 Williams-M, PG = Belinelli-M, PG/OG
10 Foye-R, PG/OG = Pondexter-Q, OG/SF
11 Butler-C, SF = Aminu-AF, SF
12 Thomkins-T, PF/C = Andersen-C, PF/C
13 Cook-B, PF/C –>> Kaman-C, C
Sub-total: 0 x 30 = 0 Sub-total: 2 x 30 = 60
Reserves
14 Warren-W, G = White-T, G
15 Koch-A, F –> Summers-D, F
Sub-total: 0 x 20 = 0 Sub-total: 1 x 20 = 20
Extras/Outs
16 Bledsoe-E, PG <– ?
17 Ahearn-B, PG <– ?
18 Leslie-T, OG <– ?
Sub-total: 3 x 10 = 30 Sub-total: 0 x 10 = 0
Future Assets
19 2012, 1st Rd Draft Pick [own] –> 2012, 1st Rd Draft Pick [own]
20 ? –>> 2012, 1st Rd Draft Pick [T-Wolves]
Sub-total: 0 x 5 = 0 Sub-total: 3 x 5 = 15
Summary
TOTAL SCORE: 190 TOTAL SCORE: 195

The strength of a first-class pro sports franchise is certainly top down.

However …

A team does NOT move into the authentically “elite” category just because:

- It acquires a top notch [although somewhat over-rated] PG … who is definitely in his prime but also has a history of [somewhat debilitating] knee injuries which have put him on the shelf for significant stretches of previous seasons

- It acquires a formerly outstanding PG … who is now in the latter stages of his highly accomplished career but wanted to go to a legitimate NBA title-winning contender, e.g. the Heat or the Lakers

- It has a very good, but still-very young PF … who is not yet in the prime of his career and has also incurred a prior knee injury which has already put him on the shelf for an entire season

During the 2010-2011 season:

LA CLIPPERS

- Finished 4th in the Pacific Division
- Finished 13th in Western Conference
- Had a W-L Record of 32-50
- Failed to qualify for the playoffs

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

- Finished 3rd in the Southwest Division
- Finished 7th in the Western Conference
- Had a W-L Record of 46-36
- Lost their 1st Rd Playoff Series

In reality:

1. One of these two franchises no longer has 2 of the 3 young cornerstone players who were on their roster last year, and filled their team with authentic levels of optimism for the foreseeable future.

2. One of these two franchises now has two 1st Round Draft Picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, each of which has a fair-to-good chance of being in the high-end of the Lottery.

3. One of these two franchises has a bevy of still-youngish players with a substantial amount of upside. The other franchise does not.

4. One of these two franchises has Donald Sterling as its owner. The other franchise does not.

In fact, there is nothing in the history of the Clippers which suggests the franchise is any closer today to eventually becoming a legitimate contender for the NBA Championship, down-the-road, than it would have been without acquiring Chris Paul at all.

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Which franchise would you take, going forward from this point?

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Griffin vs Love, Jenga War: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The only thing missing, from this first-class piece of work from ESPN [via ProBasketballTalk, and TBJ], as is …

is a haunting rendition of appropriate background music … courtesy of Sergio Leone.

Derrick Favors WILL eventually become a more dominant NBA player than Blake Griffin

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Okay.

The title of this blog entry says it all.

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By the end of their respective NBA careers, which of these two players is eventually going to be considered the more dominant?

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Time will tell, if this specific assertion – re: player vs player evaluation – turns out to be right, or wrong.

Please feel free to have your own say, in the comments section … with whatever accompanying “advanced” stats you would like to provide … as long as it’s done in a polite way. :-)

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PS. According to Basketball-reference.com, this is how Favors and Griffin compare, thus far.

How recent Raptors’ acquisitions have upgraded talent level on this year’s team

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

In the comments section of yesterday’s blog entry, concerning the state of the Raptors, more than one contributor indicated their belief that the Raptors’ recent transactions may have actually “weakened” their roster for the current season, and asked if the specific take of this corner could be explained in further detail.

To wit:

—————————————

The two trades which the Raptors completed over the weekend have improved their functional NBA talent level in the following ways:

OPTION I

RAPTORS COMPARATIVE ROSTER EVALUATION

#

POS

FORMER

ADV

CURRENT

POS

RATIONALE

STARTERS

1

PG

Jack

à

Calderon

PG

Jose is a superior facilitator who makes his teammates better as efficient offensive players.

2

OG

Weems

à

Weems

OG

Sonny becomes a better player with increased jump-shot opportunities.

3

SF

DeRozan

à

DeRozan

SF

DeMar becomes a better player with an increased role as a focal point of the offense.

4

PF

Evans

à

Evans

PF

Improves his rebounding when he knows exactly when shots will be taken and by which specific players.

5

C

Bargnani

à

Bargnani

C

Becomes THE focal point of the offense.

 

 

0

 

+5

 

 

KEY SUBS

6

PG

Calderon

à

Barbosa

PG

Changes the tempo dramatically when inserted as the back-up PG off the bench with the 2nd unit.

7

OG

Barbosa

à

Stojakovic

OG

Adds a far superior 3PT-shooter compared to anyone on the roster before.

8

SF

Kleiza

à

Kleiza

SF

Increased opportunities to score when playing with Barbosa as the PG.

9

PF

Johnson

à

Johnson

PF

Increased opportunities to rebound when playing beside Barbosa as the PG.

10

C

Andersen

à

Dorsey

PF

A far superior rebounder in comparison with Andersen. Increased level of physicality.

 

 

0

 

+5

 

 

RESERVES

11

SF

Wright

à

Bayless

PG

A far superior offensive weapon coming off the bench in specific situations.

12

PF

Dorsey

=

Wright

SF

Not an upgrade.

 

 

0

 

+1

 

 

EXTRAS/OUTS

13

PG

Banks

àà

Davis

PF

A far superior level of first-class NBA talent.

14

PF

Davis

ß

Alabi

C

A substantial talent downgrade.

15

C

Alabi

à

Open

?

A vacant roster spot to be used to fill a current void in the line-up, preferably, at the back-up C position.

 

 

+1

 

+3

 

 

COACHING

16

HC

Jay Triano

à

Jay Triano

HC

Can improve significantly with the above changes in player personnel.

 

 

0

 

+1

 

 

OVERALL

Tot

 

+1

 

+15

 

Although none of the individual changes above are MAJOR, in and of themselves; collectively, they combine to substantially improve the functional NBA talent level of the current team.

OPTION II

RAPTORS COMPARATIVE ROSTER EVALUATION

#

POS

FORMER

ADV

CURRENT

WITH DAMPIER ADDED

POS

RATIONALE

STARTERS

1

PG

Jack

à

Calderon

PG

Jose is a superior facilitator who makes his teammates better as efficient offensive players.

2

OG

Weems

à

Weems

OG

Sonny becomes a better player with increased jump-shot opportunities.

3

SF

DeRozan

à

DeRozan

SF

DeMar becomes a better player with an increased role as a focal point of the offense.

4

PF

Evans

à

Evans

PF

Improves his rebounding when he knows exactly when shots will be taken and by which specific players.

5

C

Bargnani

à

Bargnani

C

Becomes THE focal point of the offense.

 

 

0

 

+5

 

 

KEY SUBS

6

PG

Calderon

à

Barbosa

PG

Changes the tempo dramatically when inserted as the back-up PG off the bench with the 2nd unit.

7

OG

Barbosa

à

Stojakovic

OG

Adds a far superior 3PT-shooter compared to anyone on the roster before.

8

SF

Kleiza

à

Kleiza

SF

Increased opportunities to score when playing with Barbosa as the PG.

9

PF

Johnson

à

Johnson

PF

Increased opportunities to rebound when playing beside Barbosa as the PG.

10

C

Andersen

àà

Dampier

C

A far superior rebounder in comparison with Andersen. Increased level of physicality.

 

 

0

 

+6

 

 

RESERVES

11

SF

Wright

à

Bayless

PG

A far superior offensive weapon coming off the bench in specific situations.

12

PF

Dorsey

=

Wright

SF

Not an upgrade.

 

 

0

 

+1

 

 

EXTRAS/OUTS

13

PG

Banks

àà

Davis

PF

A far superior level of first-class NBA talent.

14

PF

Davis

ß

Alabi

C

A substantial talent downgrade.

15

C

Alabi

à

Dorsey

PF

A superior player at this stage of his pro career.

 

 

+1

 

+3

 

 

COACHING

16

HC

Jay Triano

à

Jay Triano

HC

Can improve significantly with the above changes in player personnel.

 

 

0

 

+1

 

 

OVERALL

Tot

 

+1

 

+16

 

Although none of the individual changes above are MAJOR, in and of themselves; collectively, they combine to substantially improve the functional NBA talent level of the current team.

These improvements are NOT enough to allow the team to move up into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

What they ARE, however, are the type of improvements which will:

i. Make this year’s team much more competitive this season with the other teams in the East that are in the fight for the final 3 playoff positions [i.e. No. 6-8], which include Milwaukee, Indiana, New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Cleveland and New Jersey;

ii. Increase the likelihood of the Raptors using the remainder of their TPE to upgrade their current roster EVEN FURTHER, as the season unfolds, in an effort to make the playoffs THIS YEAR;

iii. See the Raptors insert Ed Davis/PF in their line-up THIS SEASON, in the aftermath of suffering a torn meniscus injury in the pre-season, instead of having him sit out the ENTIRE 2010-2011 campaign, in a similar way to what Blake Griffin/PF did last year with the LA Clippers … which, then, allowed the Clippers to add a 2nd standout player to their team this past summer, in the form of Al-Farouq Aminu [SF], from the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery.

and,

iv. Prevent the Raptors from finishing in one of the bottom two positions in the Eastern Conference this season and, thus, eliminate their opportunity to obtain a franchise-changing player like Harrison Barnes/SF [or, perhaps, Kyrie Irving/PG].

———————————–

PS. Raptors fans should not believe the hogwash prolifigated today by a number of so-called “stats-based basketball analysts” who espouse a mis-directed philosophy which views a “basketball player” as a “simple basketball player”, regardless of who his/her teammates are and which coach s/he actually has the opportunity to play, and learn, under.

Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 9

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

re: How an astute NBA observer might expect the first part of the schedule to unfold for the Raptors this year

Game 9– @ LA Clippers [Fri Nov 13]

 

RAPTORS

ADV

CLIPPERS

PG

Calderon

=

PG

Davis-B

OG

DeRozan *

=

OG

Gordon

SF

Turkoglu $^

ß

SF

Thornton

PF

Bosh

ß

PF

Griffin *

C

Bargnani

=

C

Camby 

 

 

 

PG

Jack #

ß

PG

Telfair ^

OG

Belinelli ^

=

OG

Butler ^

SF

Wright ^

=

SF

Davis-R

PF

Evans ^

=

PF

Jordan

C

Nesterovic $

=

C

Kaman

 

 

 

G/F

Douby

=

G

Collins

PF

Johnson ^

=

C

Smith ^

 

 

 

HC

Triano

à

HC

Dunleavy

 

 

 

+3

OUTCOME

+1

Legend: ADV – Individual match-up advantage; * - 2009 NBA Draftee; ^ - Acquired via trade; # – Restricted free agent; #M – Restricted free agent, matched offer; $ – Unrestricted free agent; $R – Unrestricted free agent, re-signed; $^ – Acquired via Sign & Trade; Italics – Returning player.

This is where the schedule begins to get considerably tougher for the Raptors this year, as they embark on their 2nd road trip to the WC, for the first of 4 games in a span of just 6 days, ending with a back-2-back in Utah.

Toronto actually matches-up quite well with the Clippers and has a solid shot at securing the W in what will be a critical “swing” game against a beatable opponent on the road. Unfortunately, when the Clips will be playing their last of 4 games during a homestand, on a day’s rest, with a refurbished Baron Davis at the helm, this is unlikely to be a cakewalk for the Dinos. That said … the Raptors do have enough weaponry to emerge with the W in this spot, provided that Jay Triano can actually hold his own vs Mike D. in the final minutes of the 4th quarter.

Raptors expected W-L Record: W, 4-5

YOU MAKE THE CALL: Which young PF would you take?

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Courtesy of BlazersEdge [via TrueHoop's Thursday Bullets] …

What’s Next for LaMarcus Aldridge
… time and again during the second half of last season — you remember the stretch when every home game seemed like a twenty point blowout —  I was sitting there dumbfounded (as Brother Wendell and the Mercury’s Ezra Caraeff can attest), watching LaMarcus do things we’d never seen him do before: truly take over a game, glare at the opposing team’s bench after a big dunk in traffic, get in someone’s face and have that person back down first.

On more than one occasion this spring, I found myself thinking (often thinking aloud, spraying spit with excitement) that Aldridge is really not that far from becoming the single most entertaining Blazer in franchise history.

His combination of pure skill, hustle, length, determination and intelligence is arguably already unmatched.  

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If you could only choose one, which young [25 or under] Power Forward in the NBA today would you select for your team?

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The choice of this corner?

At the Power Forward position, in today’s NBA … there is no player in the game with more straight-up basketball talent than Josh Smith.

When it comes to this specific choice, he’s the player yours truly would take from this list … believe it or not. :-)

If he’s ever fortunate enough to find NBA employment with [I] the RIGHT organization and [II] the RIGHT head coach, who knows how to use his numerous skills properly, within the team concept … still younger than many others realize … Josh Smith has more Capacity For Dominance, at the POWER FORWARD position, than any other, in conjunction with all three phases of the game [i.e. Offense, Defense and Rebounding].

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PS. Alternate choices, as well as your expanded thoughts on the subject, are welcome in the comments section.

ROI … re: NBA related Talent Identification and the musings of one HP

Monday, June 29th, 2009

FYI and reading pleasure …

An Open Letter to the Memphis Grizzlies
Hilarious Excerpt #1. I even tolerated the insane teasings toward the OJ-Mayo-As-A-Point-Guard fiasco, or as I like to call it, “The Turnover Manifesto.”

Hlarious Excerpt #2. I begged you,  pleaded with you. I used podcasts, blogposts, emails to people who know you, to try and steer you from this course of action. But you wouldn’t listen. And look what you have to show for it.

A seven foot pogo stick with a Twitter account [i.e. Hasheem Thabeet].

Hilarious Line #3. Lots of people question the 6′5” player [i.e. Tyreke Evans] with killer explosiveness with insane ability to get to the rim who also happened to come out of the same program as this year’s Rookie of the Year who was also a point guard and which happens to be located in the same city as your damn franchise ensuring that you would have at least had a player on the squad that someone would know.

Hilarious Line #4. I’d love to tell you that it’s not you, it’s me. But that’s a lie. It’s you.

Hilarious Excerpt #5. I’ll call you when I reach my mother’s.

Bye, Memphis.

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Matt Moore is one of the most prodigous writing talents in the literary basketball business today. Would only he be able to drop his penchant for excessively curse-laiden “flavourful” language, on occasion, when his blood pressure is on the rise, he should be a daily read for anyone who follows the NBA game.

Laugh, cry, or vilify, but … at all times … it’s done while bringing a smile to your face. Get to know his name, folks. It says here, he is someone who is going far, in this here game.

 

Related:

NBA Draft – Live Blogging

ROI, M-05-19-09

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Brian Grant diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease
The importance of appreciating what you’ve got while you’ve still got it.

Who will actually draft the player who will later prove to be the best player in the draft?
That’s the key question, right there, not which team will have the good fortune of “winning” the NBA’s Annual Draft Lottery this evening.

Notes from Nuggets practice
The difference between being Lost vs. Knowing Where and What YOU ARE.

Magic vs Cavs Preview: Looking at the season series
Reasons why Cleveland has a lot to fear in this playoff series.

Never underestimate the heart of the better team
Reasons why you should be on the Cavs and Lakers in the Conference Semi-finals