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|
|3||Del Negro-V, Head Coach||=||Williams-M|
|Sub-total: 0 x 50 = 0||Sub-total: 2 x 50 = 100|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Sub-total: 3 x 10 = 30||Sub-total: 0 x 10 = 0|
|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|
|TOTAL SCORE: 190||TOTAL SCORE: 195|
The strength of a first-class pro sports franchise is certainly top down.
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:
- 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
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.