News » Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-10-02

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-10-02

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2009-10-02As the 2009-10 regular season approaches, it remains to be seen how the Los Angeles Clippers will respond to the unusual amount of good press they've received over the summer. From praise of their additions to predictions of high finishes in the Western Conference, it appears quite a few NBA watchers believe the Clippers are destined for good things this season.

In fact, writers from all around have opined the Clippers will be much more competitive than they were in 2008-09. Some of the writers have written the Clippers will mount a charge for a playoff spot and get into the dance as one of the lower overall seeds while finishing second in the Western Conference Pacific Division behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

And the writers do have ample justification for their prognostications. The Clippers have added relentless gunner Rasual Butler, talented point guard Sebastian Telfair and bruising Los Angeles County native Craig Smith, while bringing back big man Brian Skinner, sweet-shooting Steve Novak and dynamic scorer Ricky Davis to the mix. Plus, talented young forward Blake Griffin was chosen first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft to be the rebounder and scorer of the future for the Clippers.

Also, the defections shouldn't hurt the team very much. Alex Acker left to go play overseas, and while he was a very good defender, his overall game off the bench didn't extend far beyond taking threes and playing defense on the perimeter. Fred Jones and Mike Taylor are also not returning, but Jones was sparingly used by head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. while Taylor's enigmatic play last season generally ranged from spectacular finishes in the lane to careless turnovers.

So, on the surface, it appears the Clippers have added players where necessary, such as at the backup guard spots so that Baron Davis and Eric Gordon won't be pressured to play too many minutes and do too much while on the court like both were at times last season, and at backup forward, where Smith and Griffin ought to be able to spell Marcus Camby when the lanky big man needs a rest this season. And it also seems like the team's overall losses in terms of talent were negligible.

But in order for the Clips to live up to certain expectations and become a contender like they were in 2005-06 in what was arguably the franchise's greatest and most successful season ever in Los Angeles, the new additions must perform and not upset whatever balance the holdovers from 2008-09 have established. And injuries across the board must be avoided if the team is to come together and be a player in the 2010 playoffs.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 2, 2009


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