Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NBA Pre-Hibachi- Los Angeles.... Clippers!

The Clippers are odd. Really. An enigma if you will.
You never know exactly what you are going to get out of them.

What you do know is that they can be very, very good or very, very bad. It depends on the moon though.

The Clippers dont have star factor (although they are in LA). They dont have selling power. They have bad management. They dont have chemistry. They make bad personnel moves etc. That may all have changed over the off-season.

Additions: Marcus Camby, Baron Davis, Ricky Davis, Eric Gordon (R), Jason Hart, DeAndre Jordan(R), Steve Novak, Mike Taylor(R).

Losses: Elton Brand, Brevin Knight, Corey Maggette, Smush Parker, Ruben Patterson, Josh Powell, Quinton Ross, Shaun Livingston.

Projection: 42-40 and 9th Spot in the West. last year they were 23-59.


The Clippers have improved drastically from last season. Last year Brand went down with a horrible knee injury in pre-season, forcing him to play in less than a dozen games towards the end of the season. Corey Maggette was very inconsistent for multiple games in a row and couldn't shoulder the burden of do-everything captain. (He tried though).

If they had retained the core of Brand, Livingston ( I will NOT be linking that video of him) and Maggette for a full healthy season they might've been able to contend for a playoff spot in the rugged Western Conference. But not likely. I can understand not wanting to re-sign Brand but he was a 20/10 threat nightly and appeared to be getting over his knee troubles late in the season. But they got Camby as a replacement, which in reality is not THAT much of downgrade-just a HUGE one offensively.

A healthy starting 5 of :






is big, long and very good in the paint defensively.

I expect Mobley to lose his starting spot to Eric Gordon at some stage during the season though. Gordon is a hybrid guard, capable of playing 1 or 2, but seems more comfortable playing off the ball at this stage. Coach Mike Dunleavy's system may hinder his minutes until he becomes more comfortable with his role on the team and the plays (like all rookies must adapt to).

The bench will prove key for the Clipshow this year, and unlike most of the NBA teams have a (in my opinion) very strong one. Ricky Davis, Tim Thomas, Steve Novak, Jason Hart and Gordon will take up the majority of the minutes. DeAndre Jordan could be a wildcard on this squad, but stuck behind a blossoming talent in Thornton may see limited minutes as a 3/4 man.

The front court is deep for the Clippers with Kaman and Camby taking ALL the minutes at centre and providing the best interior D since the 04 Pistons and a healthy Rockets squad with Yao, Hayes and Battier on the floor. Novak is a 6'10 sharp shooter who may play some minutes at the 3 as well as 4, and will be looking to make more of an impact this year after spending very limited minutes on the court for Houston (but hitting a game winning 3 in the process) last year.

Baron Davis will be asked to play 38+ minutes again this year after his.... interesting decision to leave the Warriors. Gordon will back him up along with Hart.

The Clippers have a LOT of diversity in their 2/3/4 men this year with guys capable of playing multiple positions and each bringing different attributes to the table in the process.

Ricky is a slasher, same as Gordon. Tim Thomas is a bomber who can get to the basket and is very inconsistent, but brilliant when hes 'feelin it'. Mike Taylor is the first player drafted out of the D-League into the NBA and will be familair with the Clipper system because of its affiliate running a smilair offense.

I expect the Clippers to run when they can, and defend well at all times in the interior, while collectively leading the League in rebounding (Camby and Kaman combined for 25.8 rebounds together last season).

Al Thornton will be expected to average around 15-20 ppg while Baron Davis is the leading scorer at around 22 (he had 21.8 last year). Kaman will have 15-20 (hopefully) and Camby can get 10-15 or so.

Ricky Davis could be an x factor for the team (wow) due to the possibility of injuries and the need for a scoring punch at times during the game.

Al Thornton for MIP though!

Peace, Hursty.


Money Bill Williams said...

Lot of big calls there Hursty! I think Kaman would be stretching it a bit by averaging 15-20 especially if camby is in too. Thornton for MIP for sure.

Hursty said...

Kaman averaged 15.7 last year and prior to that was a 10+point scorer for his career (03 draft). He can shoot from the block, has a good jump hook and is a very good passing big man, and he did it in 56 games, so he was (likely) playing injured for the majority of those games as well. Camby averaged 9.1 for the season but averaged 13.3 in the playoffs. So Kaman averaging more is a possibility since he actually has a point guard to throw him the rock this year.

B. Long said...

What up Hursty Hurst! There is no way with the guys they added to the squad that he gets 20 per. Besides that good preview. B-Diddy has never been known to throw many passes to his big men besides alley oops.

Money Bill Williams said...

true what you said Hurst, but B Long pretty much summed up my arguement pretty well

Hursty said...

Hey B. Look I personally dont think that he will have a 20 point season, but averaging 17/11 is reasonable I think. I dont even know who the Clipper point was last year? Sam Cassell before he went to the C's?
15-20 is reasonable.
I felt that Thorntons second half of the season wsa better than anyone elses except Durant for rookies, so a MIP is possible.
Thanks for the thumbs up though man.

Selling Power said...

Dear Hursty:

I just ran across your article entitled NBA Pre-Hibachi- Los Angeles…Clippers!, posted on September 30, 2008 http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/2008/09/pre-hibachis-los-angeles-clippers.html, and I would like to raise an issue that is of concern to Selling Power magazine, which is the use of our trademark.

The phrase "Selling Power" is sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for sales effectiveness. For example you wrote: “They don’t have selling power.” We do not condone such uses of our trademark.

As a practical matter, when you describe sales effectiveness, there are a wide range of terms available such as: sales excellence, sales savvy, sales mastery, sales acumen, sales efficiency, and many more.

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