Three Routes to a Championship

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SamMays
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In looking at the teams that have won championships over the last ten years or so, there seems to me to be three ways of doing it.

  1. Golden State. They were extremely fortunate in the draft and the players they drafted developed into NBA stars with surprising quickness, especially given where they went in the draft. The main ones were Curry, Thompson, Barnes and Green. None were #1 picks. Yet they became stars in this league while they were still under their rookie deals, which meant they were cheap so the team could afford pay or bring in good players to surround them. Livingston, Bogut, Iguadala and David Lee are not there if they had to pay max money to that first four. In short, they either really know what they are doing in terms of scouting and player development, or they got very, very lucky in the draft. Very few teams have won this way.

  2. San Antonio. Get superstars to take less than value so you can afford to pay supporting players. They have been very lucky that Duncan, Ginobiliy and Parker have all put winning ahead of their own personal wealth. It is rare that people do that. That has been one key to the New England Patriots success over the last 15 years. Tom Brady and others take less than market value.

  3. Miami Heat and Doc's Boston Celtics. Get three major stars, pay them what they are worth and fill in the best you can. Doesn't need much explanation. We're in this boat, as are a number of other teams, Memphis, OKC. One of the keys to going all the way with this strategy, in addition to finding aging vets who have another good year or two, is finding a couple young, cheap players, who over deliver. Miami found Chalmers and Cole. Neither is great, but without them, they probably don't win championships. Look at the aging players they had in those years, MIke Miller, Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard, Shane Battier, Chris Anderson, Ray Allen. Some delivered and some didn't.

One of Doc's failings has been his unwillingness or inability to find those good young players to suppliment the aging guys in the draft. In Boston he found one in Rondo and so the big three became the big four. He also had several other young or relatively young players who helped tremendously, Posey, Perkins, Big Baby and Tony Allen. In fact, he surrounded his superstars with young hungry players. Most were or became journeymen, but they had a lot in the tank. Here, he stumbles along with aging players (we all know who they are) who don't have anything left to offer, or guys who have been bounced around because they are not viewed as winners like Smith. I would say Jamal fits in there along with him, but I don't want to get a whole thing started, so pretend I didn't say Jamal.

Bottom line, we have our big two, three, or four, depending on if you include DJ and JJ. Blake and CP3 are not taking pay cuts so that we can fit into category 2.In our history of high draft picks we have never drafted well, save for the very early 90's when we stockpiled Manning, Smith, Grant, Norman and looked like a young team almost ready to enter category 1. Of course, that wasn't going to happen with DTS here.

So, we are left to move forward as a category three team, hoping to find the right players that take us over the top. There is, of course, a fourth category, which is one we have been in for the entirety of this franchise. Stinking and trying to figure out how to get into one of the first three categories mentioned. Let's not go back to that. Enjoy what we have and hope Pierce or Stephenson step up.


WinningBasket
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As a category 3 team, the Clippers haven't really played as contenders so first step to this seemingly elusive championship road is to play well on both sides of the court and actually hold onto leads for the win. Until our guys can play defense consistently, execute down the stretch, and play with a sense of urgency and cohesiveness, they will find it difficult to achieve their ultimate goal. It would help tremendously if Doc can find the right lineups too. It's still early in the season that our team can correct their deficiencies, but, man, each player needs to step it up and contribute and Doc needs to steer this ship in a better direction.


david
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Nice post Sam- repped & I've set it as a front page blog entry. Yep the Warriors are very admirable in that they drafted great with some luck, and then locked some of those guys up who could/should/will be getting max. Their one superstar is playing like Michael Jordan in his prime, so arguably it could be called the one mega-superstar route, lol.

For the Clippers, I'd love to see the younger players get more time as well, just to show what they can do. We don't see the practices so perhaps they are getting outclassed there, but it doesn't hurt to get them more experience, and just to see how they can really perform in real game situation. At this point, the team is 6 and 6, so unfortunately that will likely prevent (even more) Doc from throwing guys like Wilcox and Dawson into the fire. It also would have helped to not trade away so many picks, and getting raped on that Eric Bledsoe trade, smh. But oh well, that was the past. Obviously this group has not peaked, so hopefully they find their way sooner than later, just for seedings sake.


ClipperSisyphus
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We used to be a Category 1 team when we had Bledsoe, Gordon, Aminu, Griffin and Jordan. If Stern had allowed Paul to go to the Lakers, who knows where we'd be.

Outside of having a top 3 franchise player to build around, the key seems to be to build a strong system and find players that fit the system. Coaches from the Popovich coaching tree like Kerr and Budenholzer have had the most success of building a system that incorporates the existing players. A sign of a good system is when bounced around the league journeyman players suddenly have career highs in shooting percentage.


jarca
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We might not even make the playoff with this rate


FightOnRon
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jarca wrote:
We might not even make the playoff with this rate
If this were European soccer,we would get kicked out of the league, or demoted to AAA or whatever it is they do


FightOnRon
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jarca wrote:
We might not even make the playoff with this rate
If this were European soccer,we would get kicked out of the league, or demoted to AAA or whatever it is they do


toohipcliptoslip
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Younger players have younger legs. GSW is doing it with youth and speed but of course without Curry they're zilch. If they're tired now what about during POs? Johnson should start. Rivers needs a lot of minutes. We will be rewarded. Is Lance Mullens redux? Youth brings enthusiasm.

Jarca I was thinking the same thing but I didn't want to say it.,


LAC_12
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FightOnRon wrote:
If this were European soccer,we would get kicked out of the league, or demoted to AAA or whatever it is they do

"or whatever it is they do" Very Happy ahh man I laughed at this post. Also... yup.


FightOnRon
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LAC_12 wrote:
"or whatever it is they do" Very Happy ahh man I laughed at this post. Also... yup.
You can tell I am a big soccer fan.....I think I have seen 5 games in my life and those were Olympics or the women's world cup. Never seen a pro soccer game in my life.

At least our boys showed a bit of life yesterday !


LAC_12
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FightOnRon wrote:
You can tell I am a big soccer fan.....I think I have seen 5 games in my life and those were Olympics or the women's world cup. Never seen a pro soccer game in my life.

At least our boys showed a bit of life yesterday !

Indeed.

Blake Griffin needs to learn from Josh Smith... Josh Smith needs to learn from Josh Smith. Clippers need to get POINTS IN THE PAINT. I think Blake is preserving himself for the playoffs, but that princess has not seen the inside of the lower block. The man got so scarred from "all he does is dunk" that now ALL HE DOES IS SHOOT.

The day Blake Griffin the CUTE, becomes Blake Griffin the PUNISHER. Is the day this team will see success. I am not saying it should be 100% or even 90/10. But he should definitely start acting like a POWER FORWARD by February.

Also Josh Smith should continue working the baseline and post instead of hurling 3's.


SamMays
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I agree with you totally on Josh Smith. He shouldn't be shooting threes. He should be attacking the rim.

I am happy with Blake's development, however. The more reliable that 17 shot becomes, the better. He still gets to the rim, but his back to the basket post game is the weakest part of what he does. He operates best on the high post, like Nowizki. You can't double team him there and the floor is open for his passing. What has hurt us is the poor shooting around him. But Blake continues to get better and more versatile.


toohipcliptoslip
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Doc made three gambles. One has flopped, Lance. One may be a flop, Pierce and one is on shaky ground. Smith. Johnson may be a gem. If his gambles had worked we'd be OK. Josh should be our bench anchor. Collison was. We don't have a leader therefore no personality. Are they defense minded? Offensive minded. Fast break up tempo, half court. What they ain't is rebounders. Until they find out who they are other teams' benches will vivisect us. Always keeping a starter in keeps the bench from developing.The Bench Mob had a totally different mindset than the starters. If Pierce shows up he will need to be a bench player or there will be no scorers. With Johnson as 3 we're OK there. Why did Lance make that stupid behind the back pass that maybe was a five point swing? STUPID. He will have to bring in WIlcox at SG

Smith, Pierce PF

Lance/ Pierce SF

Lance, WIlcox SG

Rivers PG.

Notice there is no center. We can play up tempo by pulling Pierce. The big concern may be Rivers. When he's in the ball moves as if it were stuck in jello. No movement at all but he Lance and Smith should provide decent defense.


tense2
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^When you keep Rivers minutes high is one thing, when you put him as the backup PG that's double indemnity.


Agent0
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LAC_12 wrote:
Indeed.

Blake Griffin needs to learn from Josh Smith... Josh Smith needs to learn from Josh Smith. Clippers need to get POINTS IN THE PAINT. I think Blake is preserving himself for the playoffs, but that princess has not seen the inside of the lower block. The man got so scarred from "all he does is dunk" that now ALL HE DOES IS SHOOT.

The day Blake Griffin the CUTE, becomes Blake Griffin the PUNISHER. Is the day this team will see success. I am not saying it should be 100% or even 90/10. But he should definitely start acting like a POWER FORWARD by February.

Also Josh Smith should continue working the baseline and post instead of hurling 3's.

Josh Smith is not that good at posting up. At best he can post up against SF's, but against C's and PF's posting up is not that effective for him, he needs to face up, but certainly less shooting.

Blake alone is not going to solve anything, and his efficiency is quite fine. The team still needs to defend and needs positive production from more players


toohipcliptoslip
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tense2 wrote:
^When you keep Rivers minutes high is one thing, when you put him as the backup PG that's double indemnity.

If we give him heavy minutes he might become a bit above average. We have to develop something other than losses.

There is a 4th. Tank this year and use our Draft Picks to fill out the roster and completely rebuild, Trade CP for Jeremy Linn and trade BG for Zbo. At least Balmer will have to drop season ticket prices and I can see my friends again. Re hire MDSr.

Sorry I'm pissed


Agent0
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Usually a player shows that they are above average in the minutes they are playing, then you give them more to see if they can keep producing like that. The guy is already playing about half the game though, so he's getting very good minutes for a bench player. More minutes won't do anything for him.


SamMays
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I think it's pretty clear at the 1 - 3 we are just too small for today's NBA. There are times (a lot of times) when we go 6', 6'3" and 6'4" at those positions. And it's not like we're getting dynamic shooting from the three point line to make up for the lack of size.

SG and SF in the NBA are positions played by some of the best athletes on the planet. You have freaky shooters and athletes who can dominate the game and we don't have anyone who can guard those positions. Johnson is reasonable at the SF, but in the NBA predraft camp he was measured at 6'6"... Again, smaller than average, but at least he is fairly long.

DJ and Blake get their rebounds. But that's about it. I never thought I'd rue the day we got rid of Aminu, but we could use him now.


toohipcliptoslip
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SamMays wrote:
I think it's pretty clear at the 1 - 3 we are just too small for today's NBA. There are times (a lot of times) when we go 6', 6'3" and 6'4" at those positions. And it's not like we're getting dynamic shooting from the three point line to make up for the lack of size.

SG and SF in the NBA are positions played by some of the best athletes on the planet. You have freaky shooters and athletes who can dominate the game and we don't have anyone who can guard those positions. Johnson is reasonable at the SF, but in the NBA predraft camp he was measured at 6'6"... Again, smaller than average, but at least he is fairly long.

DJ and Blake get their rebounds. But that's about it. I never thought I'd rue the day we got rid of Aminu, but we could use him now.

Maybe that 's why small ball is working in some instances. Their 4 and 5 are smaller but the 2 and 3 are bigger. Thompson comes to mind. Aminu was out of our price range. H went from what a mill plus to 5.


toohipcliptoslip
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Agent0 wrote:
Usually a player shows that they are above average in the minutes they are playing, then you give them more to see if they can keep producing like that. The guy is already playing about half the game though, so he's getting very good minutes for a bench player. More minutes won't do anything for him.

The hope is that practice makes semi perfect. All of the other players "what you see is what you get"


cobra
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toohipcliptoslip wrote:
If we give him heavy minutes he might become a bit above average. We have to develop something other than losses.

There is a 4th. Tank this year and use our Draft Picks to fill out the roster and completely rebuild, Trade CP for Jeremy Linn and trade BG for Zbo. At least Balmer will have to drop season ticket prices and I can see my friends again. Re hire MDSr.

Sorry I'm pissed

Include DJ. trade him for Kaman, and we are set.


Agent0
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toohipcliptoslip wrote:
The hope is that practice makes semi perfect. All of the other players "what you see is what you get"
He can practice off the court, he's getting more than enough burn in games.


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