Clippers Are A Lot Better Than Last Year

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SamMays
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The Clippers are as ready for this post season as we could be. Sure, our record wasn't as good as last years, but there are a lot of reasons for that, that have nothing to do with talent. This team is better and not just a little bit, but a lot.

DJ has improved with every year in the league and this year is no exception. He's a better player than he was last year. He's smarter, more self aware and has improved as a post player even if he doesn't get a lot of opportunities to show it.

CP3 doesn't look to have hit the slide downward yet. Additionally, he is healthier and better rested than he was last year and is an improved three point shooter.

JJ is shooting better than he ever has.

Blake is the one wild card. He hasn't been back long, but he sure looks like he's shaking off the rust quickly.

Jamal went into the playoffs last year mired in a shooting slump that had some of us (mainly me) thinking his career was over. It was a hell of a bounce back year for him.

Austin continues to improve. He's been shooting lights out from three of late, is much better at making his floaters and has improved defensively and as a leader. Sure, he will never be a pass first point guard. So what? He's not our starter. He comes off the bench. He doesn't need to be multidimensional like CP3. He just has to be able to bring something to the floor and he does. He can break down his man and get to the rim, he's our second quickest defender. He's a much better player than he was last year.

Cole Aldrich is one of the best backup centers in the league. We had nothing like that last year in Spencer Hawes. This is another huge improvement.

Last year we started Matt Barnes and essentially had no one to back him up. This year we can plug Johnson, Green, Mbah a Moute and Pierce into that role. Another huge upgrade.

This team is far deeper and better rested than last year's team was. Our melt down against Houston, I believe, came largely because our starters were gassed from overuse. Time and time again, they had to come in too early, after too little rest, to bail out our failed bench., of Hawes, Crawford (who couldn't throw it in the ocean last year) Big Baby and Austin. That group was so sad, we also used Douglas Roberts, Udoh, Nate Robinson, Dahntay Jones, Jordan Farmar and many other stiff and has beens just to find someone to spare our starters a few minutes here and there. It was a pathetic group.

So, if we're so good this year, why was our record better last year? A few reasons.

  1. Blake was down for 45 games. That has kept this team from the full realization of our talents over the last two months. Sure, we continued to compete and played well, but Blake is one of the best players in the league.

  2. Slow Start. This was the biggest reason our record isn't as good as last year. We were a .500 team for a long time. Why? Josh Smith was a big part of that. I watched some of the Houston game last night and Josh Smith is horrible, and that was on a night he was making some shots. He blows defensive assignments like crazy, has no sense of team basketball and squanders great athleticism. Add to that, while he was playing, Cole Aldrich wasn't. Then there was the Lance experiment. He started for us early, before being benched. Some will point to his increased production with Memphis to suggest that Doc blew it with him. Well, by the time he got to Memphis their top two players were gone and they were a losing team. Lance is a great player on a losing team. Put him on the Knicks and 76ers and he'd be wonderful. Jamal also started slowly, picking up where he left off last year. The same with Austin. Both have been playing much better over the second half of the season.

That said, getting the Warriors in round 2 will be a hell of a lot tougher than playing Houston last year. But I don't think there is any doubt that we are better this year than last. Right now, I would say the only teams that are clearly better than us are Golden Stat and San Antonio.


Agent0
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Yes, the team makes a lot more sense in terms of makeup and balance. Last season the team had one SF that should even be seeing the floor on a playoff team, Barnes. The "backups" were Dahtnay Jones and I guess Hedo? That's a joke, I still can't understand what the whole thought process was there. That was a huge problem. This season there's Luc, Johnson, Green and even Pierce, and they all have flaws, but when you have flawed guys like that, you want options, and there are options. Last season that lack of SF depth meant overplaying Redick at SG in the post-season and overplaying Jamal at SF, that was not very helpful.

Last season due to the fail of Hawes and the uselesness of Udoh the team didn't really have a reliable backup C. Even if Hawes was playing, the team didn't have a reliable backup C who could be a defensive / rebounding presence and a good roll man. This season the team has Cole.

The biggest issues for the team forever have been backup big and wing play. It isn't "perfect", but going from one SF, Matt Barnes to four options at SF and a struggling perimeter big whose defense left a lot to be desired or n solid defensive/reboundig big to Aldrich; it is a good improvement.

Of course the Blake Griffin we get will also be a factor, and I know Johnson has been struggling with injury to end the season and that is not helpful, but it's good to at least have options.


bebe
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The team is better because the bench is better. If we had this team last year we would definitely had gone past the second series.

Go Clips

The Nevada Fans


Mistwell3
Clipper 6th Man
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Austin is clearly not as good as Pablo, but we keep playing him. That will lose us a couple games we should win.

Pierce may need to be sat, and not played except in garbage time.


CP3Heliflopter
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Agreed the problem is so is GSWs and SA.


clipper*joe
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I disagree with the title of the the thread. The Clippers are not overall better than last season. The West is weaker this season which I think is the reason why this is the perception to some. Look at the playoffs...This is by far the easiest matchup we've had since the CP3 era began. The Blazers are a flawed team and lucked into the 5th spot directly due to injuries and the pitiful collapse of the Rockets.

What I will say, the bench does seem to look better but that isn't saying much since the bar is set so low. You can only go up, right? It's going to take more than one win against the lowly Blazers to convince me otherwise. Oh, the other thing I will say is that DJ has honestly matured before my eyes. Time away from BG has really helped him along with having a viable center sitting right behind him. Whatever the case, DJ is realizing basketball isn't just about trying to make the highlight reel. That not every basket has to be a dunk. He is showing glimpses of finesse that I thought he never had. The game has finally slowed down enough for him to achieve these things.

And no, Baby Doc is still a scrub. His dad gave him a platform no other coach who is competing for a title would. There is no way a title contender would give that amount of time on the floor to a player of Austin's caliber,. So long as that is true, I have no faith in Doc. We had a better player able to do what Austin is doing and traded him to the Grizzlies along with a pick. That is shameful.


ClipperPostman
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Statistically it's a fact we are better than last year defensively.

Our starting lineup is pretty much the same, so that's pretty much a wash.

But Cole is a huge improvement over big baby and spencer hawes. By a wide margin.

Jeff green though I don't like him is better than dontay jones at the 3 and so is Wes Johnson.

So from that standpoint not sure how anyone can put together a logical argument as to how we are not better.

Clearly we are, and I'm sure agent0 will soon provide a long list of evidence to prove it


tense2
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ClipperPostman wrote:
Statistically it's a fact we are better than last year defensively.

Our starting lineup is pretty much the same, so that's pretty much a wash.

But Cole is a huge improvement over big baby and spencer hawes. By a wide margin.

Jeff green though I don't like him is better than dontay jones at the 3 and so is Wes Johnson.

So from that standpoint not sure how anyone can put together a logical argument as to how we are not better.

Clearly we are, and I'm sure agent0 will soon provide a long list of evidence to prove it

Here's the cliff note version, lol. You can filter though years, regular seasons, playoffs and vs opponents, etc. And yes, the bench is better overall then last years.

http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fa ... iffeff/7-1


clipper*joe
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ClipperPostman wrote:
Statistically it's a fact we are better than last year defensively.

Our starting lineup is pretty much the same, so that's pretty much a wash.

But Cole is a huge improvement over big baby and spencer hawes. By a wide margin.

Jeff green though I don't like him is better than dontay jones at the 3 and so is Wes Johnson.

So from that standpoint not sure how anyone can put together a logical argument as to how we are not better.

Clearly we are, and I'm sure agent0 will soon provide a long list of evidence to prove it

Uhhh...did I NOT use the disclaimer that our bench was better? And in case you didn't pay attention to the title of the thread, which I specifically addressed, we're not "A LOT better" than last year. I assume when you phrase it like that, it's talking about the sum of the parts and not just A PART like you're addressing. But what do I know.....

Edit:

Why are you waiting for someone to make your argument? Don't you have enough sense to make it yourself by using numbers? The last thing one wants to do is make an empty argument and then say, "hey, can I get some help making sense on what I just said?"


pageC4
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clipper*joe wrote:
Uhhh...did I NOT use the disclaimer that our bench was better? And in case you didn't pay attention to the title of the thread, which I specifically addressed, we're not "A LOT better" than last year. I assume when you phrase it like that, it's talking about the sum of the parts and not just A PART like you're addressing. But what do I know.....

Edit:

Why are you waiting for someone to make your argument? Don't you have enough sense to make it yourself by using numbers? The last thing one wants to do is make an empty argument and then say, "hey, can I get some help making sense on what I just said?"

Another point to consider is despite a different bench we may have the same result due to Docs rotations. If we continue to use the Redick, Paul, Griffin, Jordan, and XX small forward lineup then we really aren't changing much from last year.

I think to give this team a different outcome we have to switch up those lineups to showcase what we didn't have last year: Green, Aldrich, Johnson, etc. Thse are the guys that bring different skill sets and they have to find those minutes. I think this is the factor for this year to be different, that is Doc has to be willing to implement these new additions in the right amount of minutes.


ClipperPostman
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clipper*joe wrote:
Uhhh...did I NOT use the disclaimer that our bench was better? And in case you didn't pay attention to the title of the thread, which I specifically addressed, we're not "A LOT better" than last year. I assume when you phrase it like that, it's talking about the sum of the parts and not just A PART like you're addressing. But what do I know.....

Edit:

Why are you waiting for someone to make your argument? Don't you have enough sense to make it yourself by using numbers? The last thing one wants to do is make an empty argument and then say, "hey, can I get some help making sense on what I just said?"

I gave my points why we were better than last year. If you didn't comprehend them that's on you not me...


SamMays
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I think our improved bench, plus the improvement of DJ along with four capable small forwards instead of one marginal one, makes us A LOT better than last years team was at this same point in time. That is three major areas of improvement and not just the bench.

Sure, the west has changed. The depth isn't as great as it was last year, but two other teams have also improved quite a bit. Unfortunately for us, they are Golden State and San Antonio. We may not get past the second round again this year, while a case could be made that we are the third best team in the NBA (again, at this point in time). OKC doesn't scare me and Cleveland is a team we could beat should we meet them in the finals.

No team is ever perfect, or has exactly the right guy for every situation, but I think Doc has done a good job putting this group together and recovering from the mistakes he made with Smith and Stephenson. Green has been a solid starter everywhere he's ever been and we have him coming off the bench. Austin is dramatically improved and a solid contributor off the bench. Whether that is entirely because he got unearned minutes from his dad the coach is immaterial. He is a good solid player now and though not perfect by any stretch, he is better than Pablo in every way but as a passer. And with CP3 and Blake we have some good solid passers on the floor. Having another one would be nice, but is not a priority. His defense is more important to this team than Pablo's ability to spread the ball around.


clipper*joe
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ClipperPostman wrote:
I gave my points why we were better than last year. If you didn't comprehend them that's on you not me...

Comparing players to players of past doesn't necessarily mean that overall, the team is better. It's much more than a simple comparison. Show me some stats that says the bench is better defensively and offensively and then you're making a good argument. But saying player A is better than player B gives us a better bench, then I'll just say, show me how that translates into a better team than years past. You didn't give any of that. All you did was compare Cole to Hawes and then punted the ball so someone else can properly fill in your argument.


ClipperPostman
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clipper*joe wrote:
Comparing players to players of past doesn't necessarily mean that overall, the team is better. It's much more than a simple comparison. Show me some stats that says the bench is better defensively and offensively and then you're making a good argument. But saying player A is better than player B gives us a better bench, then I'll just say, show me how that translates into a better team than years past. You didn't give any of that. All you did was compare Cole to Hawes and then punted the ball so someone else can properly fill in your argument.

Actually I said statistically our defense is a lot better than last year.

Either that is true or false.

I didn't pull all the stats because no one challenged that point, so there is no need to waste my time.

Are you saying we are not statistically better defensively than last year?


clipper*joe
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ClipperPostman wrote:
Actually I said statistically our defense is a lot better than last year.

Either that is true or false.

I didn't pull all the stats because no one challenged that point, so there is no need to waste my time.

Are you saying we are not statistically better defensively than last year?

I'm not arguing that point. I just said I don't think we're as good as last year....As a whole. You're arguing one aspect of the whole equation. I'm arguing that that the fat guy is doesn't look like he's thinner than last year and you're arguing that his ankles look thinner. Get it? The title of the thread isn't saying we're a better defensive team...is it? Well, that is what you're arguing. Like I said, we've got the weakest 1st round matchup since the CP3 era started and even in a sweep, it doesn't prove a thing...In my eyes. It's going to take more than that for me to even consider if we're better than X year. Last season and the season prior were are best opportunity to head into the finals and we crashed in burned. This post season is going to be the hardest after this series.


Agent0
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Repped High Quality Post
Well for the regular season, last year Blake Griffin didn't miss half the season, so that tends to help with regular season record. The Clippers could have won 60 games with a healtheir Blake Griffin and none of the whole mess with Josh Smith at C and all that trying to play small ball. It would be nice to still have Barnes on this team, sure, but let's compare. Bench
    Last season:
      100.9 Ortg / 102.9 Drtg / -2.2 NetRtg
    This season:
      101.1 Ortg / 101.6 Drtg / -0.5 NetRtg
    Since Cole started playing:
      103.8 Ortg / 102.5 Drtg / +1.2 NetRtg
The bench unit with Cole in the rotation is +3.4 in NetRtg compared to last seasons bench. Last season bench was negative when on the court. Starters
    Last season:
      114.1 Ortg / 103.0 Drtg / +11.1 NetRtg
    This season:
      110.3 Ortg / 100.5 Drtg / +9.8 NetRtg
That's a difference of -1.3 NetRtg, decent, but not too bad when we consider that Blake missed a much larger chunk of games this season, the defense was changed and there was an adjustment early, and the starting lineup was rotating until about 16 games in.
    Last season starting 5 man: CP/Redick/Barnes/Griffin/DJ:
      117.8 Ortg / 100.0 Drtg / +17.8 NetRtg
    This season starting 5 man: CP/Redick/Mbah/Griffin/DJ:
      111.1 Ortg / 91.7 Drtg / +19.4 NetRtg
The main 5 man starting group this season have been +1.6 NetRtg in comparison to last season. The offense dropped off with Mbah instead of Barnes, but the defense is drastically better, that's an insane difference. It's not just Mbah, but the team is better also because of coaching adjustment to the defense like mentioned. We've been asking for better defense even if it meant a little less offense because the greater balance is more ideal. It would be great to have this team + Barnes, but we don't have that. It is true that this season is harder....


SamMays
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Thanks for that Agent0.


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