The LA Clippers are undoubtedly regarded as the better of the 2 teams in Los Angeles at the moment. In fact, they are looked at as one of the strongest teams in the entire NBA. However, a title continues to elude them, and their window to win is quickly closing…
In the 2015 free agency, the Clippers managed to hold onto Denadre Jordan, even though the media were certain he was heading to Dallas.
But he did stay in LA, and had a terrific season, landing himself in the All-NBA first team by the voters. His dominant season also earnt Jordan a place on Coach K’s Olympic team, where he won a gold medal.
There has been more coverage on Blake Griffin, rather than CP3 so far, and many pundits are uncertain whether Griffin will be looking to re-sign. After a season of injuries and off the court issues, the power forward may be looking for a fresh start elsewhere. Aged 27, Griffin has averaged 21.5 points and 10 rebounds per game across his 6 seasons in the league. In his prime, Griffin will be wanted by a number of teams across the league.
As for Chris Paul, he is the leader on this team. With his ability, a title has to come around at some stage in his career. The 31 year old is currently ranked 11th in the NBA all-time assist leaders. He is expected to work his way even higher up that list. Last season, the 6’0 point guard averaged 19.5 points and 10 assists per game. It is widely agreed that if Chris Paul wins a title, he will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
If this is the last season with the big 3 together, this may well be the final opportunity for the Clippers to challenge for the title. It is evidently clear they share great chemistry, with all of the alley-oops, assists, and easy dunks that the ball movement can lead to. Chris Paul controls the offence, and gets Griffin and Jordan good looks under the basket. It’s a system that has worked season after season.
The Clippers kept their chances alive by re-signing Jamal Crawford during the off-season. He won the ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’ award this season, after carrying the Clippers second unit with 14 points per game. Even aged 36, and 16 years in the league, ‘JCrossover’ shows no signs of slowing down.
LA also bolstered their second unit with the signing of Marreese Speights during free agency. One of the underrated players from the Warriors’ championship team, and 72 win season. Speights will bring an offensive threat off the bench for the Clippers, which he did so efficiently for Golden State.
The Clippers also re-signed Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah A Moute, and Austin Rivers in free agency, emphasising their intentions to contend for a title once again, and the players want to stay and be a part of it.
There is no doubt that the Clippers can be one of the best teams in the league, and when they are playing at their best, they are incredibly difficult to stop. Can Jordan, Griffin and Paul lead this team deep into the playoffs one last time? Can they go all the way? This may well be the last opportunity for us to find out.