It’s time to forget the highlights. Forget lob city. Forget that the Clippers now believe they are L.A’s team. It’s time to realise that the clippers are on the edge and their season is currently in jeopardy.
They are in 4th place in the very competitive and tight western conference and only lead the 9th place Denver Nuggets by just 1.5 games. The clippers have lost 11 of their last 19 games. Coinciding with the poor streak is the injury to Chauncey Billups, who they lost for the season with an Achilles injury.
The Clippers have been in free fall mode without their veteran leader and at the moment, the trend does not look like turning around.
Reports from sources indicate that coach Vinny Del Negro is losing respect in the locker room with reports saying the players ‘don’t want to play hard for him anymore’.
Del Negro’s coaching prowess has been questioned all season and calls of his firing are now imminent. His rotation is muddled and the players have no idea what their role and minutes will be as they appear to dramatically change on a night-to-night basis.
Another issue for the Clips has been their ever-changing roster. They have added and waived several players to the rotation over the shortened season, including Kenyon Martin, Nick Young and Bobby Simmons, who are key parts to the team.
The shortened season obviously means less practice time for teams, which makes adding new players incredibly difficult because of the minimal practice time. This leads to players questioning their roles on the team, causing confusion over who takes what shot, which has led to the decrease in the clippers offensive production in recent games.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="194" caption="As great as Blake is...its time for him to progress defensivley"][/caption]
But lets face it. The Clippers biggest issue is there defence. As great as Blake Griffin’s highlights are, he must be considered a defensive liability.
He is a poor post defender and makes no effort to block shots, meaning he will struggle to defend any decent forward in the league. DeAndre Jordan should also be called out here.
The Clippers spent up big on him in the off-season, primarily because of his athleticism he brings to them on defence. He has the ability to block shots, however his defence has been poor this season and the clippers have struggled defending opposition big men, because of the lack of a post defender.
There’s no denying there’s big issues for L.A’s ‘other team’. Chris Paul is frustrated, there’s a lack of respect in the locker room, they play average defence and they currently have severe chemistry issues.
If the Clippers are to have any chance to turn this back around and be the dominant L.A team, as it appeared they would be earlier in the year, they have to improve these areas and start connecting as a ‘lob city’ again.