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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 7/23/15

Last season’s version of the Clippers secured the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs with an overall record of 56-26, despite playing with what could be considered a flawed roster. Los Angeles lacked a productive starting small forward, a reliable backup to Chris Paul at the point, as well as depth at center behind DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers fell in the second round of the playoffs to the Rockets in seven games, thanks in large part to the previously mentioned holes in the team’s rotation. One of the biggest miscalculations made by coach/executive Doc Rivers last season was his decision to ink Spencer Hawes to a four-year, $23MM pact instead of addressing the team’s other glaring needs. Hawes didn’t provide much production, and it can be argued that if Rivers had instead signed a wing player who could provide offense and stretch the floor, someone like a Paul Pierce, the team may have advanced deeper into the postseason.

Well, Rivers apparently agreed, judging by the franchise’s offseason moves thus far. Gone is Hawes, and in comes Pierce, as well as the wildcard that is Lance Stephenson, to provide some needed scoring and production from the wing. The team didn’t stop there with the overhaul with Rivers also adding veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni to backup Paul, Josh Smith to provide frontcourt depth and matchup options, and retained both J.J. Redick and Austin Rivers, not to mention staving off the Mavericks and re-signing Jordan.

This brings us to the topic of the day: What are your predictions for the Clippers’ 2015/16 campaign?

Have the Clippers improved enough that they are the team to beat in the West? Or do you think the team merely kept pace with the other conference contenders this Summer? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts, opinions, and predictions. Are any of you ready to crown them the preseason favorites in the West, or do you sense a backslide is in the cards for the franchise? How big an impact will the new additions have? If you believe the team still has holes, then what can be done to plug them? We look forward to what you have to say.

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11 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 7/23/15

  1. michael

    the clippers will choke as usual, karma is karma, the lakers have a better chance at winning a championship before the clippers.the clips are the 5th best team in the west,sa,gs,okla,mem,the clippers also choke .

    • Chuck Myron

      You really think there’s a Clipper curse?

  2. Jon Zimmer

    Well this has been a less then insightful discussion filled with regional bias. To say that the clippers have no chance at a title is extremely obtuse and just downright unsupported by evidence. The clippers will once again roll out a roster with 3 players who all easily rank in the top 5 (possibly top 3) in their respective positions. They have had a massive influx of bench talent that will deepen their rotations and give them much need lineup flexibility. In doing so they have opened up multiple options for short spurt line ups such as Pierce at the 4, Blake at the 5, multiple josh smith line ups, and multiple 3 guard line ups. We could actually see the number 1 offense become even more potent this year. They will also be heading in to next year without being hard capped at the moment, unlike the previous year giving them further flexibility throughout the season. Depending on health in the west the clippers could easily take home court advantage in multiple series and put together a substantial playoff run. With a revamped roster and a favorable division a 2-4 seed is highly likely giving them a great chance at the conference finals and beyond.

    • Chuck Myron

      Plus, regardless of his skills as an executive, Doc’s a pretty darn good coach.

  3. KnicksCavsFan

    I think the Clips have a good at contending for a title next year. Of course, all roads to the Finals must go thru the Warriors and the Spurs but anything can happen. The Warriors will have a tougher time next year because they are now the hunted. Everyone is gearing up to beat them. The Spurs of course have a great offseason with their additions.

    Many people point to the collapse in the series vs the Rockets but if you look at history, just about every championship winner had to face adversity before they broke thru (see “Bad Boy” Pistons vs Celtics, see Bulls vs “Bad Boys” Pistons, see LBJ Miami Heat vs Spurs). Some of those were embarrassing and frustrating fails.

    With the additions of Pierce, Stephenson and Josh Smith they are a more TALENTED team than last years. An unappreciated “moment” that, to me, will be a blessing, is the fact that the threesome was almost broken up, which IMO, would’ve been a huge demoralizing set back for the franchize. I think the Big 3 are going to be more driven than ever before because they know that it was (snap) that close to being torn apart. In a ever improving West conference they know that it takes a big 3 and great bench support to make it to the Finals. I think the Jordan fiasco is going to really, really drive this team and any unselfishness that MAY have existed last year will be set aside. If I had to pick a wild card for the West it would be the Clippers.

    I don’t think the Grizzlies have done anything to improve themselves, I’m not sure what to expect from Lawson going to the Rockets and Dallas and the Blazers are weaker than last year.

    I think it will be the Spurs #1 and the Warriors, Thunder, Clips and Rockets jockeying for spots 2-5.

    • Jacob Jackson

      I totally agree with KnicksCavsFans’ top 5 tier of the Western Conference posted above.

      If I’m Doc Rivers, I’m setting a goal to finish with a top-3 seed so that I don’t have to face one of those other four teams in round. As long as they avoid one of those matchups, Clips are a lock for the Western Semis.

      From there, I think the West is close enough that it’ll be decided on health and good fortune amongst the top 4.

      To me the underrated part of the Clips’ offseason is how much more versatility they added. Last year they had only one way they could play, which is death in the Western Conference. Think about how much better prepared they are to play any matchup next year – Stephenson, Wesley Johnson, Josh Smith, and Paul Pierce can all guard multiple positions. That means they can switch on D, conserve energy, hide Blake and CP3 on a non-shooter occasionally to preserve their legs, etc.

      The Warriors won a title by being able play any matchup combo necessary based upon the opponent, and the Clippers and Rockets’ off seasons will allow them to do the same next year. I’m bullish on those 3 teams as a result.

      Eddie, could you post a Community Shootaround on the Thunder one day? I’m excited to see what people think of them next year. Lots of Q’s.

    • Chuck Myron

      I’ll agree with that top five, too. I’m not sold on the Spurs as a clear-cut No. 1, though. I think the Clippers and the other four teams have just about as good a shot at the top seed.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        Yeah…my projections are simply “on paper” but I just don’t see any team that can handle the length that the Spurs have now.

        SF-Leonard 6’7
        PF-Aldridge 6’11
        C-Duncan 6’11

        With West (6’9), Ginobli, Diaw (6’8) and Mills off the bench? Whew.

        They may not be able to match up on smaller teams but when you have rim protectors on the floor that are NOT offensive liabilities , IMO, you then become the one who is dictating what the other team does.

        • Chuck Myron

          And Danny Green has a 6’10” wingspan, the kind of length not many two-guards have in the age of small ball.

          • KnicksCavsFan

            I would dare “small ball” teams to match up against a team like the Spurs.

  4. Dizzle

    I will admit to being a clipper fan but I like to be logical about these things. I believe that the Clippers are the number 1 team in the west with our new additions. We have a lot questions that will need to be answer on the court. I think the Spurs are probably number 1 team because of Aldridge and they retained most of their players from last year (chemistry). The WEST is tough and it’s toss up for the top 5 teams (GS, Clips, SA, OKC, and Memphis). It all depends on Playoff match ups, health, and some luck along the way. GS won a championship because of injuries on other teams, their health and a little luck. It’s toss up but hoping the clips make it out of the west!!!

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