Doc Rivers walked into Staples Center and changed the atmosphere from a doormat to a perennial playoff contender. He covered up the Laker banners and wanted to build a true Clipper home court advantage. The city of Los Angeles fan base was ripe for the picking after the downswing the Lake Show has endured. He tinkered with the roster and had people thinking that Lob City was good enough to win a championship.
He’d establish a defensive mentality that was sorely missed under previous head coach Vinny Del Negro. It seemed so plausible to believe all of that. Up 3-2 on the Rockets late in the second half at home the Clippers were looking the part of a team on the cusp, a team that dethroned the defending champion Spurs in a seven game slug fest. Yet in the end, to the bewilderment of everyone except me, the Clippers are still the Clippers.
What’s the fix when you have a stat stuffing overrated point guard, a Kia jumping power forward with no low post presence and a defensive stalwart at center who’s best offensive move is a dunk? Absolutely nothing, that’s what unless you are willing to break it all down and rebuild.
A team that’s good but not good enough. A team that looks legit but if you check the tag on the shirt its a little suspect. The team is led by frauds, has no bench, no defensive or offensive identity and the coach slash general manager looks to be in over his head.
There’s a lot of moves to be made in Lob City and I’m not sure if Rivers has the gumption to jettison the likes of Griffin and/or Jordan to start over. Jordan wants max money, let him go get that somewhere else. There’s tons of serviceable big men who can catch alley oops from CP3. The Kia jumper has to go. People get amazed by his leaping ability and outside jump shot which has vastly improved since entering the league but that fact remains that he’s a big man with a fisher price level low post game. He rarely draws hard double teams on the low block.
Then there’s the point guard. Not much can be done about him, he is who I thought he was. He’s not elite, not a hall of famer and not a floor general in comparison to the greats that’s often times mentioned. He’s too old to flip for anything significant. He’s not good enough to be your number one option. He’s a flopper, complainer and stat filler that’s bears little impact on a team going deep in the postseason. Rivers has no choice but to ride it out with Paul.
So while the Clippers have flexibility in improving their bench, its the starting five where the Rivers can really make changes at. Does he move his son to shooting guard or develop him to replace Paul. Do you let DeAndre Jordan go to appease Paul? Do you switch philosophies and destroy the Lob City image that brought the team back to relevance? There’s many ways the Clippers can change on the fly and hope to get to a conference finals but the fact of the matter is that this current group is flawed beyond belief.