NBA Finals, What Does it Take?

It's no secret that in order for an NBA team to get to the Finals, they usually need one of the best players in the game surrounded by a competent supporting cast, a group of multiple all-stars, or both. It's very rare that a team can win a conference championship without these qualities, though the Detroit Pistons are probably the closest thing we've seen in the last decade.  In compiling an approximation of the top three players for every team to reach the finals over the last eight years, the Pistons were the only team that couldn't be summarized in three players. You could argue that many of the teams below should mention a 4th, or have a border-line 3rd option, and that's all good...


But what I'm getting at here, is that there's no question the Clippers main asset this year is in their depth, and if anything, this strength is being underplayed heading into the season. It's feasible that what figure to be the top eight rotation players, (B.Davis, Kaman, Thornton, Camby, Mobley, R.Davis, Thomas, & Gordon) could all be starting somewhere in the league, which not too many other teams can say.


The Clippers' impressive depth isn't all they have going for them.  They finally have a vocal leader, and an established star at the most important position.  The problem is that Baron Davis will probably have to be the teams first scoring option by default.  But if the fact that our PG must run the team and double as our leading scorer isn't our biggest weakness, it's definitely our 2nd & 3rd options.  Well, at least on paper it is.  Can we really expect Kaman 3.0 or better? Can he step to David West, Bynum/Gasol, Stoudamire, etc? It's probably asking too much.  If Kaman instead performs to what his track record indicates, it will take a mammoth leap from Al Thornton to allow the Clippers to look the best teams in the eye. 


The only other possibility I see is if Eric Gordon gets back on the court quickly and completley aces his rookie year, forcing Dunleavy to start him over a healthy and productive Mobley in the process. The odds of that happening appear to be very long and unrealistic, though you might think the entire premise of the NBA Finals and the LA Clippers being part of the same discussion is just as crazy.  Disclaimer: Because we're talking about best possible scenarios, the assumption of good health and good chemistry are a given, and we are left to look at players with upside.  And anyway, if you look at it this way, there seems to be plenty of room for error in order for this team to earn a measley playoff spot.   




Clippers – B.Davis, Kaman, Thornton, Camby

(Currently going off at around 50/1)



Celtics – Pierce, Garnett, Allen

Lakers – Kobe, Gasol, Odom



Spurs – Duncan, Parker, Ginobli

Cavs – Lebron, Ilgauskas, Gooden



Heat – D.Wade, Shaq, Posey

Mavs – Notwitzki, Howard, Terry



Spurs – Duncan, Parker, Ginobli

Pistons – Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Sheed, BB



Pistons – Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Sheed, BB

Lakers – Kobe, Shaq, Payton



Spurs – Duncan, Robinson, Parker

Nets – Kidd, Martin, Jefferson



Lakers – Shaq, Kobe, ???

Nets – Kidd, Jefferson, Collins



Lakers – Shaq, Kobe, ???

76ers – Iverson, Mutumbo, Snow

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Clips Nation

You must be a member of Clips Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Clips Nation. You should read them.

Join Clips Nation

You must be a member of Clips Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Clips Nation. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.