Another lively topic seems to be the pace that the Clippers will play at next year, and how can they be most successful. Lots of ways to go on this one.
Baron Davis is going to lead the team and set the pace. He just finished a successful run playing for Don Nelson. GSW played in a frenzy at times and jacked up 3s with reckless abandon. Unless I'm wrong, they were similar in a lot of ways to the breakneck pace of D'Antoni's Phoenix teams, which are now a thing of the past apparently. One big difference in the teams is that Phoenix had rebounders and shot-blockers in Stoudamire and Marion, while GSW had Ellis and SJackson (and JRichardson before that), with very little inside presence. Davis thrived in this style, and GSW had some exciting wins over the last couple of years, but they were still a borderline playoff team both times, even with the unforgettable series against Dallas.
Some may say that one version of the Clips roster can play in this style. Thornton, RDavis, and Gordon can all get out and run. Tim Thomas and Steve Novak can get up and down and hit shots as big men, and Kaman or Camby are both relatively athletic for their size and can be excellent high volume rebounding anchors that GSW was lacking.
Clipper coach Mike Dunleavy, of course, seems to be very much the anti-D'Antoni or Nelson. He likes to focus on defense, running through the offense, and cutting down on turnovers and ill-advised quick shots. Davis has never really had the chance to play with a pair of quality big men like Kaman and Camby. With Kaman's very solid low-post game, and the ability of BDavis, Thornton, RDavis, and Mobley to score within the offense, along with greatly improved 3 pt shooting to play inside-out, the Clips could be successful playing at a slower pace.
The result is probably going to be a hybrid. When the opportunity is there to run and get up a good quick shot, coming off a block, steal, or rebound--and there should be a lot more of those--it's hard to imagine a player with BD's creativity and strength not taking advantage of it. It seems like a major stretch to think that Dunleavy is suddenly going to pull out all the stops and try to beat teams with a barrage of offense.
But what do you think? And if it does turn out to be a hybrid, what's the best way to set that up?