The season is now off and running, and the injury bug has struck the Clippers yet again. So with the injury to Blake Griffin taken into account, let us take a look at what we can expect from this team.
There is no doubt about it, the Clippers have depth in the frontcourt. They have basically three players capable of playing the center position in Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Deandre Jordan. Add Craig Smith and Brain Skinner to the mix of "bigs" and there is plenty of talent at the 4 and 5 spots.
Blake Griffin was no doubt the starting 4 on this team, but with his injury might the Clippers get bigger at the 4? I think they just might depending on the team they play. For example a team like the Lakers with Bynum and Gasol or the Celtics with Garnett and Perkin/or Sheed.
Kaman is the starting 5 on this team, but he is not a defensive presence. On the other hand, he can score the basketball. So why not start Deandre Jordan at the 4 spot? Deandre scores everything near or at the basket and at the 4, can focus on clogging the lane, rebounding the basketball, and block shots.
With DJ and Kaman starting, Craig Smith and Marcus Camby will then come off the bench. Both players can score the basketball and make hustle plays. Now if we take a look at the other starters, Baron is at the 1, EJ is at the 2, and Butler is at the 3. There are plenty of buckets amongst those three. With that being said, starting Deandre Jordan makes sense because the Clippers have a scoring center in Kaman to make up for the lack of scoring from DJ.
The second string coming off the bench is strong. Telfair aka "Bassy" can push the basketball in transition and can dish the ball with the best of them. So he will not be a problem at all spelling Baron when he needs a water break. At the 2, Kareem Rush and Ricky Davis will split time. Kareem can shoot the ball from both mid-range and from deep. Ricky Davis, on the other hand is a shot-taker and not a shot-maker.
At the 3 spot is Al Thornton and Steve Novak. AT is a for sure talent and a starter the last two seasons, so he is basically a starter coming off the bench. He can score, rebound, run the floor, and play defense, things Novak struggles to do on a consistently.
So if we take a look at the overall team, Clipper fans can see that they are in good hands even without their #1 pick Blake Griffin. Their starters have a mix of talented veterans and youth. The bench players can compete with teams such as the T-Wolves, Kings, Nets, and Pistons. On the other hand, the injury bug could strike again and the Clippers could finish the season with an un-gogly amount of games missed due to injuries.