Just like in the stock market, everyone jumps out of stocks right when they are hitting bottom after experiencing one too many losses and setbacks. The same thing is going on here on this blog.
The truth is, this team is better than last year’s and has more hungry and fewer washed up players ready to contribute. Yet everyone is pessimistic. Let’s just compare the Clips to last year’s best team, the Lakers , based on talent rather than position.
Coming into last year’s draft, Griffin was the best number one pick since 2003. The kid had similar numbers to T Duncan in college, spent two years in NCAA ball learning the game unlike most top picks who come out after one year, and now has spent a year audting the NBA from the sidelines. His college credentials, raw talent, and exposure to the NBA should prepare him for a very good year. Impact wise, he could have the same impact on the Clippers as Kobe with the Lakers. Sure, Kobe puts up some major points, but he takes A LOT of shots to get those. Griffin will score a lot of points in a more efficient manner, rebound a ton, and will make assists or opportunities for other players. Kobe’s energy and attitude can negatively affect his team, where Griffin is a hugely positive player.
Gasol is a great player, but his scoring, rebounding and defense are only marginally better than Kaman’s. He’s not any more physical than Kaman, although I would give him a clear edge over Kaman in the passing department.
Bynum is better than DJ with his low post moves but otherwise doesn’t put up consistent scoring. DJ’s rebounding and defense are roughly comparable to Bynum and DJ has shown that he can get up and down the court faster should the Clippers run more this season. Both are fairly low IQ players and Bynum gets hurt a lot.
Artest versus Gordon. Gordon plays comparable defense and scores the ball much better. Passing skills are similar although rebounding edge would go to Artest.
BD vs Fisher. Fisher is clutch, smart, and can drain the 3. Otherwise, the edge goes all around to BD.
Odom vs Rhino. Rhino doesn’t pass nearly as well as Odom, but rebounds the ball comparablly well and is a much better scorer. Both are unremarkable on defense.
The remaining players (Gomes, Butler, Foye, etc) are comparable to the Lakers. As for the Lakers, Walton, Blake, Barnes, Menga, etc, they aren’t exactly hall of famers.
Are the Lakers really that much better than the Clippers where the Lakers can win a title and the Clippers can’t even get to the playoffs or even to 500. This is more a matter of attitude and belief systems rather than talent. The talent is there.