Welcome All Clipper Fans!
The opening game of the season has officially kicked off a great amount of debating and interaction here and I am excited to address many of the comments and posts I have been reading. I have absolutely no authority or claim to this site but am just a long time fan and old time blogger/poster. So here in my humble opinion, is the state of Clips Nation and more importantly the Clippers themselves!
CLIPS NATION - THE BEGINNING of a NEW ERA
With the arrival of Chris Paul, there seem to be many new Clipper fans. If you are one of them, we welcome you! I suggest you read a great post by Citizen shay outlining some basic info you should know about our community. After reading that some may still wonder why there is a negative under tone in so many posts.
True Clipper Fans Are Conservative
Any longtime Clipper fan will tell you if there is one motto to sum up our feelings for the past 20 years it would be "Don't count your chicks before they hatch". Yes, an old farmers saying maybe but die hard Clips fans have had years of exciting potential fizzle in front of our eyes. Call it a curse or bad management or a combination of both, but the results have always been the same in the end - disappointment.
So new fans, you have to be patient with old fans as we try and change our mindset to a more positive tone. You will see that there are many of us long time fans that have an eternally optimistic attitude (how else could we be fans this long?)
Conversely new fans must know the history of our beloved Clippers and understand that we here at Clips Nation value cautious optimism and most importantly GOOD BASKETBALL. We don't throw all logic out the window when evaluating games and run around shouting, "It doesn't matter how we won, we got CP3 and Blake so BOO-YA suckers!" We refrain from talking trash to Laker fans, respecting the Championship banners and our lack of any. Plus true Clipper fans really don't care about the Lakers.
True Clipper fans care about how well our team is playing basketball.
We care about how well the team played defense. We care about rebounding. We care about ball movement. We care about shot selection. We care about play calling and time management.
What we don't care about is how "cool" our stars are or if we have more/better stars than the other team. The Clippers have never really had superstars so it has always been a team that has attracted fans that love the blue collar, hard working underdogs. True Clipper fans love to see our team built around hard work and smart basketball beating teams built around megastars.
This is exactly why some here in Clips Nation may be so negative about the win last night.
True Clipper fans want to see our team win with smart basketball. That was definitely not the case last night. CP3 bailed out the team at the end of the game. He made "superstar" plays at a critical time and ensured a win for the team. We are definitely not accustomed to winning any games in that way. The closest thing we've had to that in recent memory is Sam Cassell.
So to balance out some of that negativity with some "New Clippers" positivity, here are my thoughts as a long time fan, of last nights win over the Warriors.
Clippers Edge Warriors on Christmas Night Victory
Clipper Nation: Be Patient. Yes the offense was ugly. The defense was bad, rebounding horrible. Too much reliance on CP3 going 1 on 1 to get the win. But they are working on it and I believe it will come in time. I expect to see better defense and rebounding by game ~10 and a smooth flowing offense by game ~20. Arnovitz wrote a great article on high expectations after last night's win on ESPN.
Clipper Nation: Be HAPPY!
Caron Butler. Look at Butler's stat line. 11pts, 10reb, 4ast, 3stl. Isn't this GLOOEY?? Stop whining about his knees and how much we paid or how old he'll be in 3 years! Shut up and enjoy it!
Chauncey Billups. He shot too much. More precisely, he missed too much. He didn't pass enough. Like he had a choice??? Everyone else was standing around and the Warriors were sagging on Blake and DJ. You don't think EJ could have just as easily had the same performance or worse? (Admit it, EJ would have forced a few into the lane and turned it over, leading to a few 4 point swings. Remember those???????) Chauncey was a Finals MVP. If anyone has the right to try to shoot himself into a game while the defense sags, it's him. The offense will improve and his performance last night will not be a regular occurrence. Let's forget it and move on.
CP3. He wasn't "engaged" in the first three quarters. Why did he wait so long to "turn it on"? Can't believe some complained about that. It's his very first game of the season on a brand new team and you want him to come out "guns blazing"? If you've watched any of his interviews so far you know Chris is a humble guy. He didn't come to the Clippers to show off. You can tell that in his mind he has nothing to prove to anybody, especially dumb bandwagon fans. CP3 is not a scorer first. He's a team-first kind of guy with the capacity to carry a team when needed. The offense is still a mess, but even when it improves he may choose to try to get others on the team scoring in the first half of games. As the point guard that is his job. He will score when needed. Stop worrying.
BlaKe. He didn't rebound enough. He didn't box out enough. He didn't block any shots. All valid points, but we have to remember that with Kaman gone there is even more pressure on Griffin to avoid getting into foul trouble. Think about it. If he racks up fouls early, who do you throw the ball to down low? DJ is not a consistent post scorer. Cook and Thompkins seem better suited to perimeter play. Most nights CP3 and Billups will not be taller and bigger than their defenders, wanting to take them to the low post. Blake must stay out of foul trouble and that means playing a bit more conservative which equals less rebounds and blocks. If the Clips can win without him racking up double doubles I'm sure he is fine with that. As fans we may have to accept that fact as well. Let's wait and see how things work out with Reggie "The Nutcracker" Evans.
DJ. Free Throws? Yes, he must improve. Could it get worse? Hopefully not. It was a block party last night but you better believe the Spurs will watch that tape and think "Pump-Fake" followed by "Foul on DJ" followed by "Cook into the game for DJ". I hope someone on the coaching staff is getting the Big Eraser ready for Timmy and Herky Jerky Ginobilli or else he's going to foul out by half time. DJ definitely needs to rebound better. He only had 5 last night, which is horrible for a guy with his size and jumping abilities. Sure he was focused on blocking on defense, so where were the offensive boards? 3? Not what you expect for 10 MILLION dollars. Sure 8 blocks sounds great, but it was the Warriors. With all that said, I've heard before that it usually takes years for big men to develop and DJ is still very young. Let's stay positive and look for his rebounding numbers and FT% to increase as the season progresses.
Mo Williams. In recent times the Clippers have always had the worst point guards. Even when we'd get an exciting one like Sam, he was past his prime. Andre Miller? It was amazing when he cared enough to jog up the court or talk to any of his teammates. Baron "Fat Boy" Davis? Shaun Livingston? Kneed I say more? No, we have been used to the Dan Dickaus and Daniel Ewings, Mike Taylors of the league. So now we have Mo Williams coming off the bench scoring with ease and some in Clips Nation want to get rid of him? He doesn't like coming off the bench? He's not happy here so we should trade him? What are we? The Lakers?
You don't trade away a perfect bench player just because he thinks he deserves to be a starter. Every player in the NBA should believe he's a starter or he really has no business being in the league - unless he's old or just used to living off his bigness (See Eddie Curry).
I believe Mo Williams is KEY to the Clippers being successful, especially in this short season of compacted games. Clipper coaches and management should be doing everything they can to make him happy as a 6th man. As of today, Mo is far superior to Foye or Bledsoe and to think the Clips would be OK without him would be a big mistake. He showed up in camp 20 pounds lighter and in top shape, mentally ready to lead the Clippers to the playoffs. As of today, he knows Vinny, the system, Blake, DJ, Bled, Foye and Gomes better than CP3 or Billups. Keep Mo for now. For stability and for wins. He may become expendable later, IF Bledsoe develops and a trade for a quality big demands it. But other than that I say we here at Clips Nation should do as much as possible to show love for Mo and keep him here.
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I hope all is well with everyone here at Clips Nation. This season will be the best ever and I am looking forward to enjoying each and every moment! I still live close to Staples (about 10 min away) but I no longer have Season Tickets. If anyone wants to sell/give away tickets at the last minute please keep me in mind (I know, shameless plea).
LET'S GO CLIPPERS!!!!!! LET'S GO!!!!!!!