The Clippers have played through some 57 plus games, passed the All Star break, and are now moving into the "championship rounds" so to speak of the regular season. Although they have faired fairly well, despite a myriad of injuries to various players, their record suggests a team who should bode well in the playoffs.
The big question is; Can the Clippers succeed to a greater level in the playoffs than last year? Ultimately, Do the Clippers have the makings of championship team? Last year the answer was obviously NO. The organization made some moves, personnel wise (not Doc, the Coach) that supposedly was to strengthen their overall court performance. The Team brought in JJ Reddick and Jared Dudley to strengthen outside shooting and overall round out an already strong roster.
The problem the Clippers face is matching up in the playoffs and minimizing any potential or obvious weakness, which in turn will be exposed by the opposing teams. The Clipper's biggest weakness is the small forward position; specifically Jared Dudley and anyone behind him on this roster. This may appear to be a small issue compared to opposing team's more glaring weaknesses, but sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, this team will fall short and all fingers will ultimately point to this position.
Jared Dudley is playing horrendously right now. He can not buy a bucket from anywhere on the field, and his defense is nonexistent. He was the Clipper's feeble attempt at rectifying and problem that existed, to an equal extent, last year. Dudley' s lack of production simply exposes this problem to a greater degree.
When the Clipper's acquired Dudley I knew that was not a player who was going to make any kind of impact, especially towards solidifying a glaring weakness exposed in the previous playoffs.
The bottom line; The Clippers will obviously make the playoffs, and may even go past the first round, but for this team to be the contender it so dearly wants to be, this position needs to be worked over and it start with Jared Dudley.