Goats of the Week
#1: SportsUnbiased asks, "Are the Clippers a One-and-Done Team?" A panel of their NBA writers give their opinions, and I've highlighted the most striking of them.
Steve Turner (NBA Contributor) – The Los Angeles Clippers have been having a decent season. Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are shining while Blake Griffin has returned after having surgery on his right elbow. Will this be enough for the Clippers to advance to the playoffs though? I don’t think so. If the Clippers maintain the 5th seed and the Portland Trail Blazers can keep their 4th seed in the west, the Clippers could be looking at yet another 1st round exit.
This is an opinion piece, I can't necessarily fault him for that. He might be a Blazers fan, for all I know.
Keith Rivas (Sports Unbiased Writer) — The Los Angeles Clippers, try as hard as they want but will never be able to replicate the kind of success and status that the Lakers brought (and are trying to bring back) to the city of angels. Yes, they have Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and even Doc Rivers running the team, but they don’t have the x-factor — momentum.
Small injuries here and there to Blake Griffin and on-and-off confidence from Chris Paul is not exactly something that other players — especially bench players — are going to want to get behind. In the run-and-gun game that is starting to take over the league, players, above all else, want to win now. They’re not looking to wait for more things to come together in a franchise or even in their own game, and a lot of that has to do with a mentality shift.
Umm... well... I don't really know where to start on this one. I'm not really sure if the author knows either.
Jr. Williams: (NBA Editor) — Don’t get it twisted, the Clippers know how to score (ranked 2nd in the NBA) and share the ball better than most teams in the league, however, they also lack in the rebounding and points allowed department — important categories when the game is on the line. A healthy Blake Griffin could improve their postseason chances, but overall the Clippers don’t have an identity.
"Lob City" was last years method of operation for the Clippers, so I’m interested seeing what character this team takes on during the playoffs. Griffin will be a sure target of aggression from the opposing team, but will he battle back? If Chris Paul continues to be the toughest player on the team, then the Clippers can say goodbye to any postseason success, as its go hard or go home.
This section reads like it was dug out from the archives and barely retouched. What year is this again?
Sauping R. Arguello (NBA Contributor) – I don’t see the Los Angeles Clippers getting past the second round. I’m not even sure if they’ll get past the first round. Blake Griffin is just getting back into the fray of things and the Clippers have been an up and down team all season. Chris Paul is having a solid year but he has been overlooked by other points such as Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. I just don’t think they have the mental toughness (aside from Paul) to prevail deep into the playoffs.
This one is just a rehash of the major talking points from the last few years. "Mental toughness" is still a thing? Why was it ever a thing?
#2: From iSportsWeb, "How the Los Angeles Clippers Survive the West":
There is no question the Los Angeles Clippers have a high-octane offense that’s able to keep pace with many of the NBA’s top teams, so what has kept them from obtaining the status of an elite team in the eyes of fans and analysts? Their bench play.
OK, looking like a decent piece so far, this guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about.
The Clippers have the league leader in rebounds and assists, Deandre Jordan and Chris Paul respectively. Jordan ranks 4th in the league in blocks per game, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are ranked in the top ten of PER, and the trio of Jordan, Griffin, and Paul are in the top 20 of win shares per 48 min. Now looking at the bench, the only player to crack the top 20 in any significant statistic was Jamal Crawford (Three point Field Goals Attempted). This discrepancy is holding the Clippers back from progressing deep into the playoffs and from beating the top teams.
Well, I don't really know if this means much. I'll keep reading, though...
When the starters are out, the Clippers need to make a rotation change to produce points and the first change is to bring Griffin off the bench. A starting five of Paul, Jordan, Reddick, Barnes, and Turkoglu still has enough offensive vigor to jump of ahead of any team and bringing Griffin on in the latter part of the first quarter and early in the second provides the Clippers with a number one scoring option (Griffin) while either Paul or Jordan sit.
DID HE JUST SAY TO START HEDO WAIT WHAT HOW COULD YOU THINK THIS MAKES SENSE AT ALL
#3: Posting and Toasting got a little salty after their recent blowout to the Clippers. Some highlights:
- Chris Paul is a huge baby. He was so insistent on making his mark with assists that he ended up with nine after the first quarter. Finished with more than that. Some sort of double-double. That guy is a super prick though. He should be forced to run pick and rolls with New York's current frontline for the back end of his career. In a different city every season. None of those seasons being in New York. He should also be forced to post a picture of his pissed and beshitted game-worn diaper on Instagram, Twitter et al after each game.
My only criticism here is that he makes it sound like not playing for the Knicks is some sort of punishment.
Los Angeles provided 48 tawdry minutes of mean mugging and just a shade under five personal space encroachments per possession. DeAndre Jordan also got a flamingly obnoxious technical for shoving the pathetic shit out of Cole Aldrich after they got vaguely locked up going for a rebound. The Clippers, incidentally, lead the league in Technical Fouls with 51.
Los Angeles was up 39 when Jordan didn't care to be boxed out. Who could possibly care less, though? The Clippers vehemently pissed and moaned about every call to the point of slowing down the referees being able to get the ball back in play after fouls and violations. That should work perfectly in their favor come playoff time. So tacky!
Austin Rivers had good game. Clippers are a tiresome bunch, however, and I don't care to detail his exploits. He came up gimpy for no reason at one point. Good luck with that.
Other than that? Who gives a damn? Clippers brutalized the Knicks and looked bad doing it. Nice open dunks, guys. I was very impressed. We were all very impressed. Get lost. You don't deserve Jamal Crawford.
I'm disappointed that he didn't address Doc Rivers playing sick after the game in order to let Mike Woodson lord it over the Knicks media one last time.
#4: Also from iSportsWeb, "How the Los Angeles Clippers Win the West":
1) Golden State must lose in the first round
This time we can at least shake our heads from the very start. The author proceeds to hype up the Warriors' talent before expecting a Durant-less Thunder team to beat them (far less likely than a Clippers upset). Throw in some reasonable points about Blake Griffin and overall health, then:
4) Play the Memphis Grizzlies in the Conference Finals
Hinging on the theoretical framework of the Warriors losing to the Thunder, and the Thunder then losing to the Clippers, the team they would have the best shot of defeating in Conference Finals would be the Memphis Grizzlies.
It can’t be the Houston Rockets; James Harden (although he typically doesn’t play well against the Clips) is unguardable along the perimeter where the Clippers defense is weakest, and Dwight Howard’s presence would likely neutralize DeAndre Jordan and his contributions.
Also, it can’t be the San Antonio Spurs they face because, well, quite frankly, they’re the Spurs. If the Spurs were to make it to the Western Conference Finals, you could bet your life that Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and company would find a way to make it back to their third straight NBA Finals.
So the only way to make it to the Finals is to not have to play any of the best teams in the conference? Sounds easy enough. Also, claiming the Clippers can't beat the Rockets? That alone is enough to qualify for a Goat of the Week nomination.
Vote for your Goat at the end of this post.
GOAT of the Week
On the other end of the spectrum, let's take a moment to celebrate all that is Big Baby. Today in Glen Davis, his adventures in high fashion (aka his love of the salon).
Davis comes to this salon, just a couple of miles from the Clippers practice facility, in order to keep his nails "on fleek."
Davis doesn't come here with any of his teammates, but he figured he might be able to convince DeAndre Jordan to tag along sometime.
Still, he's made a bunch of new friends. When he got a call, an employee answered it for him and held the phone to his ear so he could chat. He thanked her profusely.
Davis always has his toenails painted black. In fact, I once noticed in the locker room that we were wearing the same color toe nail polish. Never thought that would happen.
While Davis waited for his polish to dry, an employee put on flip flops that were about half his size. Still, he was happy as a clam.
He was helping one gal find him on Instagram. He was chatting Southern food with a few other ladies. He let an employee wear his gold Angel chain with a diamond on it while his neck was being massaged, and that made her quite happy.
Update: Looks like Baby got DJ to go with him to the salon after all.