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Is this season a success?

Based on the remaining schedule, I predict the Clippers to go 12-14 after the All-Star Break, which would give them a 33-49 record. That is a 4 win improvement over last year and I see at least 3 wins in the first half (Lakers, Cavs, and Toronto to name a few) where they should have won, which would have put them close to that .500 record. But the reality is that it will be a sub-.500 season and slightly better than last year from a win perspective. According to many previewing this season, the Clippers are about where they predicted—11th or 12th in the Western Conference. So based on just those facts, the Clippers are neither a success nor disappointment—just predictable.

However, there are other facts one needs to analysis to truly label this season a success, failure, or just “eh.” Following along:

1. New team – For most of the 56 games this season, the lineup has been Davis-Gordon-Gomes-Griffin-Jordan which is drastically different than the usual starting line-up of last season (Davis-Gordon-Thornton-Camby/Randolph-Kaman). Also, with Jordan becoming a starter due to Kaman’s long-term injury, the bench is completely different from last season. In short, it’s a completely different team with a different head coach. To draw a comparison (albeit a loose comparison) with the Miami Heat, unless I’m mistaken, Dwayne Wade is the only Heat returnee from last year so they have all these individuals they’ve had to mesh into a team. The Heat, even with all of the talent from the “Big 3” still struggled initially; and still does with certain teams (Boston). So the 1-13 start to the season does not seem surprising considering this team was still learning to play with one another—and dealing with some early season injuries. Nevermind that there is a new coach as well.

2. The Blake Show – Just the coverage on Griffin this season from the highlights to the All-Star team have put Clippers into the daily NBA news conversation. They are newsworthy…let me clarify that—the news about them is positive. It goes without saying his performance, thus far, is a completely and total success.

3. Winning the town – It would take decades of Clippers success and Lakers’ failures for the city to change so let’s not think of that as an overall goal. But the Clippers have become an attractive ticket and if I may be so bold, have, in spurts, played a fun, attractive brand of basketball that befits the name “Showtime”—much more so than the Lakers’ triangle (or AKA let Kobe chuck it from anywhere) offence. Attendance to home games is up 5% (90.5% full to capacity – ranked 15th in NBA). Heck, even when the Clippers go on a road trip, the opposing teams receive better ticket sales.

4. Youth gone wild – Griffin, Jordan, Bledsoe, and Aminu have been on the court at the same time during the season. That is fantastic college team but in the NBA, it can be a young, inexperience, tentative line-up.

So is this season a success? Here are my answers:

1. If they finish with 32+ wins, Yes.

2. If they finish above 29 wins, Eh.

3. If they finish below 29 wins, No.

4. If they make a trade that returns a good/great small forward and win at least 29 wins, YES.

Final, final word on this subject: I don’t know if we can truly judge this season until next year. If the Clippers are in the top 8 playoff spots this time next year, then I think this season was a foundation for great things.

2 comments:

  1. The Clippers have grown as a team and as a franchise so far in this shortened year for basketball. It is amazing how significant team chemistry really can be. I would think the Clippers are going to have a successful season because they have all the necessary ingredients.

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  2. This season has been going well for the Clippers. Although they have struggled to close out games and lost a few games that really hurt, look where they are at. It is great to watch the team really pull it together and win/lose as a team. I think CP3 is going to step up is leadership and lead them far into the playoffs. LOB ANGELES 2012

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