Are The Clippers Deep Enough to Win A Title?


The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the NBA’s most fun-to-watch teams, as they possess some of the most recognizable faces in professional basketball in point guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin. Under head coach Doc Rivers, this team has hope for both present and future for the first time in a long time.

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With Paul, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, and Griffin, the team is a small forward away from having one of the most dangerous starting five’s in the league (sorry Matt Barnes), but is the team deep enough to make a legitimate title run as currently built?

The Clippers’ depth issue is nothing new, as anyone they’ve brought off the pine not named Jamal Crawford has been underwhelming for several seasons, though this year’s second unit has seemed astronomically inept at times, especially on the defensive end, they’ve had their moments of being somewhat proficient offensively.

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  • With Crawford, Spencer Hawes, and Glen Davis coming into the game, all Clipper fans can do is hope they’re clicking offensively, because when these three are on the court at the same time it spells defensive doom as Crawford is easily beat off the dribble, Davis is simply too slow to keep up with anyone with feet, and Hawes doesn’t respond well to physical post play, rendering him useless defensively against many of the league’s big-men. Austin Rivers, son of head coach Doc Rivers has been a moderately serviceable back-up to Chris Paul, but nothing more. He doesn’t do much to help the cause defensively either, and neither does guard Nate Robinson, or forward Jordan Hamilton.

    If you haven’t noticed already, the theme here is defense, and how the Clippers are in short supply of it. L.A.’s starters’ defensive proficiency almost matches the firepower they possess offensively, but they can’t play the entire game, and if someone were to go down with injury in the playoffs, especially in later rounds, the Clippers may very well get torn to shreds.

    Can the Clippers’ offense hit on all cylinders long enough for them to make a title run? Anything’s possible, but is that likely? No, still, if they all catch fire like Danny Green seems to do come playoff time, it could be fun, especially considering the three-point shooting this team has at every position. Offensively speaking, the Clippers aren’t in bad shape at all when it comes to their bench, with seemingly everyone they bring in able to shoot the ball from some kind of distance, even if it’s not from three-point range. If Jamal Crawford goes on a tear through the playoffs, it may be enough to make up for the lack of defensive depth, at least for a while. If the Clippers make it as far as the Western Conference Finals or even the NBA Finals, can they rely solely on high-flying offense? I’m not so sure. The Houston Rockets haven’t found great playoff success as a team that lives and dies by the three-point shot more than anyone in the league, though they’ve improved significantly on the defensive end, and may be in a better position to hoist threes this time around in the playoffs.

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    If the Clippers can get their hands on just one defensive stopper to bring off the bench, it would be invaluable to them, as they could go offense, yet still have a lock-down defender at their disposal. Look for someon of that mold, likely a wing player to be brought in, either to bolster the second unit, or to start in Matt Barnes’ place, allowing him to do the bolstering of the bench defense. Either way, the Clippers have glaring holes that need to be addressed before they can win a championship, and it all starts with adding depth while holding on to their stars.