The NBA 30 in 30 is a look at each team as the coming 2013-2014 season approaches. This look reviews their current roster, last year's experience, new developments and a prediction as to where the organization will end at the conclusion of the upcoming year of NBA action.
Expectations were high for the Los Angeles Clippers last season as they had the chance to step out from under the shadow of the LA Lakers for the first time in a long while. Even though they finished the year with a 56-26 record and won their division, going out in the first round to the Memphis Grizzlies was an epic collapse. The group that was considered the most exciting team to watch night in and night out couldn't get the job done when it matter and that caused for major concern in the Clippers camp.
The group responded well by bringing on Coach Doc Rivers to give this unit the key championship experience that can help right the ship during the 2013-2014 season.
Conversations surrounding the Clippers must start with Chris Paul who is the floor general for that unit. After signing a long term deal this summer he's expected to take command of the accolade of being the league's best point guard. His 16.9 points and 9.7 assists per game rank among the best at this position, but he's going to have to be able to take over a game in the key moments which did not happen last year.
Blake Griffin's performance improved last year as he began to show that he is more than just a highlight reel dunk waiting to happen. This year he's going to have to average a double-double in order to be considered among the elite power forwards in the league. Jamal Crawford is here for nothing else than to score and he's expected to have many more opportunities this year. Last season really displayed his ability to shoot the ball effectively and look for him to once again be in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Clippers will also need a lot more out of DeAndre Jordan who is another big play big man. His defensive skills were highly appreciated as the unit was 4th in the league in points allowed, but his offensive skill set will have to improve to deal with the big man in his conference.
This year the Clippers don't have the depth that they had all last season, so it will be interesting to see how well this team performs throughout the year. While bringing a championship to the Staples Center is the goal this LA team may have the best shot at doing so.
Expected Starting Roster with 2012-2013 Stats
Chris Paul, PG: 16.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG
Willie Green, SG: 6.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG
Matt Barnes, SF: 10.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG
Blake Griffin, PF: 18 PPG, 8.3 RPG
DeAndre Jordan, C: 8.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG
Expected Season Finish
3rd in the Western Conference