Who needs to step up for the Clippers in the Playoffs?
The Clippers finished the regular season as the third seed in the West, and earned themselves a matchup with the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs. For the Clippers, this is the year they will be heavily judged on their postseason success. Since they traded for Chris Paul three seasons ago, the Clippers are regulars in the playoffs, but they never managed to get past the second round. Getting Doc Rivers to coach the team only raised the expectations. Last year, the Clippers fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West Semifinals. This year, they need to get past the second round. Who are the players that should step up their game? #BlakeGriffin
Last year, Griffin had one of his best seasons as a Clipper. When #cp3
went down, Blake took charge, run the offense, and was very comfortable as the first option on the floor. In the playoffs, his numbers went down, and he was less and less aggressive. While CP3 is the point guard, and the one that makes everything go for the Clippers, Blake must step up his game. He will have a hard task versus the talented frontline of the Spurs, but if the Clippers are to advance past the first round, and beyond, it is up to Griffin. His numbers this year are down across the chart, as he is averaging just 21.9ppg and 7.6rpg. But most importantly, his free throw attempts are down to just 6 per game from 8 in the previous season. The less FT attempts are a clear sign of less aggressive play. Blake has became comfortable shooting jumpers, but he will need to get back to his old aggressive style for the Clippers to be successful. #ChrisPaul
Last year, when the Clippers lost to the Thunder, CP3 rightfully took the blame. While he is widely regarded as one of the best point guards in the league, he is getting close to the point where he is entering John Stockton territory and other point guards that were constantly great, but never won anything. Stockton at least led the Jazz to the NBA Finals, and CP3 still hasn’t gotten out of the second round. He is one constant, and is again leading the league in assists at 10.2 per game. Last season, he averaged 19.8 points per game in the playoffs, and 10.3 assists (best in the playoffs). However, if the Clippers are to advance, CP3 will have to transform into a 20+ points scorer. He is great at closing games, and his elbow jumper is one of the deadliest weapons at the end of games. But it still feels something is missing. CP3 will turn 30 this May, and will be getting lots of criticism if he fails to deliver again. #DeAndreJordan
Jordan is playing for a contract in the playoffs. He is leading the league at 15 rebounds per game, and had a couple of 20/20 games this season. He is the third wheel, and often forgotten part of the Clippers Big Three. Coach Doc Rivers lobbied for Jordan to be an All Star, and a Defensive Player of the Year. Now, DeAndre will have to show again that he can be counted on in the playoffs. The knock on Jordan is he is a terrible free throw shooter, and the Spurs already used Hack-A-Jordan strategy versus the Clippers in the regular season. In the playoffs, Jordan is Clippers best defensive player, and they need him on the floor. If he can’t make FTs, he will be on the bench, as simple as that.
game one tomorrow night! http://bit.ly/1JSRxnS #losangelesclippers #laclippers #clipperstickets #nbaplayoffs