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The Los Angeles Clippers and the road to The NBA Finals

NBA finals Air Butchie Photography via Flicker

NBA

Are the Clippers NBA finals ready?

The Los Angeles Clippers have been trying to take the next step and advance to the NBA finals. The franchise has endured multiple heartbreaks, upsets, and playoff exits. There is no doubt that the current roster has enough talent to make the NBA finals. However, the team has been bothered by injuries.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. The franchise has made the playoffs every year since the 2011-2012 NBA Season. In 2013 the organization hired former NBA player, and head coach Doc Rivers.

Rivers has led the team to the playoffs every year since his hiring in 2013. The franchise has reached the Conference Semi Finals three times within the last 5 years. Last year the Clippers were picked to make some noise, but were under maned due to injuries.

What Had Happen Was:

The organization was eliminated in the first round from the 2016 NBA playoffs due to guard Chris Paul fracturing his hand and forward Blake Griffin tearing his quad tendon. The team would go on to lose to the series to the Portland Trail Blazers. 

During the 2014-2015 season the Clippers were favored to win the west. The franchise was heavily favored to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. After defeating the San Antonio Spurs (4-3) in the first round it seemed like the Clippers were set to reach the finals.

However, the Clippers would lose to the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs (3-4).

Houston we have A Problem:

The core of the roster consists of guard Chris Paul, forward Blake Griffin, and center DeAndre Jordan. Fans around the league have deemed them “Lob City”. Despite a decent nick name it has not helped them land a spot in the NBA Finals.

What is missing from the current roster? In order to reach the next level what does Lob City need to do? The organization already has a great coach in Rivers, a solid starting five, and some depth off the bench.

What could be missing? It seems like everything is in place for the franchise to win a title if healthy.

A suggestion for the Clippers would be to look for a solid small forward. Think about it the last three teams to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy had talent at the three spot. The last three championship teams had dominate small forwards from the likes of LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kawhi Leonard.

Lob City could have acquired forward Kevin Durant during last year’s free agency, but their pitch was weak. Another forward the franchise  could have targeted was Rudy Gay.

Gay is not a superstar however, he is a solid player who can defend, score, and often times dominate the offensive glass. Gay would have been a valuable option until he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

If Lob City is going to take the next step they need to bring in a solid small-forward to lighten the scoring load. The roster currently has Wesley Johnson, Paul Pierce and Luc Mbah a Moute at the small forward position.

More Juice Please:

All three small-forwards average 13 points together. 13 points at the small forward position is not enough to get the job done.

Lob City is currently the 5th seed at (37-25) and would face the Utah Jazz if the playoffs started today.

If the Clippers are going to get better they need to invest in a quality small-forward!

 

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