The Los Angeles Clippers are now in danger of exiting the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers mainly due to injuries to its top two players, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. One basketball analyst believes that Clippers need to evaluate themselves and think if it needs a rebuild.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports mentioned on his report a quote from Clippers head coach Doc Rivers before the season started. It came from an interview with ESPN’s Zach Lowe last October 2015.
“We’re right on the borderline. I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it,” Rivers said.
Many people can say that the Los Angeles Clippers has gotten stale but also unlucky after the injuries to their two All-Stars. Paul is out for approximately four to six weeks due to a broken hand that required surgery.
According to ESPN, Griffin is out for the season after re-injuring his quadriceps that kept him out for most the regular season. The Clippers are now underdogs against the Blazers as they will rely on Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Green, Paul Pierce and J.J. Redick to carry the team past the next round.
And if they manage to get past the Blazers, they won’t likely get past the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors. Now let’s talk about the plans of rebuilding as mentioned by Berger.
The Clippers still have a great core in Paul, Griffin and Jordan. However, Paul is already 30 years old while Griffin has been injury prone and was involved in trade talks this season. Jordan is an All-Star caliber center but his free throw shooting is considered a liability.
The team will likely explore ways to get rid of Griffin this offseason before he loses more of his athleticism. Jordan still has his suitors but his free throw woes will decrease his value and as for CP3, he remains the foundation of the team.
The Los Angeles Clippers will make another early exit, their fifth-straight playoffs of not making it out of the conference semifinals.
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