2007 Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview
The Los Angeles Clippers are in trouble already. Star forward Elton Brand (.533 FG%, 1.000 3P%, .761 FT%, 9.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 20.5 PPG) ruptured his Achilles tendon. Prognosis—Brand is out for the season. Can the Clippers and GM Elgin Baylor hope in any way replace his points and rebounding? That’s not likely.
Brand’s numbers are undeniable. The frontcourt looks like swingman Corey Maggette (.454 FG%, .200 3P%, .820 FT%, 5.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 16.9 PPG), center Chris Kaman (.451 FG%, .000 3P%, .741 FT%, 7.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 10.1 PPG) and rookie power forward Al Thorton (Florida State). Look for 10-year veteran Tim Thomas (.414 FG%, .382 3P%, .708 FT%, 5.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 11.0 PPG) to put in quality minutes. For the Los Angeles Clippers to win this frontcourt will have to give 100% and more.
The point will either be manned by Sam Cassell (.418 FG%, .294 3P%, .879 FT%, 2.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 12.3 PPG) or Brevin Knight (.419 FG%, .056 3P%, .805 FT%, 2.6 RPG, 6.6 APG, 9.1 PPG); both of whom are competing for the job for which a recovering Shaun Livingston (.463 FG%, .313 3P%, .707 FT%, 3.4 RPG, 5.1 APG, 9.3 PPG) was being prepared. The club is hoping that Livingston is back sooner than later. Nine-year vet Cuttino Mobley (,440 FG%, .411 3P%, .837 FT%, 3.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 13.8 PPG), who is 32-years old, has seen his production fall off. Quinton Ross (.467 FG%, .200 3P%, .782 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 5.2 PPG) will bring defense off the bench.
Coach Mike Dunleavy has done fine work with the Clippers over the past four years. The Western Conference is so competitive and the Clippers have lost so much of their playmaking, rebounding and scoring with the Brand injury. Brand was the man on this team. It’s going to be a long season for a club that many thought might have a chance of going to the playoffs.