2008-2009 Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview
2008 Los Angeles Clippers basketball preview from Maddux Sports handicappers. After reading be sure to view today's NBA point spread odds for the scheduled games.
Injuries made the 2007-2008 season for the Los Angeles Clippers (23- 59) forgettable. The team was unable to generate momentum, excitement or wins. They started fine with a 4- 0 mark, but it was all downhill after that. The Clippers were 29th in field goal percentage, three-pointers and two-point hits. The high point on offense was that they were ranked 27th in making it to the charity stripe. The club’s rebounding, which was 28th in the NBA, was also bad. Coach Mike Dunleavy did get his guys to play solid defense, which is not an easy thing to do in the NBA. In the first half of the season, they placed 15th in defensive efficiency, and by the end of the season, they were ranked 19th.
As the team struggled on-court, a feud developed off-court between Dunleavy and owner Donald Sterling. After Sterling said that he was disappointed in the coaching, Dunleavy dared his boss to fire him. The coach noted that the front office had blown important trades he’d set in motion for the Clippers to get Mike Miller and Jason Terry. In saying that, Dunleavy revealed that GM Elgin Baylor had no juice. Despite the war of words, the coach is back for another season.
The Clippers signed free agent guard Baron Davis and lost free agents Elton Brand and Corey Maggette. Rookie guard Eric Gordon will be put into service immediately and guards Jason Williams and Jason Hart, who were signed, will also see action. Marcus Camby, the 2006- 2007 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, joins the team, bringing his expert shot-blocking skills. Low-cost free agents Ricky Davis and Brian Skinner bring a range of skills.
Seven-foot center Chris Kaman is a double-double guy, with an average of 12.7 RPG and 15.7 PPG. The great thing about Kaman is he keeps developing his game. Center Marcus Camby has been in the league a dozen years; along with being a fine defensive force, Camby snared 13.1 RPG while scoring 9.1 PPG. Swingman Ricky Davis put in 13.8 PPG and forward Al Thornton hit for 12.7 PPG. The frontcourt is solid.
In the backcourt, Baron Davis is a fine player, dishing off 7.6 APG and scoring a team-leading 21.8 PPG. Along with being outstanding on offense, he’s an amazing defensive player. Cuttino Mobley averaged 12.8 PPG and Jason Williams was good for 8.8 PPG.
This season, the Clippers look to move up a notch to fourth in the Pacific Division. Of course a 12th –place finish in the Western Conference won’t get them to the post-season (not even close). Right now, this is a team that puts three starters on the court and offers some decent backup players. Dunleavy’s job is to make everyone mesh and hope for the best as far as injuries go. Looking ahead, 2010 could be a big year for the team. That’s when Camby, Mobley and Thomas will see their contracts expire, opening up salary cap room that may enable the Clippers to snag some big-name talent.