23. Are the Los Angeles Clippers better without Chris Paul?
What I Said Then: The Clippers aren’t better without Paul. They won’t win 50 games like they did last year. Part of that will be due to roster turnover. The other part will be due to the West improving. But I’m excited to watch the Clippers this year. And being entertaining is more important than winning basketball games.
What I’m Saying Now: Oh boy. Where to start with the Clippers? They were more entertaining without Chris Paul, but for all the wrong reasons. The Clippers started 5-2, but a season-ending injury to Patrick Beverley torpedo’d their season. It’s not that Beverley was going to replace Paul’s production, but he gave them a similar competitive edge with his aggressive defense. His injury, coupled with an injury to Milos Teodosic, forced the Clippers to rely on Austin Rivers even more.
Nothing goes well when you’re relying on Austin Rivers that much.
The tunnel brawl gave us the best 2 a.m. Twitter takes in NBA history and Lou Williams decided to go Super Suiyan in an effort to great traded or sign a fat new contract.
The team fell apart after the trade deadline. Williams cooled off, Rivers was still Rivers, and DeAndre Jordan continued to be the most inconsistent center who should be a dominating force.
And yeah, that’s about it.
Oh, right. Blake Griffin. He’s no longer a member of the Clippers. Despite being the first Clipper to have his jersey retired, the Clippers dealt him to Detroit in a lateral move. Instead of playing with an inconsistent center who should be better and a point guard who thinks he’s better than he actually is, he’s now playing alongside those same players but in colder weather.
I’d say the Clippers got better following the trade, but that would be ignoring Clippers history.