Once again, it’s Doc Rivers the GM setting the team back and making life difficult for Doc Rivers the coach.
The Clippers have to be on the list of biggest losers in free agency (they were at the top of the discussion in the PBT Podcast) because not only did they lose DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks but also they had no good way to replace him.
It’s not just me saying that, here is what Clippers’ starting two-guard J.J. Redick said on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius XM to Nicole Zaloumis and Ric Bucher, when he was asked to grade their offseason.
“F. Is there an F-minus?
“Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign DJ, and we missed out on that. Barring some miracle, the makeup of our team is completely different now.
“He was such an integral part of what we did, not just defensively, but offensively with the screening, his rolling, his offensive rebounds. His presence down low essentially made teams either commit to the three-point line when Blake [Griffin] or Chris [Paul] penetrated, or commit to him, and that either opened up lobs to him or threes for guys like me and Jamal [Crawford] and Matt [Barnes].
“So he was a huge part of what we did and missing out and having him leave for Dallas gives us a failing grade.”
It’s rare to see a player be honest like that. Good on Redick.
The Clippers are still going to be a good team. They had the best offense in the NBA last season, and they likely will often play smaller and faster now. Expect to see some Blake Griffin at the five, Chris Paul may put up numbers fantasy players will love. The Clippers will be entertaining, they will put up a lot of points.
But they have been knocked down a tier or two from contender status. They will still be a playoff team in the West, likely a 4-7 seed, but unless they find a new defensive anchor it’s hard to imagine them challenging San Antonio, Golden State or Oklahoma City. That’s what the summer “F” gets them.