Paul Pierce is trying to get the Clippers into the conversation.
“To me, I think we have a super team here,” Pierce stated at Clippers media day on Monday. “You look at Chris Paul who’s been first-team all-NBA … Blake Griffin first-team … DeAndre Jordan currently first-team All-NBA.
“I mean how many teams can currently say that? You have the best three-point shooter in the NBA (J.J. Redick). You have the Sixth Man of the Year (Jamal Crawford). I mean why is this not a super team? What defines super team? When you look at those stats and you hear when I’m saying, this could very well easily be what’s considered a super team.”
If the Knicks are a super team, so are the Clippers – and Cavaliers and Spurs and Grizzlies and Bulls and…
But New York can’t be the standard.
Relative to Golden State, the Clippers don’t hold up.
All four All-NBA Warriors are expected to remain elite. Paul is 31 and coming off injury, and Griffin had an injury/suspension-ravaged season that kept him from making All-NBA last year.
Jordan made All-NBA at center, where a bevvy of players have cycled through in recent years. None of the All-NBA Warriors relied on that wide-open position to make it.
Golden State has two players – Curry and Durant – better than any Clipper.
Redick is one of the NBA’s most underrated players, but he’s not a star, leaving the Clippers with just three to the Warriors’ four. Crawford’s Sixth Man of the Year award last year was dubious, and I’d rather have Golden State reserve Andre Iguodala.
With three All-NBA players in or near their prime, the Clippers might have been a super team in a different era. They stack up reasonably well in stature with Pierce’s 2008 Celtics, who also had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
But the Warriors have pushed the bounds of what a super team can be so far, I’d consider them the league’s only super team now.
At least Pierce’s claim sparks discussion of the term and his team’s credentials – unlike the response Rose inspired: laughter.