From one end of the spectrum to the other. They may share home court, locker rooms and parking spots. But while the Lakers were winning a championship the Clippers were gearing up for their #1 pick in the NBA draft. Today’s Clipper preview was provided by Peter from The No-Look Pass.
Peter Kim is a thick-skinned Clipper fan from The No-Look Pass/Chronicles of Crotty Podcast team. His dream was to play in the NBA or at the very least, the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) in honor of his comrade, Rey Moralde but instead he will live out his dreams vicariously through the Japanese drama titled, “Buzzer Beat”.
and Clippers will go head to head twice in the ‘09-’10 season. The first meeting will be Friday November 13, 2009 and the second will be Wednesday March 31, 2010. Last season’s 22 and 24 point blowouts, respectively by the Raptors
included, 38% shooting from the Clippers, 31 points from Chris Bosh, a dunk from Jose Calderon
and a dirty play by Jake Voskuhl. It goes without saying that this upcoming season’s match up should be much more evenly matched thanks to a few additions by each team:
The Clippers’ major addition is unquestionably: Blake Griffin. He has the potential to create match-up problems for the Raptors
and based on Mike Dunleavy’s offense involving a two-man game with his power forward, a substantial number of plays will be run through Griffin.
The Clippers will have to keep an eye out for the Raptors’ latest addition, Hedo Turkoglu. The Clippers will have their hands full in their attempts to contain Turkoglu on both ends of the floor with his ability to stretch the defense and run the offense. They will also likely attempt to throw several defenders on Turkoglu including recent addition: Rasual Butler.
A Clippers win may be contingent on how well point guard Baron Davis plays. He was plagued by injuries last season and will have the task of disrupting Jose Calderon
and his ability to efficiently run the team’s offense. Turnovers also hurt the Clippers last season and it will be up to Davis to make sure the number of turnovers are at a minimum.
may be able to capitalize on their use of Chris Bosh
on their way to victory with his athleticism and his offensive ability. His versatility will make it difficult for the Clippers and they may have to scramble to find an answer on how to contain Bosh. Bosh’s length may prove to be too much for Griffin to match up against and at the center position, he may prove to be too much for the Clippers’ centers, Camby and Kaman.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from a disappointing ‘08-’09 season and will be hungry for victories in both of the meetings. The Clippers and Raptors
fans can look forward to seeing an evenly matched game and seeing their team win on their home court.
Last Season Record: 2-0
I am sure I was not the only person expecting the Clippers to do better than they did last season. They added Baron Davis and Marcus Camby to a core of younger players and still only managed a paltry 19 Wins. The Raptors
were bad, but with an average margin of victory of 23 points in their two meetings, they probably wished they could play the Clippers for 82 games straight. In the first game, it was the front court of Bosh
and O’Neal that went to work. In the second meeting, a rather weak Raptor bench managed to contribute for a balanced attack in a 24 point blowout. There isn’t much more to say about the past so lets look on…
The Bigs: The sole offensive threat on the Clippers in the front court was unfortunately Zach Randolph. Say what you want about his game but he managed to come up with a fair amount of the 20-10 variety. With him gone, the contributions of a healed Kaman (hopefully his ego has healed too) and healthy Marcus Camby, should render the team defensively sound but lacking an offensive punch. The one question mark is Blake Griffin. He has succeeded at the college level but until he shows it has carried over to the NBA, I am going to reserve judgment. I don’t expect him to become a scoring machine, but if Baron looks down court a few times, Griffin may be the lucky recipient of some nice oops. The Raptors
on the other hand rely on most of their offense to come from these spots. Having Turkoglu in the line up will balance it out a little but against a team like the Clippers, Bosh
will still be doing most of the scoring.
The Wings: Ricky Davis? Rasual Butler? Mardy Collins? Not taking away from the Clipper players, but this is probably their weakest position aside from their starter Al Thornton. This should be a fairly easy task for the Raptors
on the defensive end. This gives them the luxury to let Hedo focus on his offensive game – maybe allow him to roam a little on D. Games like this can be dangerous though. Often times, a young guy trying to prove himself can take advantage of a lazy night from the opposing team’s D and throw down a career night. This is where bench play comes in. I think the Raptor bench will get significant minutes in a game like this to match up against some of the young Clipper players vying for minutes and trying to fill up a stat sheet.
The Guards: Can Baron Davis stay healthy? Is Baron Davis ready to play team ball? Luckily for the Raptors
,even if the answer to both those questions is “yes”, they have added enough depth to battle with the Clipper guards. Eric Gordon is one of my favorite young players but he needs to find his role. He is a bit small to play SG (even though he did manage to avg. 16 ppg) and isn’t a good enough passer to play point. The team added Telfair to the roster and will most probably let him run the backup PG spot. If Clippers have Baron and Gordon on at the same time, any combination of Raptor guards should be more than capable of clamping down defensively. On the offensive end though, Jose and Co. may have to settle for jump shots as the one thing the Clippers have over them is shot blocking in the paint.
Predicted Record: 2-0 (Both teams got better… or did they?)