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Game of Zones: The Raid of Staples Castle
Dyce » 05/8/18 » 6:53pm
05/11/18 » 5:07pm
japkilla » 05/8/18 » 7:19pm
05/10/18 » 6:03pm
I complain about the Clippers because my parents never loved me
ClipperSisyphus » 04/29/15 » 11:11am
05/10/18 » 1:50pm
12th and 13th picks
babyradar01 » 05/3/18 » 10:51pm
05/9/18 » 9:13pm
Look for Doc to be let go or resign soon
V-Ice » 04/28/18 » 9:39pm
05/9/18 » 4:02pm
Haters fuel him.
Name: Austin Rivers
Years in NBA: 6
15.1 points, 4.0 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game (42.4% FG and 37.8 % 3PT) in 33.7 minutes per game (61 games played, 59 starts)
2017-2018 Salary: $11,825,000
Future Contract Status: Austin Rivers will be entering the final year of his three-year, $35,475,000 contract with the Los Angeles Clippers come fall. Once the 2018-19 season is over, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Rivers arguably had the best season of his career in 2017-18, despite missing 21 games due to a concussion and right Achilles tendon injury. In 61 games played, Rivers averaged 15.1 points, 4.0 assists, and 2.4 rebounds, all career highs. He started 59 times and averaged a meaningful 33.7 minutes per game for the Clippers.
One notable exception to Rivers’ almost across-the-board improvements was his field goal percentage. Rivers shot just 42.4% from the field, his lowest since the 2015-16 season. Otherwise, however, he appeared to make great gains in his development.
Although he can sometimes be streaky on offense, Rivers had a number of very solid games for Los Angeles this season. He scored 20+ points on 12 occasions, and 30+ points three times, including back to back games against the Houston Rockets (36 points) and Memphis Grizzlies (38 points) in December.
Of course, Rivers’ contributions to the (relative / surprising / limited) success of the Clippers this season was tempered by ongoing claims of nepotism (yawn….), and rumors that he played a major role in fan-favorite Chris Paul’s decision not to return to the franchise. Although neither player confirmed the rumors, bad blood was evident when Paul and the Rockets visited Staples Center on January 15th for a much-anticipated re-match. Rivers, who was sidelined and sporting an ankle boot during the game, talked so much trash from the bench that Rockets Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green —followed by Paul and James Harden— attempted to enter the Clippers’ locker room post-game to confront him. Luckily, nothing came of the incident except 2-game suspensions for Ariza and Green.
Recently, the full story was revealed.... (Sorry. Had to. It’s funny.)May 3, 2018
Rivers’ biggest strength is his seemingly unwavering confidence. Described by others in the league as “irrationally confident”, Rivers is one of a handful of players who can miss 15 shots in a row and not think twice about chucking up number 16. Often Rivers’ bravado and icy veins worked to the Clippers’ advantage. In a number of games Rivers flipped a switch in the final frame, resulting in a Clippers’ victory. Some highlights:
- On December 23rd Rivers led a short-handled Clipper squad to victory over the Houston Rockets. Rivers scored 30 of his career-high 36 points in the second half of the match-up, 14 in the fourth quarter.
- Rivers led the Clippers in a late game rally to overcome an eight-point deficit and defeat the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 4th. Rivers scored a team-leading 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting in the contest. Fourteen of those points came in the fourth quarter.
- Rivers sparked a 13-0 Clippers run with seven points, a steal and an assist to overcome a five-point fourth quarter deficit and defeat the Milwaukee Bucks on March 27th. Rivers had just three points through three quarters in the contest but scored 10 in the fourth.
- On April 3rd, Rivers played a major role in the Clippers comeback win against the San Antonio Spurs, spoiling the Spurs’ 18-season streak of hitting 50 wins. Rivers hit a big 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds on the clock to secure the win for the Clippers who at one point trailed the Spurs by 19. Rivers finished the game with 18 points and five assists.
Rivers’ defensive abilities are also worth a mention. He averaged 1.2 steals per game for the season and consistently improved his lateral quickness and ability to stay in front of opponents. With the early loss of Patrick Beverley, unavailability of mid-season pick-up Avery Bradley, and questionable guarding abilities of Milos Teodosic and Lou Williams, Rivers’ played a critical role as a defender in the Clippers’ backcourt, often covering more than his share of assignments.
Rivers’ weaknesses include a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, dribbling in place, and overuse of isolation moves. Although he has an admittedly wicked cross-over and has improved his ability to finish at the rim, Rivers is not a Harden or Russell Westbrook. He cannot, night after night, carry a team on his own. His ball-dominant approach is noticeably problematic at times.
Additionally, Rivers can be overly-aggressive and mistake-prone in his quest to score. Illustrating this point, Rivers averaged 1.8 turnovers per game in 2017-18, a career high.
As one of the Clippers’ primary options on offense, and one that thrives on penetration and contact, Rivers desperately needs to improve his shot percentage from the charity stripe. This season Rivers shot 64.2% from the line, which is simply unacceptable.
Finally, Rivers lacks the court vision and facilitation skills required to be a true point guard. He should be used sparingly in that position moving forward, if at all. He fares much better off the ball in the shooting guard position.
Future with the Clippers: Rivers has one more year on his current contract and then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Interestingly, his father, Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers, is reportedly finalizing multi-year extension of his current contract, which also ends next year.
Although the younger Rivers has frequently been the subject of trade rumors, if Doc stays on as head coach through a rebuild, I believe Austin will too. And frankly, I’m okay with that.
First, Chris Paul was starkly honest.
“I’ve been here before, 3-1,” he said during a postgame walk-off interview with TNT on Sunday after the Houston Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. “[Stuff] went bad real quick.”
Then, he went into the...
The Los Angeles Clippers two first-round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft are much more important to focus on than any potentially interested superstar. Los Angeles is naturally going to be a potential destination for the biggest names in sports. The bright lights, the path to Hollywood, the millions that can be made in outside […]
Los Angeles Clippers: The draft, not superstars, should be the concern - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
Robert and Adithya talk second round of playoffs and the potential Doc Rivers extension
Robert and Adithya go over the Doc Rivers extension rumor that came out a couple days ago, breaking down what this might mean for the Clippers going forward. In addition, they give their takes on the second round of the playoffs, which has been sadly uncompetitive thus far.
Bye bye, Blake
Name: Blake Griffin
Years in NBA: 8
- With the Clippers: 22.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game (44.1% FG and 34.2 % 3PT) in 34.5 minutes per game (33 games played, 33 starts)
- With the Detroit Pistons: 19.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 6.6 rebounds per game (43.3% FG and 34.8 % 3PT) in 33.2 minutes per game (25 games played, 25 starts)
2017-2018 Salary: $29,512,900
Future Contract Status: Griffin just finished the first year of a five-year, $171,174,820 contract that will carry him through the 2021-2022 season.
Blake Griffin played only 33 games with the Clippers before being unceremoniously traded to the Detroit Pistons in January. The story was one of the biggest of the 2017-18 season. Los Angeles acquired forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round selection, and a 2019 second-round pick from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Griffin, dead-weight forward Brice Johnson and domestic abuser/center Willie Reed.
Fans were stunned by the move, as perennial-favorite Griffin had been aggressively courted by the Clippers in the off-season, culminating in a five-year, $173 million contract to remain with the team. The over-the-top pitch included decorating a hallway at Staples Center with pictures of Griffin at various points in his career, raising Griffin’s jersey to the rafters in a fake jersey retirement ceremony, and printing t-shirts with Griffin’s image alongside historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Gandhi.
Clippers employees wore T-shirt after Blake Griffin's FA meeting likening him to MLK, Obama, Ali, JFK, Lincoln, Gandhi, MJ,Einstein,Mandela. pic.twitter.com/BZtXqhdrWr— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2017
In light of this overdone display, it was disconcerting to many that the remaining face of the Clippers franchise (after the loss of Chris Paul) could be so easily disposed of just six short months after the signing of a major contract (second in its extravagance to only Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors).
Others recognized, however, that shedding the injury-prone Griffin’s mega contract was the only way for the franchise to achieve the flexibility and cap space to move forward and rebuild.
The strengths that Griffin brought to the Clippers included just about everything. An indisputably elite NBA player, Griffin can score, rebound and pass. In his last few seasons with the Clippers, the well-rounded Griffin was often described as a “point-forward” and frequently served as LA’s leader on the court even when Point God Chris Paul was on the floor.
In the 33 games he suited up for with Los Angeles during the 2017-18 season, Griffin averaged an impressive 22.6 points on 44.1% shooting, 5.4 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game. He was particularly effective from beyond the arc, averaging nearly two 3-pointers per game on 34.2% shooting. One of Griffin’s most memorable moments of his abbreviated last season with the Clippers included one of those threes – a game winner against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Griffin was also the team’s franchise player and leader and seemed to be enjoying that role. He was active in helping the newly revamped Clippers roster bond during pre-season training camp in Hawaii and looked happier than he had in years. He brought energy to the floor night after night early on in the season, helping redefine the Clippers as a scrappy, take no sh*t, hustle and heart squad.
Griffin’s performance against the Houston Rockets on January 15, 2018 was the game that best illustrates this point. Griffin had 29 points on 50% shooting, 6 assists and 10 rebounds in the outing. He played with playoff-like intensity, jawing with Rockets’ players Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul, and even physically bumped and squared up to coach Mike D’Antoni.
Later, Ariza nearly ripped Griffin’s shorts off, and both players were ejected. Griffin left the floor to cheers and a standing ovation, tossing his jersey into the crowd.
After Griffin’s trade no other Clipper was able to recreate that level of energy and intensity on the floor (not even Austin Rivers, sadly).
Griffin’s primary weakness has always been his propensity for injury. In his eight NBA seasons, Griffin has played a full schedule just twice: 82 games in the 2010-11 season, and all 66 games in the shortened 2011-12 season. In the last six seasons Griffin has missed a significant 103 games, including 16 of his 49 games as a Clipper in 2017-18.
Future with the Clippers: Seriously? None. After being traded to the Pistons Griffin was quoted as saying that going to Detroit made him “realize what a franchise looks like.” It seems highly unlikely he’d ever want to return to the organization.
It is just as unlikely that the Clippers would want Griffin back. Arguably, at 28, Griffin has already peaked. Certainly by the end of his current contract he will be on the downside of his career. He is good, but he’s no LeBron James.
In the corner of the Philadelphia 76ers’ locker room where J.J. Redick neatly hangs his designer clothes, the 33-year-old slid white leather shoes onto his feet in a bit of a hurry.
His team had just lost to Boston in overtime on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and Redick...