Tag Archives: NBA Offseason
Link

The DJ-Factor

3 Oct

http://stoopsports.com/2013/10/01/the-d-j-factor/

Quick article I wrote about the importance of Deandre Jordan and the ways his improvements could impact the Clippers.

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Coaching Decision Looms over Lob City

12 May

With the news coming today that the Atlanta Hawks are supposedly targeting the well-respected Stan Van Gundy, the window is closing on the Clippers front office. Teams are moving quickly to maneuver themselves toward next season and the time for mourning last week’s elimination is gone. With that the time for tough decisions is upon Gary Sacks and his staff, the most important of which being the man on the sidelines next season.

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Vinny Del Negro has led the Clippers to an improved record every season he has been in LA. He has developed youngsters, motivated role players, and kept his two stars happy. It should not be understated the success that Del Negro has had; he deserves his share of credit for the success in Lob City.

Unfortunately, this is not the time to consider the team’s recent success. Losing in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies after leading 2-0 is a collapse that a Pacific Division crown cannot obscure. This team had expectations that involved improvement, and regression from last season’s second round appearance could be the decisive black mark on Del Negro’s resume. This was Chris Paul’s last year of his contract and the assortment of veterans manning the bench was designed to win now. Del Negro’s shortcomings were exposed in this series, and Gary Sacks has to consider if those shortcomings are worth dealing with.

Del Negro excelled in player development and the understated importance of not over-coaching. However, when other coaches played chess and checkers in the average NBA game, Vinny had a tendency to play Hungry Hungry Hippos. The combination of talent and expectations for this team, points to the need for a more poised and tactical mind to lead the franchise forward.

The candidates appear to be out there for this team. The promise of Blake Griffin, matched with the hopeful return of Chris Paul and the bright lights of LA make this the most exciting landing spot for the best head coaches available. The defensive genius and disciplinarian attitude of Stan Van Gundy is out there listening to potential suitors. Jerry Sloan could be considering the similarities between the star tandem in LA to the golden duo from his past in Stockton and Malone. Diamonds lie in the rough as well with bright coaches looking for a shot at a roster with this much talent. The options are out there for the front office to consider should they decide to look for an upgrade.

The importance is swiftness when it comes to this decision. With other teams already making moves, Lob City cannot afford to be left in the dust. There are plenty of big roster decisions coming in the months ahead, and many of those are dependent on the style and philosophy of the head coach. Will Deandre Jordan be given what he needs to succeed, or will he be traded? Can the club afford to keep the aging, often injured veterans on the roster? What does Blake need to do before he can take the next step toward superstardom?

The upcoming verdict on next season’s head coach could end up being the most important decision in franchise history. There are multiple coaches available that could take the Clippers in a variety of different directions next season and in that web of possibilities is the next stepping stone that this team is looking for.