A Pessimist’s Guide to the 2014-15 Clippers


Here in part 1 of The Guide to the 2014-2015 Clippers we’re going to look at the Clips in the way of a pessimist – what’s wrong with the Clippers? In part 2, we’ll look at our Clippers in the way of an optimist – what’s right with the Clippers?

For now, we’ll be cynical. What’s stopping them from bringing home the Larry ‘O Brien trophy? Now, I like being cynical, because as all sports fans know our favorite teams exist solely to disappoint us — so sometimes seeing the flaws from the beginning dulls the pain. Why won’t LA be successful this year?


An Optimist’s View: Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league. He’ll lead us to a championship!

A Pessimist’s View: Is Chris Paul a top 3 point guard in this league? Absolutely he is. But is he really a winner? CP3 has been with the Clippers for three years, going into his fourth. So far, he has yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs. With the talent surrounding him, he should be making  NBA Finals bids. He has a loaded team, quite frankly. A lot of other less-talented PG’s with teams that have the same amount of talent as the Clippers have made it to the Finals: Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, even Rajon Rondo. So why can’t he? He’s better than all of them individually. Is he in a tough conference? Yes. But the mark of a true winner is being able to successfully get past tough competition and he has yet to do that.


An Optimist’s View: The Clippers are in a tough conference, but I know we can pull it out. 

A Pessimist’s View: It’s an extremely tough conference. I don’t even know if CP3 can lead us past them! The teams we have to face may be too much:

San Antonio? They just don’t go away do they? Every year they get counted out. Every year they pound in the door. Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Dnuncan — three ageless guys whose talent seems to be like a fine wine, only getting better with age. I don’t know when they’ll start to decline and I won’t bet on them doing so until it actually happens. It just may be too much of a tough match-up with crafty Tony thrifting his way past Paul into the paint and Danny Green destroying the arc with his constant threat for 25 points if he isn’t accounted for. That right there has spelled trouble in the past and it may very well again. Not only that, but with the emergence of Kawhi Leonard, Matt Barnes is now tasked with taking on a budding superstar. Now, let’s be honest. With Kawhi taking on Barnes, the offense of 1/5th of your lineup is largely gone. Normally, an advantage we would have is at the PF spot. Unfortunately, Timmy D’s post D is the stuff of legends. If anyone can stop griffin, It’s angry old Duncan. In a cynic’s guide to the Clippers, I can’t say much else other than it’s going to be more than a tall task.

“I don’t know when they’ll start to decline and I won’t bet on them doing so until it actually happens.” – Sam on the Spurs

Oklahoma City? Kevin Durant. Stop Kevin Durant. Have you done it? Good. Now stop Russell Westbrook. Have you done it? Good. Now try to play catch up after Serge Ibaka dunks or jump shots. From a cynic’s point of view, can we really keep up with two superstars and a mega-defender all at once? They beat us last year. I need to see some great play before I consider that changing.

Golden State? We beat them last year. Barely. With the addition of Steve Kerr, they got a lot stronger — a three-point guru coaching the Splash Brothers? Don’t sign me up. 

Memphis? Beatable but underrated. They’re a fantastic team bogged down by bad luck and situational errors. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol is a top-5 power forward/center combo and Mike Conley is a top 10 point guard in this league. The Clippers will need to play some defense that they haven’t played in a while to compete with this years Grizzlies.


Oct 29, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard

Darren Collison

(2) guards Los Angeles Lakers point guard

Jordan Farmar

(1) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Lakers won 116-103. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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  • An Optimist’s View: We had a good off-season with some solid signings – we signed Jordan Farmer, a serviceable backup.

    A Pessimist’s View: In the off-season, we just didn’t improve ourselves nearly as much as we should or could have. Eric Bledsoe just signed a ridiculous contract with the Suns, so even playing the cynic role, it’s understandable that we couldn’t bring him back. But to not only wait a season to replace him with someone not on a rental (Darren Collison), but to then sign Jordan Farmar to replace him as the backup? That’s laughable. How could they not pick up someone better? They had cap space this offseason: he got $4.5 million over 2 years. Instead, they take Darren Collison, let him leave, and replace him with a player that wasn’t even good enough for the other LA team.


    An Optimist’s View: We signed Spencer Hawes this off-season. He’s a big man with an outside shot; he’ll confuse defenses!

    A Pessimist’s View: If’s Hawes is such a threat, why’d he only get $20 million? NBA defenses have figured out the mobile big-man dynamic. He’s got an outside shot, sure. But where are his post moves? They’re virtually non-existent. The best we can hope for is that he comes in as a rotational guy that gets us a couple 3s and attempts to play defense for 15 minutes. Is that worth $20 mil?


    An Optimist’s View: DeAndre Jordan is an unstoppable defensive force. 

    A Pessimist’s View: DeAndre Jordan is a defensive force. Unfortunately, his offense is that of Marv Albert’s. Realistically, he’ll give you double digits points — I mean, he’s 7 feet. it’s going to happen. But his post skills are extremely raw and a team vying for a championship can’t have a $50 million dollar development project. His offense must improve greatly for this team to succeed to the fullest of it’s potential.


    Well, I tried my best to look at all the possible negative connotations of this LA Clippers team. In part two, we’ll have a whirl at all the possible positive connotations. The arguments made here are all real concerns. It may even be this team’s undoing. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? We’ll find out soon.

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