Clippers’ Stephenson and Crawford ‘snubbed’ from SI’s top-100 list



This means two things: 1) the NBA season (and more specifically, training camp) is right around the corner and 2) it’s time to argue.

In my experience with talking about sports, no discussion evokes more emotion than the simple discussing of what players are better another. You know, Kobe versus LeBron; KD versus LeBron; a former Clippers favorite, Blake Griffin versus Kevin Love.

The first ‘major’ player ranking comes from the gang over at Sports Illustrated as they’ve begun to roll out their list of top-100 players in the NBA coming into the 2015-16 NBA season. But before rolling out the entire list they’ve prepared an honorable mentions list, or for better wording, snubs, as two Clippers, Lance Stephenson and Jamal Crawford appeared as snubs.

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  • Here is a snippet of what SI’s Ben Golliver had to say about Crawford’s snub:

    "The 2014–15 season was his least productive since his disastrous one-year stop in Portland back in 2011–12, and he saw his playing time cut noticeably by coach Doc Rivers. The Seattle native remains perhaps the most entertaining ball-handler in the league and a four-point play magician, but he also had the dishonor of ranking dead last among 91 shooting guards in Defensive Real-Plus Minus. With J.J. Redick, Austin Rivers and off-season trade acquisition Lance Stephenson all vying for backcourt minutes alongside All-Star point guard Chris Paul, Crawford’s role is likely to further diminish, barring injuries. Rough shooting numbers in the 2015 playoffs, plus the fact that L.A. was significantly better on offense and defense without him last season, sealed his fate here. — B.G."

    Now, Stephenson:

    "If it’s true what Tupac Shakur says—“for every dark night, there’s a brighter day”—then we better start up the “Lance Stephenson for NBA MVP” campaign right now. Nights don’t come much darker than Stephenson’s 2014–15 season, which saw him freefall from hyped free-agent signing to benched bit player. It was all bad: Stephenson, 24, never fit in with his new Charlotte teammates, he couldn’t hit a shot (especially from outside, where he shot an almost-unbelievable 17.1%), and he never earned the trust of coach Steve Clifford. After playing at a near All-Star level with the Pacers in 2013–14, Stephenson ranked outside the top 250 in PER and Win Shares, and outside the top 450 (!) in Real Plus-Minus and WARP during his one season with the Hornets."

    Each exclusion, or inclusion as they actually made the snub list, makes sense. As Golliver stated, Crawford is coming off his worst season since the Portland debacle and Stephenson’s year with the Hornets is nothing short of disastrous as fit and talent came into question not too long after joining.

    Fortunately for both, the two guards are in position to improve their rating, even if it doesn’t thrust them into the top-100 — as bad as they were last season, being worse seems impossible, especially for Stephenson who ‘seems’ to be in a better situation in regards to his ability and fit on the Clippers’ roster. Of the two, if anyone repeats their down year, it’ll be Crawford, for reason he can’t control: age. The shooting can improve, as can the actual shots he’s putting up, but not the age which strips on the regular of their quickness and effectiveness on defense, the latter being an area Crawford has never been a plus in.


    With the snubs past us, when the complete SI top-100 list is revealed we’ll give an update for the Clippers players who did make the list.

    But for now, let us know what you think of the two snubs in the comment section below!

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