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The Clippers: The Bizarro Clippers

The Numbers

  • Average Seed
    4
  • 📉 Pessimist
    51.0 wins
  • Realist
    54.6 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    58.2 wins
First Seed
 
4.6%
Division
Top 4
👍 Over (57.0)
👎 Under (57.0)
🎀 Playoffs

It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.

Sam Levenson

The Brief

For as long as I can remember the Clippers have been synonymous with bad . It turns out there's a simple cure for this: get good players. Since getting Chris Paul and a healthy Blake Griffin the Clippers have been a strong team. Paul and Griffin are back, and a combination of good moves to offset their questionable moves means the Clippers will remain in the hunt next season.

The Story

When the league decided that the Lakers weren't allowed to get Chris Paul, the Clippers fate changed. The Clippers had never won more than 60% of their games and they hadn't made it to the playoffs in consecutive seasons in twenty years. That all changed when CP3 came to town. Last season, CP3 did CP3 things, Blake Griffin got better with age, and the Clippers stole yet another key player from the Lakers in Matt Barnes. Throw in an underrated DeAndre Jordan, and you have a contender.

Even with the West being brutally tough, the Clippers made franchise history by winning 56 games in the regular season. In the west though, being a strong regular season team or even a contender isn't a guarantee of playoff success.

Particularly if Vinnie del Negro was your head coach.

Last Year

  • Actual Wins: 56
  • Expected Wins: 57.1
  • Lucky Wins: -2.0

 

Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Blake Griffin 2598 24 .166 9.0
Chris Paul 2335 28 .359 17.5
Jamal Crawford 2230 33 .066 3.1
Matt Barnes 2058 33 .153 6.6
DeAndre Jordan 2010 25 .193 8.0
Caron Butler 1879 33 .032 1.2
Lamar Odom 1616 33 .107 3.6
Eric Bledsoe 1553 24 .165 5.3
Willie Green 1188 32 .080 2.0
Ronny Turiaf 701 31 .055 .8
Ryan Hollins 663 29 .033 .5
Grant Hill 437 40 -.030 -.3
Chauncey Billups 418 37 .127 1.1
Maalik Wayns 37 22 -.282 -1.2
DaJuan Summers 7 25 -.288 0

 

Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 57.1 total Wins Produced
  • 4 players leaving
    (4551 minutes, 8.5 wins)

Last year, the Clippers hoped that Lamar Odom's stint with the Mavericks was an anomaly, and that he would be the piece to bring them over the top, but he remained a shadow of the player that helped the Lakers win their recent titles. Bledsoe had an emergence, but since he plays the same position as Chris Paul, it didn't help as much as it could have (we did mention Vinnie del Negro was their coach right?). Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford continued to be a big problem on the wings. Crawford has always been overrated because of his flashy ballhandling (I have to keep reminding people that the pretty baskets don't count any more points than the ugly ones), and Butler was a classic Clipper signing - a $24 million contract for a 32-year old coming off a bad injury? Sheer folly.

This Year

  • Projected Wins: 54.6
  • Conference Rank: 4
  • % Playoffs: 99.8

 

Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Blake Griffin 4.4 2953 24 .169 10.4
Chris Paul 1.0 2719 28 .325 18.4
Jared Dudley 2.8 2382 28 .160 7.9
J.J. Redick 1.9 2199 29 .103 4.7
DeAndre Jordan 4.8 1852 25 .219 8.4
Matt Barnes 3.0 1488 33 .161 5.0
Jamal Crawford 1.6 1304 33 .018 .5
Antawn Jamison 4.1 1137 37 -.033 -.8
Darren Collison 1.0 930 26 .134 2.6
Byron Mullens 4.5 754 24 -.058 -.9
Willie Green 2.1 637 32 .032 .4
Ryan Hollins 4.8 496 29 -.018 -.2
Reggie Bullock 3.0 374 22 .072 .6
Louis Amundson 1.0 372 30 .061 .5
Glen Rice 3.0 278 23 .055 .3
Brandon Davies 5.0 265 22 .017 .1
Maalik Wayns 1.2 182 22 -.259 -1.0

 

Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 56.4 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 2.8 WP (roster changes)
  • -4.5 WP (age/experience)

The Clippers made sure to avoid a Dwightmare or a Decision by resigning Chris Paul, and in doing so, they remained a contender. But did they improve? The answer is mixed. They managed to fleece the Suns for Jared Dudley, and also snagged Redick. They had to give up Bledsoe, but as he was both a backup player and likely to be overvalued on the open market, this was wise. They handled the loss of Bledsoe by grabbing Darren Collison. Holy cow, these moves looked savvy and smart. Early on, I was convinced the Clippers would be the easy favorites.

Then Dwight went to Houston. The Clippers also decided to act like their old selves. For whatever reason, the Clippers added the ancient Antawn Jamison and the terrible Byron Mullens to their roster. This has created a situation where the Clippers now have enough bad players on their roster getting minutes, that their ranking drops. As long As CP3, Griffin and Jordan get a lion's share of the minutes they'll be fine, of course, but giving backup minutes to scrub players when the top of the west is as strong as it is? Well, it could cost the Clippers valuable playoff seeds and see them go home early again.

Playoff Rotation: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Matt Barnes. Run and hide, run and hide!

The Wrap

The Clippers have one of the scariest playoff rotations in basketball right now. Chris Paul means this team is always in it. However, the Clippers are still the Clippers. They still have terrible players on their team. Crawford, Jamison and Mullens will cost the Clipps a few games this season, count on it. Let's just hope it's not in the playoffs.

Glen Rice is not on the Clippers. Wayns is injured and will not return, so don't dock them 1 win for him. Collison will play more than 960 minutes. Half his career average? I doubt it. I DO think Doc likes him, and he liked how the team worked with CP3 playing off Collison). At least give him 1200 minutes, the remainder after CP3's minutes. There are no other PGs on the team. My guess is 1500 because they will play together in key situations. DJ should play his most minutes ever under Doc. It makes no sense that you have him playing less minutes than last season when VDN wouldn't play him in the 4th. Doc says he will. At least give him the 2010 minutes he played last year.
They will win more games than last year with this lineup. Make some sensible minutes changes, get rid of Wayns, and they should be up to 58 on your table. Which is within the WP margin of error of the 60 games they actually will win.
Making the translation of the new players in is difficult if there aren't really enough minutes at their positions. This minutes projection is pretty far off since it is 642 minutes (25+ overtimes!) above the annual season allotment. Whose minutes/wins do we start subtracting? I wouldn't exactly say this is sloppy work, but. . .

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