We are now about to see how good Blake Griffin really is.
After losing Chris Paul to the Rockets in free agency, Griffin will need to be the “superstar” many project him to be is LA wants to stay relevant in the West. While he has had trouble dodging the injury bug for the past few years, he has been a solid player when he is on the floor. His defense has improved along with his three point shot. He is one of the most physical players in the NBA, which bolds well for the Clippers. He will have to improve on passing the ball (which he is slight underrated at) to get others involved. Griffin has the tools to put himself back into the “top five” power forwards in the league discussion.
While LA did lose this superstar point guard, the team did get quality players in return. Patrick Beverly is one of the toughest defenders in all of basketball and will be a good addition to a team that has been know to be “soft” at times. Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and former Sixth man of the Year Lou Williams will also bring quality production off the bench.
Real questions will surround center DeAndre Jordan the entire season on how valuable he really is without Paul. Jordan benefited the most off of Paul’s ability to throw prefect lob passes with Jordan’s unmatched athleticism at the position. Euro player Milos Teodosic has looked great in the preseason with his dazzling passes, but only time will tell if he can bring the best out of Jordan. Depending on how the season goes, it would not be shocking to anyone if Jordan is shipped out of town for a player not as reliant on the pass as he is.
Signing Danilo Gallinari was a little head scratching if you look at the construction of this team. While he was the best available player at the time, it’s unclear how he exactly fits with this team. It is proven that Gallinari plays his best at the four position, creating mismatches on both sides of the ball. However, with Griffin headlining the team, Gallinari would more than likely play the small forward position, which is struggles to say the least.
This team has serious questions going into the season, and the play of their stars will need to be high if they want to keep up with the rolling Western Conference.