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NBA

Los Angeles Clippers

Division: PacificGM: Gary SacksHead Coach: Vinny Del Negro
2011-12: 40-26 (5th in West)vs. division 7-7
Points97.5 (14th)
Rebounds41.6 (21st)
Assists21.0 (13th)
Opp Pts95.0 (13th)

Last Season

For the first time in a long time, the Clippers actually gave the Lakers a run for their money for the best team in LA title.

The addition of Chris Paul to a young core that featured the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan turned the Clippers into must watch tv.

Plenty of highlight reel dunks later the Clippers made the playoffs as the fifth seed in the west.

They took out the also-up and coming Grizzlies in the first round before ultimately bowing out to the Spurs in Round 2.

Still, Clippers fans finally had a reason to be excited about their team.

Who's In/Who's Out

Key Additions: F Matt Barnes, G Jamal Crawford, G Willie Green, F Grant Hill, C Ryan Hollins, F Lamar Odom, C Ronny Turiaf
Key Losses: F Reggie Evans, G Randy Foye, F Ryan Gomes, G Mo Williams, G Nick Young
DRAFTED
Round 2 (53rd overall) - PF Furkan Aldemir - Galatasaray (traded to Rockets)

Analysis: The Clippers lone 2012 draft pick was sent to the Houston Rockets as part of the deal that brought Lamar Odom to LA.


Season Outlook

The Good

One-two Punch - Chris Paul and Blake Griffin form not only one of the most exciting duos in the NBA but also one of the most dangerous. Paul made was named to the All NBA first team last season whil Griffin made the seond team. Not everyone has that kind of fire power.

Dynamic Duo

On any given night, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will bring you out of your seat with a highlight-reel alley-oop.

Going Deeper - The Clippers made several key moves to improve their depth this off-season. The additions of Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom along with Chauncey Billups' return from injury give the Clippers as good of a bench as any team in the league.

Lob City - In any given Clippers game you might just see the highlight of the night. Chris Paul throws lobs as well as anyone out there and the Clippers have plenty of leapers just itching to throw the ball down.

The Bad

Defence Wins Championships - And unfortunately it isn't the Clippers stregnth. They aren't terrible (18th in defensive efficiency last season) but they aren't great either. Odom should help if he's engaged but that's not a guarantee. Hill is a good perimeter stopper but is also 40. What the team could really use is improvements from Griffin and Jordan. This defence has the potential to be better but will still likely be the team's weak point.

Uncertain Future -While everything looks great in Lob City at the moment, the fact is Chris Paul is only under contract until the end of this year. The Clippers need to show that they are making serious progress towards winning a title or else CP3 will surely listen to offers next summer. And despite Blake Griffin being a star, this team belongs to Chris Paul and losing him would be disastrous.

Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.

Power Rankings

04
The Clippers start the season in lofty company.

Player Projections

Blake Griffin is the top power forward at 6 overall.

Coaching - The Clippers picked up their option on head coach Vinny Del Negro after last year meaning he'll be back for the final year of his contract. Unfortunately, Del Negro has yet to do anything in his career that says he can take a good team to the next level. He has a lot of talent to work with, but will also have to find a way to keep everyone happy.

X Factor: Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom was a disaster last year for the Mavericks. But there is no denying that a happy, motivated Odom is a dangerous thing. When he is playing well, his versatility gives a team so many different options for lineups. If Odom can find the form he had with the Lakers the Clippers suddenly go from exciting up and comers to legitimate contenders. If not, it won't kill there chances but it makes things tougher. And unfortunately for the Clippers, it looks like they might be getting the Dallas version of Odom as he came into camp overweight and out of shape.

What to Expect
Everyone seems ready to anoint the Lakers as the Pacific division champions but the Clippers won't make things easy for them. With a lot of savvy moves this off-season the Clippers can legitimately run with the big boys now. Don't be surprised to see them battling teams like the Spurs, Nuggets and Grizzlies for a top-3 seed in the playoffs come season's end.

Depth Chart

Power Forward

Blake Griffin
Lamar Odom
Trey Thompkins

Center

DeAndre Jordan
Ronny Turiaf
Ryan Hollins

Small Forward

Caron Butler
Grant Hill
Matt Barnes
Travis Leslie

Shooting Guard

Chauncey Billups
Jamal Crawford
Willie Green

Point Guard

Chris Paul
Eric Bledsoe

Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade

While the 'other' L.A. team may have had a more highly-publicized offseason, the Clippers and their improvements should not be discounted.

The club added a TON of depth, picking up Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barns, but no move was bigger than bringing Lamar Odom back to the organization that drafted him.

Odom had an undeniably disastrous year last season after getting traded to Dallas, but Los Angeles agrees with Odom and if he can get his career back on track he could elevate the Clippers to elite status in the NBA.

Even if he can't, the rest of the moves the team made this summer were more than enough to improve the club heading into this season.

Grade: A-

Tipping Off

The Clippers host the Warriors on Halloween to open their season.

Oct. 31 10:30pm et Wizards @ Cavaliers
Next 4 games
Nov.2 @ LAL 10:30pm et
Nov. 3 vs GS 10:30pm et
Nov. 5 vs CLE 10:30pm et
Nov. 7 vs SA 10:30pm et

Game 2: Nets at Raptors (TSN)

Tuesday at 7pm et/4pm pt


NBA on TSN Broadcast Schedule


Western Conference

(1) SA 1, (8) DAL 0 (4) HOU 1, (5) POR 0
(2) OKC 1, (7) MEM 0 (3) LAC 0, (4) GS 1


Eastern Conference

(1) IND 0, (8) ATL 1 (4) CHI 0, (5) WSH 1
(2) MIA 1, (7) CHA 0 (3) TOR 0, (6) BKN 1


Playoff Schedule/Game-By-Game Breakdown



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