Clippers mid-season report

The Los Angeles Clippers reached the halfway point of their NBA season as the fourth best team in the Western Conference with 27 wins and 14 losses. They accomplished this despite missing star forward Blake Griffin for 15 games, and Chris Paul for seven contests. The Clippers are sixth in the league in team defensive rating (105.9).

Is it possible for the Clippers to be be even better now? Are they in touch with reality? Who are the five most efficient at each position? And, which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? These are the questions we will answer in our Hoop Obsession mid-season report.

Paul keeps the Clippers afloat.

A tweak here or there and the Clippers could contend for an NBA Championship. Chris Paul is an elite NBA point guard, and the Clippers have highly efficient centers in DeAndre Jordan (who played in all 41 first-half games), and Marreese Speights. When Griffin was playing, he continued to perform more like a pivot by today's NBA standards. While Griffin';s overall mid-range shooting has improved, he still is a poor three-point shooter (22.7% 3-pt.).

While Austin Rivers has improved, Jamal Crawford has declined. Crawford and J.J. Redick are exploitable defensively. The Clippers continue to get virtually nothing offensively from their small forwards.

I can't help but wonder if the Clippers could get better by trading Griffin. Certainly they would reap a nice bounty in return. If the Clippers could get a top-tier small forward, a stretch four, and a quality guard via a Griffin trade, they might be better suited to win it all.

Are the Clippers in touch with their reality?

Yes. The Clippers are trying to win now. Chris Paul is 31 years-old, Blake Griffin is 27 and DeAndre Jordan is 28. They will not be the favorites to win it all but you can take your chances with such a talented trio, all in their prime. They will likely lose their 2017 first round pick to Toronto (unless the Clippers miss the playoffs). The Clippers second round pick is headed to Boston.

Five most efficient by position

PG - Chris Paul .816, SG - J.J. Redick .425, *SF - Wesley Johnson .397, *PF - Blake Griffin .701, C Marreese Speights .710

* Griffin doesn't fit the mold of a stretch four. He is more of a pivot (or center, or five-man, whatever terminology you prefer) in today's NBA.

* Johnson doesn't shoot the three-ball well enough (26.4% 3-pt.) to be an effective offensive small forward.

Which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg?

The Clippers TEAM defensive rating is 105.6 (6th of 30). The players with defensive ratings better than the team average: DeAndre Jordan 100, Wesley Johnson 102, Chris Paul 103, and Marreese Speights 104.


NBA related. Trade targets.