Rivers is X-factor in Clippers' title dreams
Who’s in: Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Antawn Jamison, Byron Mullens, JJ Redick, Reggie Bullock
Who’s out: Chauncey Billups, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf, DaJuan Summers
2012-2013 record: 56-26. 4th seed in the Western Conference. Lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, 2-4.
Strengths: The Clippers just got a major upgrade in their sidelines with new head coach Doc Rivers calling the shots starting this season. With all the experience Rivers has, he’ll surely transform the team into an even more competitive line-up.
The Clippers still have one of the league’s best point guards in Chris Paul, plus their frontline duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Jamal Crawford, who narrowly missed the Sixth Man of the Year plum last season, is expected to step up as one of the Clippers’ premier scorers.
Darren Collison will be a good back-up for Chris Paul, while JJ Redick and Jared Dudley are reliable bench guys who can provide instant scoring from the backcourt.
Weaknesses: It still remains to be seen if the Clippers’ bigs can be that dominant in the paint. There’s no question about Jordan and Griffin’s athleticism but they must live up to that potential. The Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph outplayed the two during the first round of the playoffs last season. It shows they must continue working to improve other facets of their games.
Prognosis: A playoff appearance is still certain for them, but whether the Clippers go all the way this time will hinge on Rivers' ability to harness the best out of his talented group. We won't be surprised if LA makes the finals and we won't be surprised if they fizzle out early in the playoffs, too. - Rappler.com