Vinny Del Negro did not get his contract extended by the Los Angeles Clippers and now it seems that point guard Chris Paul is getting blamed for the dismissal, which is a ridiculous notion. The two players deserving blame are DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin who have very little to improve their overall play.
Paul had a very good 2012-2013 averaging 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals on 48.1 percent shooting, 32.8 percent from beyond the arc and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. He did miss 12 games due to injury and the Clippers went 6-6 without him in the lineup.
Owner Donald Sterling also strengthened Los Angeles’ bench by adding Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill and Lamar Odom. The Clippers had their best season in franchise history winning 56 games and the Pacific Division earning the no.4 seed in the Western Conference.
Their season ended in disappointing fashion losing in first round to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2, this after winning both games to start the series and for Del Negro his fate got sealed. It’s how the NBA works.
Right now the Golden State Warriors are looking like geniuses for offering Jordan a big contract while he was a restricted free agent. The Clippers matched the offer and this year he made $10.5 million while averaging 8.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks on 64.3 percent shooting and 38.6 percent from the free throw line.
He’s a decent shot blocker, good on the offensive glass and his athleticism allows him to get out in transitions for dunks. Offensively Jordan has little to no post moves and if he is away from the basket teams aren’t going to even make an effort to guard him.
As for Griffin he is one of the most athletic players in the NBA, he has some post moves and he’s a very good passer for a big man. The issues with him is that he scores primarily on layups or dunks. Which allows for defenses to either collapse in on him or force him out further away from the basket so he will take jumpers.
Defensively he is below average and this past season didn’t rebound enough.
It’s interesting that two most flawed players on Clippers roster aren’t getting blamed for Del Negro’s ouster. Yet, Paul is. Even though he’s one of the most complete players in the NBA. Will not be surprising to see the free agent point guard in another uniform for the 2013-2014 season.