Donald Sterling will no longer be sitting courtside at the Staples Center. Steve Ballmer paid two billion dollars to purchase the team after Sterling was banned for saying racist remarks that would even make Stonewall Jackson uncomfortable.
Ballmer made a big entrance and is clearly excited to own an NBA team. He’s filthy rich and I expect him to pay the luxury tax every single season. The Clippers are prepared to take over Los Angeles if the Lakers let them.
Will Blake Griffin continue to develop into a perennial MVP candidate?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Los Angeles Clippers.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 57-25
Key Additions: PF Spencer Hawes, SG C.J. Wilcox, PG Jordan Farmar, SG Jared Cunningham, PF Ekpe Udoh, SG Chris Douglas-Roberts & SF Joe Ingles
Key Losses: PG Darren Collison, SF Danny Granger, SG Jared Dudley, SG Willie Green & C Ryan Hollins
Projected Starters: DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick & Chris Paul
Fantasy Sleeper: SG J.J. Redick – If you have been a reader of this site since its inception, you know we love our favorite gel-wearing, pumpkin spice-loving member of the Clippers. Redick looked great at the beginning of last season, but went down for a long period of time with an injury. If he stays healthy, he’ll be good for 140+ three-pointers and should average north of 14.0 points per contest.
Team Analysis: The Clippers had a weird season…well, okay, the last month of it was weird. They were moving along and had clinched home-court advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. The racist Donald Sterling tape appeared and everything just exploded from there. The Clippers didn’t appear to let the circus affect their play on the court. They beat Golden State in seven games, but fell to Oklahoma City in the second round.
With all the Sterling drama in the past, they come into this season with a clean slate. They appear to have an owner with a deep and open wallet, healthy superstars and a wide-open Western Conference race. Kevin Durant’s foot injury pushed the Clippers neck-and-neck with the Spurs as the Western Conference favorites.
Blake Griffin surprised me last season. I’m not a believer in his long-term success, but he is making the most of his talent at the moment. If he doesn’t develop a 15-foot jumper by the time his leaping ability fades, he will fade out of the league like Shawn Kemp. That is still a few years away and he can do all the Clippers need from his position right now.
I feel like the Clippers are a trade away from being my favorite to come out of the West. I believe they will end up with the #1 seed, but other teams just like to pace themselves throughout the season (i.e. Spurs). I’m not sold on DeAndre Jordan and if they can package him and get a center with more overall scoring ability (and not a total waste at the free-throw line), they would be scary in the playoffs.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 56.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 60-22 (1st in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.