Over at ESPN.com, Kevin Arnovitz writes that the Clippers’ playoff hopes depend on the production of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Click here to read the full piece. Here is an excerpt:
Time has a way of tempering novelty, and this go-around, there will be no disclaimers for the Clippers, Paul or Griffin. A few minor bumps and bruises aside, the Clippers’ two All-Stars are healthy. They’ve had nearly two full seasons and a playoff series to hone the choreography. Progress has been made since last season, something that’s discernable when you study the dance steps.
“They’ve come a long way,” Clippers guard Chauncey Billups said. “At this point they know where each other is going to get the ball and where each other like it. Chris is really good at knowing when Blake is a little too high [on a pick]. He’ll hold it, let Blake get his feet set and get into position, then throwing it to him. Blake has done a better job of reading Chris, and knowing when he wants to attack and when to slide down a little further in the gap.”
Nuances such as these are what differentiate sticky offenses that paralyze themselves at big moments from those such as San Antonio’s, in which the telepathy between Tony Parker and Tim Duncan produces results. That’s a lofty standard for the Clippers’ two stars, but Paul has long expressed his admiration for the Spurs, as has Griffin for Duncan’s perfectionism.