The Clippers have spent a good part of the past couple weeks shoring up a roster that – less than a month ago – had exactly five players under guarantees contract. Four weeks later, the Clippers have emerged with measurable depth and a fairly capable nine-man rotation, which will be expanded to ten with the addition of another frontcourt body (either Josh Powell or, if the rumors bear out, Dutch foul machine Francisco Elson).
PG B. Davis
In the Rotation
SF R. Davis
Powell was put on the spot during the second half last season, but impressed – though he’s often overmatched against true centers. Elson, despite his seven-foot stature, doesn’t perform a whole lot better against imposing bigs, though he’s an excellent rebounder (as is Powell). The Clippers second unit was woeful on the glass last season and it cost them ballgames.
It’s tempting to suggest that, with Elton and Corey gone, the Clips will be a decidedly more up-tempo team. Though it’s safe to assume their Possessions/Game number will inch upward, I’m not sure the uptick will be more than marginal. They’re still fielding two bigs, a couple of big guards who post well, and Thornton, who is sliding over to the 3, where he can utilize his size – something he couldn’t really do at the 4 last season.
Everyone loves watching a run-and-gun squad, but it’s worth examining the possibility that the Clippers’ best recipe for offensive success resides in the halfcourt, but -- and here’s the good news – with more motion-oriented sets.
UPDATE (Wed, 8:58p): The Clips have placed Josh Powell on waivers. It's a little disappointing because, ACC apologist that I am, I think Josh Powell is useful as a rotation player. He really grew last season -- developed a mid-range game, improved defensively on the high/low switch, and did some solid work on the glass (15.2 RR). In any event, the Clips are still short one big body.