Eric Bledsoe did a fantastic job getting into the paint, but his feet were just too fast for the rest of his body on many plays. Early returns on Bledsoe are that he’s lighning quick, but he’s got a long way to go in developing better court awareness and vision. That will come with time and familiartiy with his teammates, two things he’s short on right now. He’s got a ways to go before he can run a team, but the raw talent was clearly on display tonight. Summer League is typically dominated by ballhandlers, and that held true. Bledsoe was by far the most assertive guy on the floor for the Clippers, and his floaters and layups in the paint were the best offense the Clippers could muster all evening.
Tonight was a friendly reminder of just how sloppy Summer League play is. It’s not bad because the players aren’t talented, but rather the circumstances. These guys have played together for just a few days. Each guy is trying to stand out over the other one, which isn’t conducive to snappy, clean team play. With all that said, tonight was a little ridiculous. The young Clips turned the ball over 29 times on the evening, with a good handful of them being laughable. Even worse? Seven assists total on the evening.
Not exactly the debut I expected from Sofoklis Schortsanitis, but in hindsight perhaps I should have expected it. This is Summer League. The offensive sets are pretty much non-existent, and the spacing obviously isn’t going to be the best. On top of that, it’s not easy to get touches in a high pace game as a 300-pound man who does his work with his back to the basket. That all makes sense. Sofo forced the action a little bit on his first two post touches, and only got 14 minutes on the evening. It’s going to be tough to get a proper appraisal on the big man if he doesn’t get the minutes, touches, spacing, and cooperation from his teammates necessary to show off his talents.
Al-Farouq Aminu showed off some early nerves by airballing his first jumper, but he finally got something to go his way later in the game with a nice drive and emphatic dunk in traffic. Aminu never really looked comfortable on the floor, often choosing incorrectly when to be aggressive and when to swing the ball. He led the team in rebounds with 7, but he spent a good portion of the Clips’ offensive sets hanging out on the perimeter waiting for the ball to come to him. Not many rookies play instinctive, free basketball their first times out, and Aminu was no exception to the rule.
DeAndre Jordan should never, ever, be the focus of an offensive gameplan. That’s not a revelation, but it was nice to see DeAndre get some touches even if they were interesting, to say the least. Probably my favorite play of the evening was DeAndre facing up from about 17-feet, taking one dribble to his left, then spinning quickly to the right and trying to dunk from what looked like the free throw line. The crazy thing was, he almost did it right through the hard foul. Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious. Sometimes DeAndre plays just like an NBA Jam character, ya know?
Nik Caner-Medley just loves Summer ball, apparently. He tied Bledsoe for the team leader in points with 17, but particularly impressive was his 3-for-4 shooting performance from beyond the arc. End of roster guys don’t have to be as well-rounded as some of the other players do. Caner-Medley leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive end, but he’s kind of a ballhawk on the offensive glass and showed he’s got some range on his jumper. He’ll have to shoot his way into it, but the Clippers will probably give him a nice look if he keeps this up.
What can you say? It's Summer League. It's not going to be the prettiest thing.
The Wizards won by 25, 89-64. but that's not nearly the ugliest number in the box score. The Wizards turned the ball over 23 times - but the Clippers, not to be outdone, somehow managed to turn it over 30 times (in a 40 minute game - that's ridiculous, even for Summer League). The Clippers scored 13 points in the first quarter and 9 points in the fourth. The Wizards committed 34 fouls, and the Clippers 26. So here's what you need to know - in this game, there were more each of combined fouls (60) and combined turnovers (53) than there were of combined field goals made (51). Watching the game (which a lot of you did), you were more than twice as likely to see a foul or a turnover as you were to see a made basket. NBA Summer League - where slop happens.
And not to make excuses, but I have a feeling this is not going to be a particularly good summer league for the Clippers. There are interesting prospects on the roster, some of whom have a chance to be good pros. But Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe are each 19 and have a lot to learn. Aminu looks a long way from being able to contribute much on offense in an NBA game; Bledsoe has never had to run a team at this level (the last time he played point guard extensively in was in high school). They both showed signs of why they were first round picks - Bledsoe in particular showed some real flashes of talent. But remember - they're in Vegas to learn and get better. They're not there to win basketball games. There's no stars on this roster - there's no Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon. No John Wall. Other than maybe Bledsoe (eventually), these are all complementary players, and truthfully, there's no one out there to complement (or to compliment for that matter).
With the exception of our old pal Nik Caner-Medley, no one on the Clippers could be said to have had a good game, and a few of them had something resembling nightmares.
The worst nightmare belonged to MBFGC, Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Surprisingly, the one thing I was certain he could do in the NBA (play offense) was the area where he was by far the worst. The things I was worried about (rebounding, playing defense) he looked pretty good at. But he was 0 for 3 on offense, with two turnovers. He lost the handle on a layup, got a dunk blocked, missed another layup, committed an offensive foul, and was completely overwhelmed by the double team. Maybe it was rust (he hadn't played a game in a while). Maybe it was nerves. Maybe it was just a bad game. We'll see if he gets better. It's also possible that the speed and length of NBA players (even Summer League NBA players) was something he was not prepared for. If so, it's not good news. He can adjust to those things some and get better - but the opponents get a lot faster and a lot longer in the real games.
DeAndre Jordan was simply being asked to do too much, but again, that's what Summer League is for. He personally had more fouls (5) and turnovers (5) than baskets (3). He was 3 for 7 from the field and 3 for 10 from the line. He was active in the middle, and was at least earning trips to the line. But he allowed himself to be knocked off the ball way too easily. ESPECIALLY if he's going to continue to shoot 30% from the line, he has GOT to be stronger with the ball and finish plays around the rim. I lost count of the times in the first half where it seemed like he had a dunk if he could have simply held onto the damn ball.
When I watched Willie Warren shooting the ball in practice on Friday, I noticed his low release point. Here's what I said at the time:
His release point is too low - he shoots the ball from somewhere near his chin.... With his current stroke and his slight size for the two guard, he's going to have difficulty getting good looks unless he's all alone. A long defender, anywhere near him, is going to bother that shot if not block it altogether.
His first shot in an NBA game was blocked by Nick Young. If this guy is supposed to be a shooter, I think his mechanics are going to have to be fixed. He won't be able to get shots off in the NBA. He did make some jump shots as the game wore on, but only when he was all alone. He won't get that alone often.
So if you're looking for indications of who will make the team, and who will play well this season among the guys with guaranteed contracts, it's an inauspicious start for most:
NCM showed more range on his jump shot than we remember (3 for 4 on threes), in addition to doing the hustle things (3 offensive rebounds) he did for the SL team last season. If the shooting is not a mirage, he has a real chance to be on the squad come November.
Bledsoe looked the best of the guys under contract, despite his 10 turnovers. He made some passes that indicated that he has good court vision - and he also made a lot of passes that he simply should not have thrown. He has a long way to go in terms of running a team. Oh, and if he can make that Tony Parker tear drop in the lane, he has a chance to be really good. Unfortunately, he showed absolutely no indication of being able to make it, looking terrible every time he tried it. It's a tough shot, but an absolute necessity for an NBA point guard his size.
Big Sofo showed pretty much nothing to make you think he belongs in the NBA. For now, write this game off and we'll see what he does on Wednesday.
DeAndre is long and athletic and active - which are all things we knew, not to mention things he can't help being. As far as developing the parts of his game that need work - post moves, free throw shooting, passing, etc. - he showed no progress at all. Interestingly, the coaches called his number a lot - was that just to get him the work, or did they think he'd perform well? It doesn't make much sense to run plays for a guy over and over if he just isn't there - that can't be good for his confidence. So you hope that he's shown more in practice, and that he too will play better Wednesday.
Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, lottery pick Al-Faruoq Aminu. Know why? Because he was forgettable. He had one nice move to the basket which he finished with a flush, and aside from that, he was pretty invisible. The one time he got the ball on the wing on the break, he lost control going to the basket, and filling the lane was supposed to be the one thing on offense we could count on him being able to do now. You can see the physical talent - he's long and athletic for sure. But the ClipperWife, who only watched a few minutes, may have hit the nail on the head in her "I don't care about basketball but this is what I think" sort of way - she said he looked timid. She was just looking at his face, but that describes his first game pretty perfectly as well.
You’d be getting paid this season by Chicago irrespective of whether you took the Clippers job. Figure they’ll be another 5-6 openings over the course of the next 12 months, some of which will be pretty attractive. Why take this gig?
There's a comfort factor for me.
What's comfortable about it?
They have a lot of young talent and some good flexibility. It's Los Angeles. It's Staples Center. They have a great practice facility. I just felt comfortable with [Clippers general manager] Neil [Olshey] and [Clippers president] Andy [Roeser]. My meetings with [Clippers owner] Mr. Sterling went well. I'm very competitive and I enjoy the challenge of it. I love basketball and have been doing it my whole life. I thought this was a good fit for me. I didn't have to do it, but it just felt right. I'm not going to sit around and wait for opportunities. I want to continue to grow as a coach and as a teacher
Do you define your time in Chicago a success or failure?
I view it as a big success for me personally. I had the opportunity to coach one of the most successful franchises in the game and I was able to help that team develop its young players, make two playoffs when no one expected that. I don't care what anybody says -- they didn't expect that. I'm proud of my assistant coaches and the work they put in. I'm proud of my development. When I see Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson or Luol Deng -- the guys who really improved in a lot of ways. That organization is in a much better position now after the two years I was there than it was when I get there.
Did you deserve to be let go?
That's not for me to say. Those decisions are out of my control. My body of work speaks for itself. You're always trying to improve as a coach. Not every decision you make is going to be perfect. But I'm very comfortable with what went on there in terms of the basketball side. I'll leave it at that.
What did you defensively in your second year to log that big improvement?
I think we focused more on it and I taught it better. Everyone got on same page quicker. We had a core of players who returned after a year together and the team was built differently. They dynamics of the team in year two were different. We structured it a little bit differently and a little bit better overall. The players got more comfortable and they also grew as players.
Is Al-Farouq Aminu a 3 or a 4?
He's a 3. He's young and he's got to get stronger and develop. That's the coach's responsibility, to continually put him in an area where he can get better. He'll put in the work.
I know he's only been in the league for five minutes, but are his instincts 3-ish enough to succeed on the perimeter right now?
For one, I don't think he has the size and the strength for the 4. He has ball skills. He shoots it better than you think. He's got some things to work on there. He's young. He's just starting off.
In this day and age, do we overstates the importance of position?
Probably a little bit. You have guys who are 6-foot-10 and 7-feet playing behind the line and not playing in the post anymore. The post-up game is different. The rules are different. The game continues to evolve and that dictates a lot of the things you do on the court. Talent wins in this league. We all know that.
Do you see this Clippers offense operating on sets and isolations, or will it be more of an improvisational offense?
Probably a little bit of both. You want to flow freely with the way we're built, the way Baron [Davis] can push it, and the way Blake [Griffin] and Chris [Kaman] can run, but you're going to have to play in the half court as well. It's not just one style. You want to emphasize defense and rebounding. That's where we're going to win games, so we can get out and get some easy baskets. But our execution has to begin on the offensive end, which will help our defensive transition and our floor balance.
Baron Davis has said that he prefers that coaches not commandeer each set from the sideline. Are you okay with that?
That's not my style anyway. I think guys need to play. That doesn't mean we're not going to call sets, but everyone is going to buy in. Everyone has a job to do. As long as everyone is working toward the same goals -- whether it's Baron or anyone else -- this is the structure that we have.
There’s an old cliché that there’s a virtue to “treating every player the same.” Does that work practically? As a coach, can you really take the same approach with Baron Davis that you do with Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon or Derrick Rose, for that matter? Doesn't a coach in some sense have to tailor his approach to each guy individually?
No question. That's the biggest part, especially with all the young guys coming in the game and the development of them. You have to get to know them and sometimes be hard on them, but let them understand it's in their best interest and way for them to get better.
Your career in the NBA was touted as one of your stronger résumé items. Both you and Clippers management mentioned it in your introductory press conference. How relevant is a playing career to being a head coach? Is it really all that necessary?
I don't know. That's a difficult question. I think it helps, but it really depends on the situation you're in, the team that you're given -- whether they're young or old, whether they've had success or not, whether you've really studied the game if you weren't a player. Obviously, I think there's an advantage from playing because you know the things that go into it. I was very fortunate to have some tremendous coaches throughout my career and learned a lot from them. From that, I tried to assemble what I was comfortable with and how I feel the game should be played.
Looking back, pre-Chicago, do you ever regret you didn't spend a couple seasons on the bench somewhere as an assistant?
No, I don't. The reason I don't is that I felt like I was an assistant coach on the floor when I played. I played both positions. I played for great coaches. I used to watch a lot of film and study reports. Coaching is different, though. Some people probably need it more than others. I was just fortunate enough to have an opportunity to do what I believed in and my philosophies over 20-plus years. It just fell into place for me that way. I look at that as fortunate, but also doing a lot of the right things over a lot of years.
The advanced stats movement is making huge strides. A lot of the more successful organizations are investing a lot in that discipline? How much do you rely on them? Do you find them useful?
I do, some. I think it can get overblown. You have to pick the right spots where you want to focus in. I think.you have to get a feel for the pulse of your team. Certain guys can only adapt to certain things so fast. Sometimes less is more. So using the statistics in the right way can be beneficial, but for younger players sometimes they can be a little overbearing. But I sometimes look at the plus-minus stuff, what three, four, or five sets of lineups work well together. I'm also always looking at defensive field-goal percentage, rebounding totals and turnovers are obviously big. The most important thing is not to try to burden the players, but understand how the stats can be used to help them.
The Los Angeles Clippers have signed guard Willie Warren, their second round selection (54th overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft.
The University of Oklahoma product was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore in 2009-10, averaging a team-high 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 32.3 minutes per game while appearing in 21 contests.
A former teammate of current Clipper forward Blake Griffin at Oklahoma in 2008-09, Warren enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign that saw the Dallas, Texas native win the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award and average 14.6 points and 3.1 assists in 32.3 minutes per game while playing in 36 games.
An explosive, creative scorer with exceptional speed, the 6-foot-4, 203 pound Warren was a Second Team All-Big 12 selection in 2008-09 and was a First Team Freshman All-American while setting Oklahoma freshman records for games started (34) and three-pointers made (67)…
Warren didn’t earn any honors during his sophomore season, as his game deteriorated and he slid down the draft board. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but odds are Warren signed a one-year contract. Warren scored 10 points on Monday night, going 4-for-7 from the floor.
Adam Morrison workout getting ready to start. The Bulls, Celtics, Clippers, and Cavaliers are among the teams in the building.
Cassell escribió:Lo de Morrison me convence bastante más que el fichaje de Brian Cook. El primero vendría con ganas de demostrar que puede ser alguien en la NBA, mientras que el segundo es un tío que está de vuelta y no te va a aportar nada.
¿Turkoglu?. Lo había pensado y sería una gran opción, desde luego. Por ponerle una pega, es un jugador que necesita mucho el balón para rendir a su mejor nivel, y estaría la duda de como congeniaría con Baron, quien también necesita la bola para dar lo mejor de sí. En RealGM un seguidor de los Pistons propuso un pajitraspaso que yo firmaría encantado: Deandre y la TPE a cambio de Tayshaun Prince.
La firma de contrato a Warren estaba cantada, pero me da que el fichaje de Foye le va a sacar de la rotación. El ex de Villanova y Bledsoe tiene toda la pinta de que se repartirán los minutos que dejen de jugar Baron y Gordon.
As much as Tracy McGrady has wanted to play with LeBron James for the past two seasons, it’s still unclear if the Miami Heat are prepared to offer him a contract. Nevertheless, league sources say a fresh possibility for NBA employment has surfaced for McGrady: the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers have had conversations with McGrady’s agent, and team officials could soon decide to watch him work out for a closer inspection. With Travis Outlaw signing a free-agent contract with the New Jersey Nets, the Clippers are resolved to sign a swingman with some scoring punch off the bench. They’ve spent the last few days gathering information on McGrady and deciding how they want to proceed.
McGrady wanted the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign him last season after he requested his release from the Houston Rockets. The Rockets instead traded McGrady to the New York Knicks, where a few flashes of his old self were tempered with his recurring knee issues. He shot 39 percent and averaged 9.4 points in 24 games with the Knicks.
McGrady has wanted badly to join James with the Heat, but Miami can sign him only to the veteran’s minimum and has yet to make him an offer. The Chicago Bulls have also shown some interest in McGrady.
Just got off phone with with Clippers' Neil Olshey. Clips bringing in Tracy McGrady in next week, in Los Angeles, to work out for them.
Blake Griffin isn’t sure if he’ll take part in next week’s USA Basketball minicamp, though he’s healthy and ready to play. The 2009 No. 1 pick, out all of last season with a knee injury, practiced last week with the Los Angeles Clippers’ summer team without any problems.
He’s not taking part in Summer League, possibly one of the reasons he’s not certain about next week. Griffin is one of 23 players scheduled to attend the three-day camp from July 23-25.
“I just need to make sure it’s good with my teams and front office,” Griffin said. “Having not played a game for them, I don’t want step on anyone’s toes and commit to USA Basketball.”
He added that “it would be nice” to make the national team. The World Championships are later this summer in Turkey.
Well, not exactly on deck ... but the Clippers are bringing in the once-great and current free agent Tracy McGrady next week for a workout in Los Angeles.
That was the word from Clippers General Manager Neil Olshey, who, in a telephone interview from Las Vegas, called the swingman "one of the four or five great offensive talents in the history of our game."
McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, has fallen on hard times, getting hit by a rash of serious injuries. He played only 30 games last season, finishing with the Knicks after getting traded to New York from Houston in a three-team deal in February.
On the way to the Clippers? Still, a long long way from happening.
fierroacb escribió:una pregunta para los fans de clippers.
sabeis como se encuentra Blake Griffin de su lesion y si podrá empezar la temporada a tope ?
tengo muchas ganas de verlo debutar en la nba.
Long before the draft lottery, the Los Angeles Clippers had been bullish on Kentucky point guard Eric Bledsoe, so much so that the team considered nabbing him with the No. 8 overall pick, even though he was projected as a mid-first-rounder. On draft night, the Clippers managed to swing a deal with Oklahoma City for the 21st pick to secure Bledsoe and still land lanky forward Al-Farouq Aminu at the eighth slot. The pair of 19-year-olds join Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon to compose the Clippers' solid young core -- a phrase so familiar the Clippers might engrave it on their letterhead.
Summer league can be a tough place to evaluate prospects, and that's particularly true for the Clippers, who assembled their coaching staff on the fly hours before their first practice. But Bledsoe and Aminu have had a rough go of it in the Clippers' two blowout losses -- although each has shown flashes of strength.
The sinewy Bledsoe burned up the floor in his debut Monday, skidding into the paint at will and draining floaters over the Wizards' big defenders en route to 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting from the field. On Wednesday, in his second outing, Bledsoe was considerably more cautious, more intent on running the offense and getting shots for others.
There was one consistency to the two performances.
"Turnovers," Bledsoe said. "Since the first day I stepped foot on the court [in Las Vegas], it's been bad. It's something I have to get better at."
Bledsoe has racked up 17 turnovers in two games. The problem? He tends to go into a possession with a preprogrammed velocity, be it Monday's sprint or Wednesday's more controlled gait. If Bledsoe can modulate that speed moment to moment, reacting to the defense and the movement of his teammates, he should enjoy some success -- but right now, it's an exercise in frustration for the young point guard.
"It's hard when I'm not making any shots and I'm trying to get my teammates involved," Bledsoe said. "It's tough, but I'll work on it."
Aminu's assignment is even more daunting. After playing power forward for most of his two seasons at Wake Forest, Aminu must conform to playing small forward for the Clippers, an adjustment that will situate him much farther away from the basket in the half court than he's accustomed to being.
"It's just different," Aminu said. "It's going to take some learning to know where I can go and where I can't go. That's probably the hardest part."
In the Clippers' "horns" formation, Aminu spent much of his time set up in the right corner. He took the vast majority of his 15 shots from outside the paint, draining only three of them. He finished with 13 points. When Aminu put the ball on the deck, either coming off screens or in isolation, he was able to use his enormous first step to get inside and draw contact. He attempted a game-high 10 free throw attempts.
For Aminu to succeed on the perimeter, he'll have to develop a more consistent release for his jumper and amp up his energy level. In ACC competition, Aminu zipped around the floor. Here in Las Vegas, he's looked wide eyed and occasionally sluggish (except when he's in possession of the ball). A dominant rebounder in college, Aminu has performed serviceable work on the glass. He's missed a box-out assignment here and there but grabbed 16 boards over the two games.
There are tempered expectations for the Clippers' youth movement, which is a good thing because Bledsoe and Aminu need to learn the rhythms and demands of the NBA game. After the loss Wednesday night, both rookies went to class. While Aminu chatted with the Clippers' coaching staff, Bledsoe took a seat courtside next to his confidante, Kentucky teammate -- and teacher -- John Wall.
"Heading over to practice with the Clippers this AM. Neil Olshey working hard to find missing links for the roster: SF and back-up big man. Could happen sooner or could happen later, but it will happen."
"Olshey insisted to me yesterday that he is Not done with this roster. He sees a gaping whole at Small Forward and a major need for a back-up Big. He has plenty of tools to address the issues and plans to use them. Spending money is easy. Spending it wisely is the goal."
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