I’m going to cut right to the chase with this one.
Chris Paul came back to the Los Angeles Clippers because he saw them as having the best opportunity for him to win a championship. If he were to say that last summer, I would have whole-heartedly disagreed with him.
This year is different.
With the hiring of Doc Rivers, Los Angeles has given themselves a much better chance to win in 2013. Paul was asked whether he thinks the team can win with the current front court in place during his introductory press conference, and without hesitation Paul gave an emphatic ‘yes.’
Again, last year if he were to give that answer I would have been critical of him. But, this year is a different scenario.
Rivers will get the absolute most out of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. The young front court duo are both exciting and athletic, but there’s always been a sense that something more is missing. Maybe it’s consistency. Maybe it’s leadership on the floor. Maybe it’s a little of both.
In any event, the two will be given every chance to take it up a notch with Rivers in command. He’s a coach that is known for getting the most out of his players, a true ‘players coach.’
The chemistry that Paul has with the two of them is unmatched by any other point guard and front court relationship in the entire NBA. There is no question there. The fact they have that in place is a huge advantage going into their first season under Rivers.
Griffin and Jordan have plenty to offer on the floor, both giving the team tons of energy and big plays. Griffin has become more well-rounded offensively and proven to be a better rebounder than he was coming out of college. Jordan needs a bit more work all around, but being so young that will come.
With Rivers’ wisdom and coaching combined with the All Pro point guard, Griffin and Jordan have a lot to be excited about and should further their development more than ever in 2013.