Despite an unprecedented offseason of aggressive moves and free spending, there’s a glaring hole on the Los Angeles Clippers‘ roster which will be exploited in their first two regular season games.
Let’s assume Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant continues to defy science and returns from a torn achilles a half season ahead of schedule, and in time to confront a Clipper team positioning themselves to raid the Los Angeles fan base. The Clippers haven’t lost to the Lakers in over a year, but facing their backyard bullies is never an easy task.
According to the dept chart, shooting guard J.J. Redick will be the first man standing between Bryant and proving a point. This is unfortunate. There are men in the NBA who are specifically paid to limit Bryant’s production to something comprehensible on this planet, none of which are able to cash their checks with a straight face.
Redick is a shooter who lacks the lateral quickness to stay in front of his own shadow. On Oct. 29, he’ll be asked to stay in front of a five-time World Champion. Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers, will look to his bench early and often with Jamal Crawford and rookie Reggie Bullock as his only options.
On Oct 31., the Clippers host the Golden State Warriors and their young guards, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Like Redick, Thompson too is a prime-time shooter with unlimited range. He’s also shackled with a pedestrian first and second step by league standards. But at 6-foot-7, Thompson has a significant size advantage over Redick and a lightening quick release which more than compensates for his dormant foot speed. The Warriors will use screens with Curry and Thompson to lure Redick into an isolation with Curry, which has to be illegal in most states. Curry’s ball-handling skills and quickness allows him unlimited floor access. He’s a great finisher at the rim, and the best shooter in the game.
The Clippers front office is nearly maxed out after their offseason spending frenzy. Rivers will have to be creative with cross matches and substitutions to mask their glaring deficiency at the shooting guard position on defense. He has a rookie in Bullock that has the size and quickness to keep opposing teams honest, but as I’ve stated, he is a rookie. His biggest assignment should be on the bench as close to a clip board as possible, but it looks like Bullock may have to leave the nest sooner than expected.
In short, the Clippers are have a weak spot at the two-guard position, something they can’t do anything about right now, and it’ll hurt their team this season.
ChristopherBrown is a NBA writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook