Just Get Them On The Court?

by Breene Murphy (Bio Ľ), Clippers Team Writer - May 28, 2010

More Draft Coverage

  • Video of the 2010 Draft Lottery Ľ

  • Clippers Draft History Ľ

  • Ask Eric Pincus Ľ

  • Danny Savitzky: Draft Prospects Ľ

  • For those that have been following the Clips the last few years, you might notice that a familiar refrain of ďIf only everyone was healthyĒ pops up year after year. Whether itís Blake or Kaman or Baron or Camby before he left or whomever, there was always a sense that the team was disjoint. If only they had their working parts together, they could seriously do something.

    Then there would usually be a point in the season where everyone was relatively healthy, only the win-loss column was too daunting and the team wasnít clicking because they hadnít been playing together the whole season. So this offseason, with around 20 million to spend, the Clippers need to sign guys that are durable.

    The Clippers need to get some durable players, according to Breene Murphy.

    In a more perfect world, a team would sign about 8-10 players that would play all 82 games per year, practice every day together, know their positions and things would work smoothly. Obviously, playing all 82 games doesnít happen. But why not try and get guys that are as close to that as possible. Just because itís an unattainable goal doesnít mean itís a bad measure. And so what if itís luck or whatever that forces these guys to miss games, or if they arenít good enough to warrant 82 games played a year (this shows their lack of value donít you think?).

    The Clippers have 5 guys under contract for 2010-2011: Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Kaman. The most durable is Eric Gordon, who after two seasons averages 70 games a year. Not a great number. That means heís missing 15 percent of the games where the Clips have play someone that isnít as good at his position. And heís the best-case scenario. Baron averages 68 (average pulled up quite a bit by his first seasons in the league), Kaman averages almost 66 games, DeAndre averages 61.5 games (though that should improve now that heís older and more talented) and Blake averages 0 games a year (obviously thatís going to change significantly).

    But if you look at the playoffs, youíll see that the teams left, the Celtics, Magic, Suns and Lakers revolve around teams that have much more durable stars. KG, Allen, Pierce and Rondo average 75, 73, 74 and 79 games a year. Dwight Howard, Rashard and Vince Carter average 81.5, 70.75 and 71 games a year. Kobe, Pau and Fisher average 73, 73 and 72 games per year. Nash, Richardson and Amare average 72.5, 74.5 and 64.5 games a year (Amare had one year that really brought down his average, not unlike Blake).

    All these teams are molded around successful, relatively durable cores. Which is what the Clippers should do moving forward in an attempt to not only get the best value for their money, but to create the best chemistry on the team.

    Some guys on the free agent market that might fit that are Lebron (78 games a year) and Joe Johnson (77.67 games a year). Granted it seems like it will be a dogfight to land either of these two players, but even when it comes to the secondary players, who are just as important, the team needs to fill out with healthy players. The Clips should try and implement the chemistry by whatever means possible so that in future Mays and Junes, youíll see the Red and Blues.

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    For more on the Clippers and the draft: | Andy Roeser and Neil Olshey's Post-Lottery Conference Call Ľ| Video of the 2010 Draft Lottery Ľ | Ask Eric Pincus Ľ | Danny Savitzky Ľ | Clippers Draft History Ľ