Clippers radio broadcaster Brian Sieman answers your questions about the Clippers and the NBA in the September edition of the Clippers.com Mailbag. Submit your question here or use the hashtag #LACMailBag to do so on Twitter.
Note: We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
Melvin Austin (@GhettoLark): The Clippers made great moves by keeping Chris Paul and getting younger and tougher on the wings. My question is regarding the bigs. Do you think this year they will give the ball more to DeAndre [Jordan] and give him the chance to develop into a top center in the league?
I think this is the biggest year in D.J.'s career. I think this will be his best year. However, I'm not sure his stats will necessarily reflect that. DeAndre's worth will be on the defensive side of the ball. His confidence has fluctuated over the last two years, but a new voice will work wonders for him. Doc Rivers has already said that D.J. could be the Defensive Player of the Year this season. It's not improbable that D.J.'s offense could improve, but it's not something that I would use to measure his success this year. If D.J. is on the floor late in close games, to me that is the ultimate sign that D.J. has begun to reach his potential, and that Doc has the ultimate confidence in his defense, despite his troubling FT%.
Tim Oli (@lobcitythug): Do you think the Clippers should purchase an actual Clipper ship and hold an annual “Fan Cruise” with you as captain?
Do I think they should purchase an actual Clipper ship for the sole purpose of having a "Fan Cruise"? Yes and YES!
WILL they purchase a Clipper ship for the sole purpose of having a "Fan Cruise"? Sadly, it's probably not in the cards. Lost in both of our disappointment: I would look awesome in a Captain's Uniform.
Clayton Bowen (@DorkyMcsporky): Will the Clippers be able to improve defensively as a team compared to last year even with the addition of players like Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison?
While Mullens and Jamison haven't been named to any defensive teams, if we know anything about Doc Rivers, it's that his teams get after it on that side of the ball. Last year, the clippers were a top 5 defensive team the first half of the season, and finished in the top 10 by years end. So, the athletes are there to get it done. Now the team needs to commit to doing it for 82+ games. Defense, is the last thing I'm concerned about with this team, and the most exciting thing I'm ready to see develop. I will be shocked if the Clips are not a top 3-5 team in that category.
Clifford Douglas: Is this the best clippers team you've seen? I know we say this every year but this has to be right?
Well, it looks like it has the potential to be. The last (now) three seasons we've thought that that particular team was the best it's ever been, and we were right. But I think at the end of the day, the Clips have to make a lot of noise in the playoffs this year. Being a paper tiger that wins 56 games, but loses in round 1 isn't what the locker room would deem a success.
Jake Bailey (@slop1503): Do you have any sense of the playing time and the roles of Reggie Bullock and Brandon Davies?
I saw both play every Summer League game and felt that Reggie really has a chance to be a very good player in the league. He can shoot, he was the team’s best defender while at North Carolina, and he knows he's not going to come and start right away. He's willing to learn, and I think in a year or two he can be a rotational player that hits big shots.
Brandon Davies is still a mystery to me. He was a power forward in college, but talked about being a "stretch 4" in the NBA. His shot didn't look NBA ready just yet, but he seemed to be willing to put in the work.
Dom Sena: After a game, what do you drink to relax your golden voice?
After a game I'm beat; more from a mental standpoint and a long (but great) day of work. To be honest, my voice is never really tired, just my pea-sized brain.
Tony Rubin: Please tell us a little about your road to becoming an announcer.
When people talk about 'climbing the ladder' in their respective fields of work, I can honestly say I hit every rung on my way to the NBA. Without boring you with all the details, I was lucky to attend a high school that had a student station where I began to 'cut my teeth' so to speak. From there, I went to the University of Kansas where they had one of the premier journalism schools this side of Syracuse. I learned a lot there, most notably, you need to work as hard as you can, and you need to get lucky. I knew I could control my work ethic and subscribed to the old saying "the harder you work, the luckier you get.’
With stops in towns that had a population of less the 5,000 people, minor leagues where I had to live at home with my parents to make it work financially, and minor leagues that shut down in mid-season. But my lucky break came when I was able to join the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. I worked summers in the WNBA, and would fill in occasionally on the NBA side with the Timberwolves, where i would eventually take over the full time position. As luck would have it, my contract expired almost the same day the Clipper radio job come open. It was a no-brainer of a decision for me, and I can't begin to tell you how fortunate I am to work alongside people like Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith just to name a few.
It's a tough business, but like I said if you can get a little lucky, you can find a job you'd love to have for a lifetime.
Frank J (@frankj951): We have 14 players on the roster and under contract, right? That leaves only one spot open and usually the team leaves that spot open for future free agents during the season. So, my question is why the team invites so many players to training camp? Why go through the camp with players you are not going to sign anyways? Aren't those players just wasting their time with the team? They have to be told they aren't going to make the team, right?
One of the reasons there are so many invited to camp is for numbers in practice (5 on 5 with multiple groups), also they don't have to play the starters 40 min in preseason games, etc.
Players who are free agents at camp know what the situation is, but will learn a ton from the experience. Plus, there is always a time or two where a player gets hurt, even if it's only a 3-4 week injury, you can sign a them as a 3rd string player for a short time on a non-guaranteed contract. Coaches/Front offices are always looking for talent, and in a training camp environment you can get a good feel for a player and perhaps their future.