2011-12 record: 40-26
Second place, Pacific Division
Lost in conference semifinals to San Antonio
Areas of Strength:
A young, talented foundation. The Clippers have an enviable nucleus in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, plus DeAndre Jordan with the potential to make a big impact on defense. The success in a tough setting this season -- constant roster movement, injuries, no training camp with a new team -- should only be the beginning.
With much of the bench either, shall we say, very experienced or potential free agents, depth is a problem, just as it was before last season. And, on a team with Paul and Griffin as the obvious offensive threats, there is no such thing as too many shooters to keep defenses honest.
Two Stats That Matter:
29 -- Finish in the league in free-throw percentage while going 7-6 in games decided by three points or less. It was the possible difference in missing the Pacific Division title.
14 -- Games together for the preferred starting lineup of Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Griffin and Jordan.
The Way To Go:
There is little chance of finding real help at No. 53, so the Clippers will have to get big results through free agency or trades. They have to get a repeat of last season, in other words, to keep the bench in good shape.
2011-12 Team Stats:
Offensive: 105.2 (4th)
Defensive: 102.9 (18th)
G: Eric Bledsoe
G: Travis Leslie
G: Chris Paul
F: Caron Butler
F: Ryan Gomes
F: Blake Griffin
F: Trey Thompkins
C: DeAndre Jordan
G: Chauncey Billups (unrestricted)
F: Reggie Evans (unrestricted)
G: Randy Foye (unrestricted)
F: Kenyon Martin (unrestricted)
F: Bobby Simmons (unrestricted)
G: Mo Williams (unrestricted, player option)
G: Nick Young (unrestricted)
Recent Draft History
2011: Trey Thompkins (37), Travis Leslie (47)
2010: Al-Farouq Aminu (8), Willie Warren (54)
2009: Blake Griffin (1)
2008: Eric Gordon (7), DeAndre Jordan (35)
2007: Al Thornton (14), Jared Jordan (45)
-- Scott Howard-Cooper