Los Angeles Clippers - 2008 Team Preview - Betting Odds
by Jason of Predictem.com
2007 Record: 23-59 (33-49-0 ATS)
Head Coach: Mike Dunleavy
Assistant Coach’s: Jim Eyen, Kim Hughes, Rory White, Neal Meyer, and Fred Vinson
Home Court: Staples Center
Projected Starting Lineup:
Center: Chris Kaman
Forward: Al Thornton
Forward: Marcus Camby
Guard: Cuttino Mobley
Guard: Baron Davis
Current NBA Championship Odds: 60-1
Last season in Tinseltown, at least for the Clippers, was one to forget, as they only won 23 games and missed the playoffs by a huge margin. At least the Clippers won their first 4 games last season. Star F Elton Brand and promising G Shawn Livingston,were lost for the year due to injuries After that the other key players of Chris Kaman, Corey Maggette, Tim Thomas, and Sam Cassell all missed significant time. The 2nd half they tumbled and were one of the worst teams in the league, yet again.
Who’s In/Who’s Out
The Clippers are a whole new team this season and their biggest pickups were HUGE in bringing in Baron Davis and Marcus Camby. The Clippers also added free agent F-G Ricky Davis, drafted G Eric Gordon, G Mike Taylor, and C DeAndre Jordan, and traded for G Jason Hart. The Clippers lost F Elton Brand, G Brevin Knight, G Corey Maggette Free, G Smush Parker, F Ruben Patterson, F Josh Powell, G-F Quinton Ross, and G Shaun Livingston.
Last year the Clippers ranked 29th in scoring (93.8 ppg) and 29th in FG% (43.8%). That will all change this season with the addition of Baron Davis (21.8 ppg). Davis is one of the better shooters in the league and he can also take the rock to the hole. Free agent Ricky Davis can flat out score and even C Chris Kaman, you know the American or German Olympic player, can fill it up close to the hoop. Shooting G Mobley is good for around 12 ppg and small forward Thornton had a good rookie year (11.7 ppg). The Clip joint will not be one of the top scoring teams, but they won’t rank as bad as last year.
The Clippers D will be remarkably better with the addition of Camby. He is one of, if not THE, the best shot blockers in the league and he is a great rebounder (13.1 rpg). Kaman is a monster on the boards (12.7 rpg) and Thornton is a decent rebounder, who should get better. Davis is also a good rebounder for a guard. The Clippers ranked 28th in rebounding differential (-3.43) and 24th in opponents FG% (46.7%), but with their new additions they will go from one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best.
The biggest strength of the Clippers will be their rebounding. Their backcourt is also a strength, as Davis is one of the best scoring PG’s in the league. Kaman is becoming one of the better centers in the league, and he had a monster 1st half of the season before getting injured.
The Wing play of the Clippers and their health are concerns. Ricky Davis, Thornton, Gordon, and Mobley are decent, but none are good at D and they are streaky. If 2 of those guys can step up and compliment Davis at the point and take the pressure off him by burying shots, the Clips may surprise some teams, but that that is a big if. The Clippers also have to stay healthy this year. Baron Davis has a history of injuries and Kaman has to stay on the court for most of the season. If Davis or Kaman misses significant time they will be looking at another losing record.
Betting Odds and Projections
Oh man, what could have been. If only the Clippers could have re-signed Elton Brand they would have a legit chance at the title with a solid trio of Kaman, Davis, and Brand. Oh well, always drama in La La land. Bookies have the Clippers at 60-1 to in the title. The Clippers look like a playoff team, if everything comes together for them, but winning the title coming form the stacked Western Conference simply will not happen. Hell, they’re the Clippers, something has to go wrong. Most books have them at +/-31.5 wins. That is a bet to friggin’ JUMP on, as the Clippers won 23 games last year with mostly D-league players. They should improve on last year’s win total easily. Yeah, I know it’s the Clippers, but they are promising and have a legit lineup. Can they battle for a playoff spot? Sure, but they are not good enough to get out from the shadow of that “other” team from L.A.