Doc on team chemistry: “It’s coming along. It’s early. I don’t know if you can have a chemistry test until you go through adversity.”
— Eric Patten (@EricPatten) October 16, 2013
The quote says it all.
Another sign of a mature coach putting things into perspective. While the preseason and training camp do pay off in the regular season (camaraderie, chemistry, and execution), it should never be a big issue unless a regular lineup sees minutes or an injury happens during games.
It is simply too early to tell what will happen in Clipperland without an official game on the NBA schedule. What was pulled from the latest preseason game from the Los Angeles Clippers was a new “small ball” lineup.
Point guard: Chris “CP3” Paul
Shooting guard: Willie Green
Small forward: Jamal Crawford
Power forward: Jared Dudley
Center: DeAndre Jordan
The lineup wouldn’t be the starting five come season opener, but it does bring up another fold in the Clipper arsenal of rotations. First, small ball would be a return to a very fast-paced motion offense that coach Doc Rivers wants to employ. Second, Jamal Crawford’s versatility will put opposing forwards’ defense to the test. And third, this is a Jordan lineup. The emphasis will be on the big man to make plays as Green and Dudley are smaller offensive options. Also, Green is in a lineup!
The small ball lineup would normally include someone like Blake Griffin, but he’s currently still on the bend from his latest injury. It’s hopeful thinking that if this lineup does show up in games, Jordan is the ideal candidate as the center instead of Griffin. Remember, both Jordan and Griffin are great athletes and can make plays most men their size simply cannot do.
The two most important things to take from this lineup are simply the reemphasis of Jordan in more offensive sets. As this lineup is quick, small, and motion-base, it is a clear sign that Jordan’s part of the complete basketball plan instead of the “bench Jordan in the fourth quarter” one. And second, it showcases the versatility of the Clippers this year.
Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports
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