NBA Betting: Are The Clippers Most Improved Team in 2015 Off season?

Posted by Daniel Strum on Monday,August 10, 2015 12:21, EST in

The Los Angeles Clippers certainly had the most drama of any of the NBA teams in the postseason, as they had to dispatch a crew that included Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce and others to barricade DeAndre Jordan inside his Houston home until he signed a contract extension. Some might look at this as a mere re-signing of a player, but NBA Betting fans could definitely argue that the Clippers did more for themselves this off season than any other team in the NBA.

DeAndre Jordan will always be the #3 player in Los Angeles, at least as long as Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are in town. However, Jordan is also one of the dominant centers in the game, and without that defense and rebounding in the middle, the Clippers would not have made it as far as they did in the 2015 playoffs. So keeping Jordan is a huge step for this team.

NBA Betting: Are The Clippers Most Improved Team in 2015 Off season?

 


 

One part of the Clippers’ wooing of Jordan had to do with convincing him that he was a part of a family. One reason why Jordan initially agreed to go to Dallas was that he didn’t think Chris Paul liked him all that much. Paul interrupted a vacation to jet to Houston and talk Jordan into coming back to southern California for another stint. The team also spent a lot of time stroking Jordan’s ego so that he would feel like he was a more important part of what L.A. was accomplishing.

If this emotional massaging is enough for Jordan, then he should return to lead the NBA in rebounding once again. Last year, he led the league with an average of 15.0 boards per night – his strength is timing his jump so that he gets the ball at the top of its flight off the rim or backboard. Without all those boards, there wouldn’t nearly be as much distribution for Paul to do.

In addition to re-signing Jordan, the Clippers also brought in Lance Stephenson from the Charlotte Hornets, and Stephenson really needs to have a fresh start. In 2013-14, Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 boards and 4.6 assists per game, but he fell off the table in 2014-2015. The Clippers won’t need him to match those big numbers, but they will need his intense court presence from two years ago.

Bringing in Branden Dawson may prove to be a big addition as well. He was one of the brightest stars in the NBA Summer League, and this Michigan State alum could be one of the major role contributors in the regular season. He can play primo defense and has a lot of athleticism. His work ethic should push him into the playing rotation this year.

Given the fact that the Clippers have put more talent around Chris Paul, this could also be a year when he can compete for the league’s Most Valuable Player title – and he can help the Clippers get further into the playoffs. This could be a team that blows through San Antonio and Golden State to reach the NBA Finals – or they could roll out in the first or second round again. With their talent, the former is more likely.

Sources:
NYtimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/sports/basketball/clippers-deandre-jordan-talks-of-his-reversal.html
Washingtonpost.com: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2015/07/27/clippers-now-have-two-of-the-nbas-best-playmakers-in-josh-smith-and-chris-paul/