Can the LA Clippers Beat NBA Lines, Win Championship with Paul Pierce?

Posted by Alex Murphy on Saturday,August 8, 2015 1:07, EST in

In one of the recent interviews the LA Clippers had, as they introduced and re-introduced their new signings and re-signings, Paul Pierce gave an explanation why he moved to the Los Angeles. In his interview, The Truth blatantly explained that his time in the NBA was quickly running out and he wanted an opportunity to win the championship once more, with the Clippers being the team that offers him the best shot at doing so. With his vast skills and experience, he felt he was the missing piece for the Clippers to win it all in this year’s NBA lines. Simply said, Pierce’s biggest ambition is to win the championship this coming season, and nothing less than that will be satisfactory to him.

Can the LA Clippers Beat NBA Lines, Win Championship with Paul Pierce?

 


 

Are the Clippers in the Right Train to the 2016 NBA Championship?

Even though they did not win the championship, the Clippers had a decent record, finishing the season 56-26, one game fewer than the previous season. The record was not good enough to earn them the divisional title (which was won by Golden State, the eventual National Champs), but it was good enough to earn them a third spot in the NBA playoffs, placing them above a handful of divisional champs.

At the 2014-15 NBA playoffs, they took down the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, but saw their season end when they surrendered a 3-1 best-of-seven series lead to Houston Rockets, who eliminated Los Angeles in Game 7 of Western Conference Semifinals.

This season, their ambition is to make it further than the semifinals and possibly win the NBA championship, something that explains their offseason moves, including the signing of Pierce and Josh Smit, along with the dramatic re-signing of DeAndre Jordan, among other key transactions. But the question that lingers on everyone’s mind is whether or not Pierce will be the player they need to do better than they did in the 2014 season.

Been There, Done That…

Very few can match Pierce’s record after being in the league for 17 years. This is a great player who boasts a number of team titles and personal accolades collected along the way, including:

• NBA Finals MVP (2008)
• 10× NBA All-Star (2002–2006, 2008–2012)
• All-NBA Second Team (2009)
• 3× All-NBA Third Team (2002–2003, 2008)
• NBA All-Rookie First Team (1999)
• NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (2010)
• Consensus first-team All-American (1998)
• McDonald’s All-American (1998)

Probably his best, and most noteworthy, achievement of all in this context is the NBA champion medal in 2008, where he helped the Celtics to secure a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, earning the NBA Finals MVP award in the process. This underscores his pedigree to help the Clippers to win a similar medal this season.

Pierce, the Wizard in Washington

Last season, the 37-year-old small power forward plied his trade with the Washington Wizards, where he broke a number of records and affirmed his place among the all times greats. For instance, he climbed up to the top 15 NBA career scoring list, passing Reggie Miller, Jerry West and Alex English along the way. He also climbed up to fourth place in career three-pointers, skipping Jason Kidd.

And at the playoffs, his veteran shooting game was in full swing, constantly being a breath of fresh air for Washington’s offense. Memorable of them was his buzzer-beating shot against Atlanta, which saw him shake off three defenders and nail a difficult shot that gave the Wizards a 103-101 in Game 3 against the Hawks. Of course, there was also the buzzer-beater in Game 6 against Atlanta in the same series that was contentiously waved off.

On the flipside, he Oklahoma-born forward, who’s been a sharpshooter most of his life, finished the regular season averaging 11.9 points per game, setting himself a new career low. This could be an indication that his best days may be behind him, so fans must be careful about having high expectations on him in 2015.

Which way for the Clippers in 2015?

The Clippers have great coach in Doc Rivers, whom Pierce played under for nine seasons while with the Celtics, and assistant coach Sam Cassell, who is Pierce’s former team mate at Celtics. These two people know Pierce very well and have the ability to bring the best out of him. The fact that has been a great player in the NBA should thus make work easier for his coaches. Not to mention, he was good in college as well, that Kansas retired the No. 34 t-shirt in his honor. Even so, Clippers (led by the trio Jordan, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin) will need to continue with their leadership in the team, using Pierce on a limited but necessary role, rather than entrusting him with pretty much everything on the team.

Its true Pierce brings another voice into both the locker room and on the court, given his experience and achievements, but to get the best out of him, the work load should be divided amongst all players, including late-June addition Lance Stephenson, who is better defensively compared to Pierce. By doing so, the Clippers (who were very good last year) could be much better in 2015, making it very possible to win the NBA Championship. The pieces are there, and so is the motivation. All that remains is for the Clippers to reach out to the best of their abilities and grab the success that they duly deserve, and are well-capable of achieving!

Sources
NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/playerfile/paul_pierce/)
ESPN.com (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/transactions/_/name/lac/los-angeles-clippers)