Los Angeles Clippers: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Los Angeles Clippers 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 19, 2016
NBA Championship: 35/1 Over/under win total: 54.5 See the Latest Odds
The Los Angeles Clippers embark on a 2016-17 season in an effort to improve on a 53-29 2015-16 season that saw the Clips finish 4th in the West, before dropping 4 straight to the Blazers after winning the first 2 to be eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.
Here is your 2016 Los Angeles Clippers preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Saying Farewell to a legend: Small forward Paul Pierce decided that 2016-17 will be his final go-round in the NBA, making the announcement on September 26th. Pierce, a former 1st round, 10th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in 1998 spent the better part of 15 yards playing in Boston before spending the last 3 seasons in Brooklyn, Washington and now in Los Angeles. 2015-16 saw a significant drop-off for Pierce in terms of production, averaging 6.1 points in 68 games, 38 of those in which Pierce started. During a 20 game stretch to start the season, Pierce went scoreless 5 times, which was 2 more times than his previous 17 seasons combined. One has to wonder how much Pierce has left in the tank, either way, he is sure to be found again in the hall of fame one day.
Breaking Down the Draft: The Clippers had a pair of picks in the 2016 NBA draft, their first selection being UNC power forward Brice Johnson, who was a massive part of the Tar Heels trip to the NCAA championship game. Johnson’s senior season proved to be the most impressive of all his years at North Carolina, which was highlighted by a 39-point, 23-rebound performance against Florida State on January 4th. However Johnson’s pro debut will be delayed as he was ruled out indefinitely due to a herniated disk in his back on October 8th. The other pick, 33rd overall turned out to be Kansas big man Cheick Diallo who was dealt to the Pelicans for the rights to French point guard David Michineau, and the draft rights to Maryland center Diamond Stone who was selected with the 40th pick. Stone averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his lone season with the Terps, highlighted by a 39-point performance of his own against Penn State, setting the University of Maryland freshman record for points in a game.
Outlook: The Clippers have a lot of work to do if they want to make any ground on the Warriors, but they won’t catch them. The Clips will want to finish on a high note for Paul Pierce, and they’ll reach the postseason, but that’s where it will end.
Projected Redord: 48-34