Elgin Baylor = Isiah 2.0

12 08 2008
Maybe LA is NYC West?

Maybe LA is NYC West?

The Los Angeles Clippers recently signed Jason Williams to a one-year contract. 

I must admit that I’m a fan of Williams but I’m not sure about this move.  This signing tells us that Elgin Baylor is more than a little skeptical of Baron Davis’ durability.  Or is he just Isiah 2.0?

With Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman on the roster, no problems will arise from their center position.  I would have used the money spent on Williams to pursue a consistent, dynamic forward to complement the stable, workman-like forces of Camby and Kaman.

The Clippers have an awful lot of players on their roster but let’s focus on the signed guards.  It’s kind of a mess and it seems like they’ll just throw some line-ups against the wall and see what sticks:

Baron Davis, Ricky Davis, Eric Gordon, Jason Hart, Cuttino Mobley and Mike Taylor will join Williams as contracted players.

Taylor will most certainly spend time in the D-League. 

Hart is a solid journeyman who averages 16.6 minutes in his career.  He can push for time and be a solid contributor if an injury hits higher on the depth chart.

It’s Baron Davis’ team, so he’ll start at the point but who will they have at the off guard? 

Cuttino Mobley was the starter last year until an injury hit and Quinton Ross stepped into the limelight.  Ricky Davis is available and can also see time at the small forward position. 

Mike Dunleavy didn’t shy away from playing Thornton as a rookie; he won’t let Eric Gordon rot on the bench.  And on the small chance that the Clippers — gasp — lose early, youth will be served.  It will be interesting to see how Dunleavy juggles the me-first Davis, the proud veteran Mobley and the instant-offense Gordon.

We may see Baron playing off the ball while Williams handles the playmaking responsibilities but I just don’t see how they can squeeze 25+ minutes for Williams. 

If Dan Dickau (15.5 minutes last year), Smush Parker (21.5 minutes) and Quinton Ross (19.8 minutes) return, it will further muddle the guard situation.  Someone’s ego will be bruised.  On the Clippers, that’s as predictable as a Tim Thomas three in transition.

The most important question is this: Is Baron Davis running in the mountains?

Photo credit: Sports Hub

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25 responses

12 08 2008
Travis Outlaw

I see Baron Davis playing a lot for basically the whole game. Jason Hart is the Clippers main back up point guard. The Clippers I think signed Jason Williams for insurance. Jason Williams is done as a player and I except him to barely much for the Clippers similar to Dan Dickau minutes last year. And to occasionally come off the bench and provide a spark once awhile.

I except Dunleavy to start Cuttino Mobley in the beggining of the season because he’s the veteran. But if Dunleavy is smart he’s going to play and start Eric Gordon more. Eric Gordon has a chance to be a star. Ricky Davis won’t have starter minutes on the clippers. He’ll just play a little off the bench I think. Al Thorton will start and play most of the game. And as for Mike Taylor he’s going to be in the D-League for sure or maybe get waived soon. If Dunleavy is smart he’ll play and start Thorton and Gordon immediately instead of waiting because their young.

12 08 2008
mao

I think we can count on Dan Dickau to be gone, and like you said, others will join the ranks of the D-League. But at this point you’ve listed on their team: Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, Tim Thomas, Baron Davis, Al Thornton, Jason Williams, Eric Gordon, Dan Dickau, Smush Parker, Quinton Ross, Ricky Davis, Jason Hart, Cuttino Mobley and Mike Taylor. That’s fourteen right there and you’ve barely got any big men.

Sounds more like they’re turning into the Hawks but for guards instead of slashing combo 2/3/4 size players.

12 08 2008
Travis Outlaw

Dan Dickau, Smush Parker, Quinton Ross,
Dan Dickau is already gone. And I don’t think the Clippers are going to bring back either Smush Parker or Quinton Ross.

12 08 2008
mao

Shows what I know about the Clippers, haha. But that’s still what I’m saying, way too many players that play the same position.

12 08 2008
khandor

Feet,

re: Is Baron Davis running in the mountains?

An all-time “classic” comment, on your part. :-)

(hopefully the rest of your readers catch the reference)

13 08 2008
FeetinthePaint

Haha. Thanks, Khandor.

In other news, Dan Dickau signs with an Italian team. The Italian team proclaims that the signing does not make them envious of any transactions from other Italian clubs.

13 08 2008
mao

Ha, it should make them envious that the best they could do in this case was Dan Dickau. The guy’s been traded eight times in the NBA in eight years!

13 08 2008
Ryan

Clippers look improved, yet they play in the West, still the most balanced conference.

I could see them making a run at .500 but nothing more.

Why sign Davis when you have an up and coming guard in Gordon, a volume shooter to boot. Has Ricky Davis ever been on a winning team?

These random acquisitions made by the Clips usually turn out real bad.

Why sign the top two guards (except Wade) from the worst team in the league last year?

13 08 2008
Trey

Ricky DAvis in LA. That sentence should strike fear in David Stern’s heart.

Anyway, this is why Elton Brand had to leave the Clippers. Elgin is an awful GM. They play in the West so they’ll never do better than possibly getting the 7th seed if they are lucky enough to make playoffs at all. And there team is a bunch of guards who shoot 3s. Not what you want to see if you are a low post scorer and rebounder.

14 08 2008
khandor

The presence of a multi-purpose PG like Baron Davis … the stability of a solid big like Chris Kaman … the interior shot-blocking of Marcus Camby … and the promising growth of a solid young player like Al Thorton … not to mention all the other small part pieces they now have … is going to make this year’s version of the Clippers a gigantic potpourri, which no one in his right mind SHOULD try and predict an outcome for just yet, cause it would be utter MADNESS.

Who the heck can tell right now what on earth the Clips are actually going to look and play like once the 2008-2009 season starts? … with any type of accuracy.

All I know is this.

It SHOULD be a tonne of fun watching/following the progress (or, the lackthereof) for this team, this season … from a distance. :-)

14 08 2008
Dave

I’m looking forward to seeing Eric Gordon playing in the NBA. It’s a great situation for him where he can play next to one of the three best point guards in the league and a player in Baron Davis who does a good job of helping young guards like David Wesley helped him when he entered the league. Eric Gordon is a huge swing factor for this team, if he can perform at a high level they have a good chance of making the playoffs as the 8th seed.

I don’t see Jason Williams playing. He’s the worst guard on their roster. He’s a horrific defensive player, terribly inconsistent to the point he had maybe one decent game in five last season. He’s fallen off the map, much like Damon Stoudamire had in Memphis last season. Williams never recovered from that knee injury.

Jason Hart should be the backup and Mike Taylor should be third string. Jason Hart did good work for the Clippers during his last tour with the team and he’s a reliable/functional backup. Taylor has an incredible energy level, provides defense, pressure defense,and pushes the ball at every opportunity, explosive athlete … he looks sort of like a young Darrell Armstrong on the court. Taylor was a draft pick out of the NBDL, he’s already spent a full year there, it would be wasteful for him to spend another year back there. Taylor is someone to watch long term, he has some potential down the road.

Jason Williams was an unnecessary and wasteful signing.

Another player to watch is Al Thornton. We all know at this point he has some very good potential and could become a 20ppg scorer after he flashed us with some of his potential in the second half of last season. The thing to watch with him is how he gets his baskets …. can he score in the flow of the offense or will it be like last season where he needed an iso to score which stalled the offense and made it difficult for his teammates to help out. That ability to get his own shot and create for himself against tough defenses is great … but he needs to balance it out better and score some of his baskets in ways which easier enable his teammates to be help out. Baron Davis could have a huge effect on his game with his passing and playmaking skills.

Ricky Davis was a good signing. They needed some insurance in the scoring department. Thornton and Gordon are both question marks to how effective they’ll be as scorers, Camby doesn’t score, Cuttino/Thomas don’t provide much …. which leaves Kaman and his 15.7ppg as their next best proven scorer. I’m unsure how good a scorer Kaman is too, his previous season: (1) he was force fed the ball and had many more touches than he’ll have this coming season (2) He was regularly double, sometimes triple teamed, in the low post which hurt how effective he could be. So he might do better with better teammates around him or worse with less touches. Last season was the only year where he scored more than 10 points a game in his five seasons so there’s some question marks there.

So adding a guy like Ricky who clearly can score provides some extra balance. He was available at a good price too. Good signing.

The Clippers didn’t sign Marcus Williams so there’s a good chance they go out and keep Quinton Ross. They currently have no defensive minded wing. Smush is finished there though.

However they really should use the spot on another big man but it doesn’t look like they plan on that. Lot of small ball with both Thornton/Thomas getting time at power forward. Maybe we get a glimpse of Jordan too.

14 08 2008
K-man

Dave:

Great analysis of Thornton. My thoughts, exactly. He’s very similar to the Sixers’ Thaddeus Young. That need for the iso/ability to score on a broken play seems to be more of a symptom of weak coaching in his formative years. But yes, the potential is there and B-Dids can help Thornton establish some patience within their offensive sets and a general trust in his teammates’ passes.

I’m not so sure I agree with you on the Ricky Davis signing. I see what Elgin was trying to do but Ricky becomes redundant if Cuttino can come back 100% from that injury.

I’m with you on Quinton Ross and a need for a defender on the wing. He’s developing nicely in the “modern designated defender” role that I wrote about a few months ago.

I haven’t seen Mike Taylor play but I’m also in agreement with Hart’s skills. Although I don’t know if Dunleavy will favor him over J-Will.

14 08 2008
khandor

The Mike Taylor who I have seen footage of … is too thin (physically) to be an impact player in the NBA.

I have some difficulty seeing Baron Davis and the word ‘patience’ in the same sentence. :-)

If nothing else … it is going to be a tonne of fun watching this team ‘play ball’ this season.

[if only Don Nelson was roaming their sidelines]

14 08 2008
Travis Outlaw

Why did Mike Taylor bother to go to the D-League when he knew he was going to spend the rest of his career there? Everybody hates Ricky Davis but he sure has nice numbers.

14 08 2008
khandor

========================
re: Everybody hates Ricky Davis but he sure has nice numbers.
========================

That, alone, should tell you all you need to know. 8)

14 08 2008
mao

Yeah, like that triple-double he tried for when he rebounded his own miss, haha. He is kind of like Shareef Abdur Rahim, the high scorer on the shite teams.

20 08 2008
Ryan

This team reminds me of a circus.

And circuses suck.

But maybe they should sign Anquan Boldin, he wants out of Zona.

BTW don’t forget about Paul Davis, he’s 6’10.

5 09 2008
Kiya

Don’t underestimate Mike Taylor, He has mad potential and drive.

5 09 2008
mao

I’ve never even heard of Mike Taylor.

5 09 2008
mao

I’ve never even heard of Mike Taylor.

5 09 2008
khandor

Not a great clip …

but you can tell that Mike is (i) quite athletic and (ii) not blessed with the type of thicker physique that customarily withstands the rigours of the NBA.

Can he make it long term in the League?

Yes he can.

Will he?

Unless he is also ‘Kevin Porter-quick’ … probably not.

7 09 2008
mao

That gave me no picture at all of his abilities. Any random tall black guy on the playground can do a great dunk.

And who is Kevin Porter?

8 09 2008
Travis Outlaw

Kevin Porter (born April 17, 1950, in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American professional basketball player.

A 6’0″ point guard from Saint Francis University, Porter played 10 seasons (1972–1981; 1982–1983) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, the Detroit Pistons, and the New Jersey Nets. Porter was one of the most talented passers in league history, leading the league in both assists per game and total assists four times during his career (1975, 1978, 1979, and 1981). At one point, Porter held the record for most assists in a game, with 29. (Scott Skiles broke the record when he tallied 30 assists on December 30, 1990.)

Porter was also a key member of the 1975 Bullets team which reached the NBA Finals before losing to the Golden State Warriors. When he retired in 1983, he had accumulated 5,314 career assists and 7,645 career points.

Following his retirement from the NBA, Porter reinforced the Toyota Super Corollas Basketball Team in the Philippine Basketball Association and played for one conference.

8 09 2008
khandor

mao,

That, right there … ^^^ … is/was Kevin Porter who, at one time, was as quick as any PG in the NBA. :-)

re: Mike Taylor’s physique … think in terms of Stacey Augmon, but a lot thinner.

In general … skinny guys … e.g. like Louis Orr (back-in-the-day) or Rod Benson (at-present) … DO NOT even MAKE IT ONTO an NBA roster today.

8 09 2008
mao

Ah, Louis Orr, that’s my uncle. Not really, but we share the last name, haha.

I remember Stacey Augmon in college and for a few years with the Hawks. He was very well known. I can’t say Mike Taylor comes anywhere close to that.

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