What Clippers' new-ish starting five will (likely) look like
With Paul Pierce joining likely DeAndre Jordan (whew!), Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and JJ Redick in the Clippers' starting five, here's a breakdown of a group hungry to erase the memories of their tough playoff exit in 2014-15.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
Point guard: Chris Paul
CP3, the unquestioned leader and quarterback of the Clippers, responsible for the biggest shot in franchise history. Paul played in all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career last season, averaging 19 points and 10 assists per game. Look for CP3 to get newly-signed DeAndre Jordan more involved in the offense, which should also get a boost from the skills of new addition Paul Pierce.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Shooting guard: JJ Redick
Redick, who got involved in the Emoji fun during DeAndre Jordan's free-agency fun, can still do what he does really well ... shoot the ball. He sank a NBA career-best 200 3-pointers last season, up from 73 from 2013-14. With Paul Pierce another threat from behind the arc, ordan's presence in the middle, and, of course, Blake Griffin and CP3 other options, for Redick to still prime looks at the basket ... especially coming off picks.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsCary Edmondson
Small forward: Paul Pierce
With the addition of Paul Pierce to the roster, the Clippers now have a proven winner, someone who's been to the NBA Finals and won. Entering his 18th season in the NBA, Pierce still can contribute on the scoreboard. In 73 regular-season games with the Wizards in 2015, Pierce averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting 39 percent from three-point range The crafty veteran was more efficient in the postseason, where he appeared in 10 games, averaging 14.6 points and shooting 52.3 percent from long range.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Power foward: Blake Griffin
If Chris Paul's the quarterback of the Clippers, Grffin's the star receiver. As he's become one of the best players in the NBA, Griffin has also won elsewhere, like social media, commercials and graphic design. A trio of triple-doubles during the Clippers' postseason run demonstrated, among other things, Blake's keen passing (career-high 354 assists last season) and pure power while flying through the lane. This season, expect an even better Griffin (if that's even possible) leading the charge and catching the touchdowns.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Center: DeAndre Jordan
In one of the biggest (and certainly, the strangest/most entertaining) stories of the free-agency period was Jordan and his decision to re-sign with the Clippers, despite giving the Mavericks a verbal commitment. A force in the middle, especially on defense (183 blocks in 2014-15) and rebounding (career-best 15 per game average), DJ will see his role in the offense expand in the 2015-16 season. Doc Rivers expects Jordan to get heckled, but said it comes with the job. 'The better you are, the more it will happen. That’s part of the game. It’s just sports,' Rivers said recently.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Get
Lance Stephenson will get his shot with the Clippers, and will come off the bench along with fan-favorite Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and Glen 'Big Baby' Davis. The bench received more than their fair share of criticism last season and, if the Clippers want to get past the second-round playoff hump, consistent support from the second ground is almost as important as anything.