Despite the Los Angeles Clippers not getting past the second round since the forming of their big three (Jordan, Paul, and Griffin), Coach Doc Rivers still has faith in his team. Besides a few 50 win seasons, this team has not lived up to their expectations, considering the amount of talent they have. Now that their down 0-1 to the Utah Jazz, questions about the off-season have surfaced around this organization.
With Chris Paul, JJ Redick, and Blake Griffin all becoming free agents this summer, should the Clippers spend the money to resign them, or should they move on from their core group of guys? Coach Rivers believes this team is still in the hunt to chase a championship.
During an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, Coach Rivers explains himself on why this team should stay together.
“Here’s my argument. Let’s say we don’t win this year — which I think we will, (but) let’s say we don’t. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they’re really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?”
“I always use Utah as a great (example). Thank God Karl Malone and (John) Stockton didn’t listen to people, you know what I mean? They fell (in the playoffs), and kept trying and kept trying. And finally, late in their careers, they finally broke through to the Finals. They didn’t win it (all). But you know, that’s the pursuit. I just think it’s so easy to (say), ‘Hey, they should break up,’ from the outside. And I think that’s such an easy opinion.”
Coach Rivers makes a great point. The easy option would be to move on and find other guys to build around. But this team will solely be judged on playoff success, and as of right now it’s not looking good for the Clippers. Even if they somehow get past the Utah Jazz, do they really have a shot at beating the Spurs or Golden State (who’s beaten them 10 consecutive times)? If the Jazz somehow knock the Clippers out during the first round, it will be difficult to imagine both Paul and Griffin returning to the organization.