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Clippers’ youngsters continue to burn
By Tamara Latta (Sports Writer)
Published December 2, 2010

Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been dunking on everybody lately, but without veteran leadership, the Clippers continue to come up on the losing end. Photo by Craig Bennit

By Tamara Latta
Sentinel Sports Writer

The Clippers continue to struggle playing 48 minutes of basketball.  Will someone please let them know that there are four quarters in the NBA?

“We have to find a way to play 48 minutes of basketball,” Blake Griffin said.

Committing to a youth movement can be one of the reasons the Clippers haven’t gotten the hang of basketball, just yet. They have more than five players on their roster that was born in 1988 or later.

This is not the start that was predicted going into the season, but without any veteran leadership on the floor, the beginners are trying to lead the way with no guidance. With Chris Kaman, Baron Davis and Randy Foye out due to injuries, this season remains uncertain.

It’s been a massacre for the juveniles who continue to try and lead their team, minus the veteran players.  They are flashy and sometimes fun to watch, at least for the first 24 minutes of the game.

Second half woes continue to taint the Clippers. Every team that they play seems to come out in the 3rd quarter with adjustments, but the Clippers can never find a way to adjust to their agenda.

The confidence is there but the heartbeat is missing.  They have got to figure out a way to get motivated and turn the energy level up.  Griffin is a player that can propel his team very far, but he can’t do it alone, he needs assistance from his teammates.

This is a learning experience for the young core. They have the potential for the future, but they don’t have time to wait on the years to come, they need a master plan now.

Looking back at the Clippers roster they’ve had some promising teams the last 5-6 years. A great playoff team that was hit with injuries caused them to miss the playoffs in 2007. Now with Eric Bledsoe, Eric Gordon, Blake, Davis, and Kaman on the roster, playoff hopes are in the air again. If Griffin can stay healthy and continue to produce 20/10 a night, those chances may be favorable.

“We still have time to pull things back together, don’t count us out,“ Gordon said. “We have the talent and potential, we just have to try and figure this thing out”.

After losing 13 of their first 15 games, Griffin finally realized that his team is playing lousy basketball.

“It’ really stinks to keep losing, but we have to keep going out there and play hardball” said Griffin.

Gordon and Griffin’s chemistry is becoming more attractive every game.  Both players are playing superb basketball right now, but when you’re not winning stats becomes irrelevant and the effort is wasted.

When Kaman gets inserted back into the line-up, it may affect the way Gordon and Griffin are playing ball. But Gordon thinks it will benefit the team.

“He will actually help us on a lot of pick and roll opportunities,” Gordon said. “We’ll be just fine upon his return”.


Categories: Basketball

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