The Los Angeles Clippers have stayed very active during the offseason. They have brought in a variety of different players, and they have arguably strengthened a squad that was already pretty deep. The latest addition is Willie Green, who previously played with the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers. Green is a decent scorer, but where does he fit with this team?
Who is the starter?
It is hard to determine which player will be the starting shooting guard on this team. Chauncey Billups wants to be back for the opener, but he might not be able to go physically. Newly acquired Jamal Crawford has become a quality backup at this point of his career, as has Green. Therefore, who is going to play the bulk of the minutes? Will that be a position that is filled by committee? You can certainly do that, but it will be interesting to see how that impacts flow.
I do like the general strategy of the Clippers. They have added a lot of pieces that can contribute to the overall team. There is a lot of depth, particularly in the backcourt. Benches can tend to shorten when you get to the playoffs, but during the long season you need players that can come in and keep the team going when the starters are on the bench. Still, I am a bit concerned that players will not get into enough of a rhythm or have a clear handle on their particular role.
Balancing the rotation
This is where Vinny Del Negro is going to get tested as a coach. He has a lot of talent on this team, but there is only one ball and there are only so many minutes. Del Negro has to manage fatigue, but he also has to manage egos and expectations. I would venture to guess that many players believe that they can still start, which means that sitting on the bench may not be well received. Green is part of the puzzle, but hopefully he will accept where he is placed.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he waits patiently for the Sonics to return to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he roots for the Clippers to become a winning franchise, and perhaps even the most popular team in their own city. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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