Per Bill Simmons, Vinny Del Negro is on “super-thin, could-go-any-day ice.” While Simmons is not generally known for getting “scoops,” he was the first person to break the CP3 trade news, which suggests he has a decent source inside the Clippers organization.
Here’s an interesting dilemma for Clippers fans: do we root for the Clips to lose to the Hornets tomorrow night? A third consecutive loss – to a western conference bottom feeder, at that – would put us in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs, but would also likely be the nail in VDN’s coffin. But will Dean Demopoulos or Marc Iavaroni really be capable of righting the Clippers’ ship? If either of them had any idea how to fix LAC’s porous defense or stagnant offense, I’m sure VDN would have been all ears for the past few weeks. On the other hand, they can’t possibly be worse than VDN. And to the extent that the Clippers’ woes are a function of their lack of energy, inserting a new coach – no matter who it is – could at least provide a temporary boost.
If I were in charge, I would promote Chauncey Billups to head coach.
In a nutshell:
I’m taking a break. From this blog and the Clippers. Following this club lately has not been good for my mental health. I’m going to go do something fun on Friday night instead of watching this god-forsaken team. They are playing lazy, stupid basketball. I get the sense that something is seriously off with the team’s chemistry – nobody seems to care whether they win or lose. What an unbelievably pathetic showing tonight.
The silver lining: every gut-wrenching loss brings us one game closer to the end of the Vinny Del Negro era. There’s virtually no chance he’ll be fired mid-season, but if he keeps this up, he sure as hell won’t be back next year. Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, or Nate McMillan will turn this team into the contender that it ought to be.
This Clipper team is pretty predictable. It’s a given that they’ll play crappy defense, surrendering about 105 points per 100 possessions. They’ll also shoot a ton of threes. On the year, 27.4% of their field goal attempts have been three-pointers; that’s the fourth-highest rate in the league. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this team lives or dies with the three-ball. Tonight, they hit 12-23 and won handily. When the likes of Mo, Caron, and Foye are hitting threes (they were a combined 8-16 tonight), the Clips are a great offensive team. Throw in a 3-4 night from Bobby Simmons, and they’re nearly unbeatable. But it’s not as if they played any differently than they did in their humiliating loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. They played the same clueless defense and the same perimeter-oriented offense. They just made their shots tonight.
Recap of the year right there.