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Griffin “excited” about Clippers, says Lakers good on paper

Sep 17, 2012, 11:21 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two Getty Images

There was a point at the start of the summer, way back in June, when you could picture the Clippers being better than the Lakers this season. The Lakers were what they were, the Clippers had young pieces like Blake Griffin that should be improving.

Then Steve Nash and Dwight Howard happened. And now in Los Angeles once again are an afterthought (at least if you read the papers or listen to sports talk radio).

Blake Griffin, he doesn’t care. He’s pumped about the Clippers — who added Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom — and is not sold on the Lakers, as he told the Oklahoman while back at his alma mater.

Griffin said he’s “very excited” about where the additions have placed the Clippers but added that Howard’s arrival in Los Angeles have overshadowed those and others around the league.

“There’s a lot of great teams and a lot of good talent as well,” Griffin said. “It’s funny because the Heat have managed to somehow fly under the radar this summer and they added Ray Allen. So we can’t forget about all these other teams. We can’t worry about just the Lakers.”

The Lakers are getting all the buzz because that’s what the new teams get, and when it’s a superteam in a major market it is moreso. But Griffin’s point about the West is valid and he also used the common “on paper” comment about the Lakers.

“On paper it looks great,” Griffin said during a recent visit to Norman. “People said the same thing when we got C.P., Chris Paul. But they still got to go out there and play…

“I think there’s a lot of tough teams in the Western Conference. There’s one right here (in Oklahoma City) that the Lakers have to get over,” Griffin said. “The Spurs have been a good team for the past 500 years. And I think we’re preparing for that. So that’s kind of what you expect people to do. You expect them to hand out the trophy in the middle of the summer. So we’re not worried about that. We’re not worried about just the Lakers.”

  1. thestudiokida - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    I’d say the Clippers rank a lot higher with the ‘Good On Paper’ teams than the Lakers. Only question mark for the Lakers is health and Kobe’s willingness to play off the ball.

    The Clippers are very deep this year but they’re banking on Jamal Crawford, Billups & Odom coming back from bad seasons/injuries. Grant Hill was a great pickup. That said, I’d love if they surprised people and beat Lakers in a playoff series.

    • nbascreed - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      If Kobe would just embrace playing off the ball, the Lake Show would be unstoppable. I watched most of Spain’s games in the Olympics and Pau is an awesome post player. He has an array of back to the basket moves, face up moves and can step out with confidence. I really wish this guy was more aggressive in terms of his relationship with Kobe, the coaches and the team. He needs to be a featured part of this offense.

      There really is NO reason this year we need to see Kobe hoisting 25 footers or holding on the wing for 8-10 seconds and then taking a shot. Move the ball inside WHATEVER offense is run and you’ll score. I told my buddies when this trade went down that if Kobe was willing to settle for 20-22 ppg he could definitely get another championship. My concern is that Kobe believes winning this way (reduced role) hurts his legacy vis-a-vis MJ…I say who cares. I watched the ’97 finals over the summer….no one’s touching dudes legacy!

      • thestudiokida - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        You & I think alike. I thought exactly the same thing. Nash is capable of running the #1 offense but only if he’s allowed to dribble around and make plays. And that will be especially easy with all the talent around… but Kobe is so prideful & stubborn that he won’t want to give up the ball.

        Jordan was the same way before Phil Jackson pounded the triangle offense into his head. When it worked Jordan started viewing the game differently. Kobe did the same but Phil is gone. It’s going to be a great season

  2. opinevain - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Yea, the Lakers are good on paper, however, the Lakers beat them 2 out of 3 last year. And the Clips still have del Negro as the head coach.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      …Both teams dramatically revamped their rosters.

      I don’t think last year’s head-to-head record matters much at all.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      And the Lakers still have Mike Brown as their coach.

  3. manchestermiracle - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Two tired old saws in the headline tell you all you need to know about the story. Not worth reading.

  4. mat9844 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    A great team needs a lot of talent, luck and heart. The Clips have a tremendous amount of talent and they need to use that talent to create their own luck, and there’s no denying they have the heart of champions. I think this will be the best season ever for the Clippers and yeah, I think they’re going to suprise a lot of people.

  5. davidly - Sep 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I can still picture the Clippers being better than the Lakers this season. The Lakers have some serious work to do. Sh** ain’t just gonna happen.

    Key factor: the games are 48 minutes.

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