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Chris Paul says Clippers will go as far as Griffin takes them

Aug 6, 2013, 12:11 PM EST

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul AP

The Los Angeles Clippers got better this summer — they needed shooting and got it with the additions of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. Those two will space the floor when Chris Paul drives the lane, they will give defenders something to think about as Blake Griffin makes a cut to the rim. Plus, both additions are solid team defenders.

The Clippers are potential contenders.

Paul thinks Griffin is the key, he told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne.

“Blake is one of those guys, where his age has nothing to do with anything,” Paul said in a wide-ranging interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com this week. “People may say he’s a young guy, but he’s been special in this league, he’s been an All Star. His voice carries a lot of weight and I think our team will definitely go as Blake goes.

“He’s our guy, and he’s good enough to do so.”

There was friction in the Paul/Griffin relationship before, although how much of that is tied to former coach Vinny Del Negro (who sided with Paul constantly in an effort to keep his job) is up for debate. With Doc Rivers in charge the coach will not be the source of friction.

Paul and Griffin have spent a lot of time together this summer — they were both part of the Jordan Brand tour through Asia. With CP3’s new max contract, he and Griffin are now the locked together cornerstones of the franchise. They will win or lose together for years.

Griffin has become a more efficient shooter each season as he worked on his game — his handles have improved allowing him to attack and get to the rim more. And he should do that — when you finish like Griffin you shouldn’t settle for midrange shots, you should get to the rim every chance you get. Every coach would take a dunk over a midrange jumper every time down. That said, Griffin shot 72 percent last season in the restricted area, 41 percent in the rest of the paint and 35 percent in the midrange (he only took 28 threes, and that’s probably too many). He’s improved from the left side midrange (he shot 39.1 percent from zones closer to the baseline on the left side) but he needs to be more consistent.

To me though Griffin isn’t the real key for the Clippers, neither is the offense. They will be a top three NBA offense next season. They will go as far as their defense takes them — Doc Rivers is going to bring in a more consistent system, but it comes back to DeAndre Jordan. Can he be a defensive force like they need? Even if he is, can he hit enough free throws to stay on the court at the end of games when they will need his defense and energy?

Chris Paul is a guy who wants to win, who wants to play deep into the playoffs, and he’s hungry for it. Part of that is tied to Griffin, part to the rest of the Clippers.

  1. woodson312 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    guess they aint going far then.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      @woodson
      LMAO!!!!

    • ruggedry - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Thats what everyone said the last 2 years but 56 win season with no defense ill take that allday especially with young inexperienced kid putting it on his back is not bad at all but i think the funny thing is every year hes gets better noq with a coach who can get him on his DFENSE AN SHOTS he will be up there with the best i mean hes 24 now LBJ didnt win a title bye his self an he has been in the league now little over 10 years an only 2 titles i mean give Blake a break bit Like i tell everyone in the League id take Dunk anyday over a shot everyone would

    • ruggedry - Aug 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Best thing about all the people who hate on the super stars crack me up cause they would never be anything but alls people say blake just dunks well lets see everyone in the league knows hes dunking an trys to stop it but cant its pretty funny if everyone could do it like him in the league they would easily be everynight but its not easier to dunk as it is to coward up an shoot the easy way out ill take 20 a night off dunks any day night anytimeaa

  2. kujo37daggs - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    It always seems like every writer forgets/neglects to mention how horrid Griffin’s defense is every offseason until the regular season pops up again and we get that painful reminder. If Griffin is the base of L.A. then L.A. is in trouble. No defense, no deep playoff runs.

    • pauliewalnuts90 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      And free throw shooting, lacking offensive polish, & softness in general. I hear he gives a portion of his salary to Espn for all the hype. Paul and Griffin are the biggest whiners in the league and both have a bizarre propensity to attack opposing players’ genitals.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        You better hide those walnuts.

      • imakcds - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        Everything you said about Griffin is true.

    • ruggedry - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Made playoffs 2 in a row an with the worst coach in the nba didnt no how to get his team to do anything the guys made it there with no Defense an a 56 win season with a 23 year old kid who has not no where near enough experience look LBJ jus barely won his second title an hes been in the league 10 years reason why he won cause the veteran Allen of course cause his Clutch shots if james wouldve have shot that it prob qouldnt have happen but the point is Experience Pays Off everytime Blake has very bright future he has all the bells an whistles

  3. 00maltliquor - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Way to deflect responsibility Mr. Max Contract.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Chris Paul is saying he cannot do any more than he’s doing, but Blake Griffin can. Not sure if that’s really true, but tend to agree with maltliquor even though he could be biased in favor of that other L.A. basketball team.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        One thing about me jimee, I NEVER let my alliance and love for my team get in the way of a critique/comment and cloud my judgement and objectivity. That’s not how I operate.

      • itsthemelman82 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Gotta agree with maltliquor, not a Clippers or Lakers fan but, Derrick Rose took the Bulls to the ECF a couple of years ago w/ relatively no help. I know they have different styles of play but, you can’t be the best in the league at your position and deflect responsibility.

      • aboogy123456 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        The Eastern Conference Finals is not the ultimate goal, they want to win a championship and the bulls are a longshot until they can add some more offensive help. That being said, they went to the ECF because they surrounded Rose with Elite defense. The clippers are far from an elite defensive team.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Rose played pretty well for them, but their strengths were rebounding and defense, and Noah was their best player. Asik was great off the bench, Gibson was pretty good off the bench, and Boozer was serviceable. To say Rose had no help is laughable, and to argue that he wasn’t even their best player is reasonable.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Amen. He holds the Clipper hostage for his coach, and the most money he can possibly get and then he drops this.

      Let’s just say I’m rooting for Cliff, not Chris Paul.

    • kinggw - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Can you imagine the outrage if Lbj said something similar?The pundits would be screaming that he has no heart and will never win with that type of attitude. I don’t necessarily agree, but it’s funny what some guys can get away with.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      @malt
      Pretty much!!

    • zelaya322 - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:29 AM

      Nicely put.

    • zelaya322 - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:29 AM

      Nicely put.

  4. dls612 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Nope!!

  5. imakcds - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    CP3 knows that the Clips need more out of Griffin and I think he’s doing what a good captain should do, try to motivate his teammate(s).
    He’s going to need to do ALOT of motivating, Blake needs to grow up.

  6. nycalldayz - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Fans says Clippers will go as far as Paul takes them. Right?

  7. jerdogthompson - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Love to see the haters come out in droves. Keep on spewing the nonsense as the team being put on the floor this year will be a dominate force on both ends.

    This isn’t VDN’s team last I checked. Doc will have this team defending better you can guarantee. Oh by the way, TWC has opted to move all Laker games to the history channel as the only thing important to the Laker fan base is the past.

    Just hope all the haters have the ability to man up and eat crow when this team finishes top 3 in the league in both offense and defense. Doubt it though.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Hey man, just remember it was Thibideau who was the defense architect of the Celtics run, and it was anchored by KG.

      Last time I checked KG ain’t on that team. Just want you to set your expectations right. Doc got inconsistent effort out of team last year.

      I watched all 87 games of it.

    • caeser12 - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      Haters:
      The term you use when you have absolutely no tangible or relevant point with which to debate criticism.

      Enough with this juvenile term.

  8. iamhoraceknight - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Chris Paul Just Said That The Clippers Won’t Win much in the playoffs.

  9. kb2408 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    CP3 is precisely correct!! Blake can’t become the next D12 if the Clips are to go far. Meaning he came into the league supremely gifted athletically but he never quite develops his game. Right now he’s mostly a lot of flash but not very much substance. The stats look good but can they translate to championships? He can jump over a Kia and dunk but can he get the Clips a bucket late in the 4th quarter of a playoffs game when they absolutely have to have it?
    “Potential has a shelf life”
    Kareem Abdul Jabbar

  10. jonsavoy301 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    The Clippers sorely missed Reggie Evans and his hard nosed mentality last season. Whether or not people like to admit it, Blake Griffin is soft and he needs a goon on the roster to back him up. He is all flash with very little fight.

  11. chiadam - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    That’s how a leader talks.

    Oh, wait…no it isn’t.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      maybe the Clippers should draft Colin Powell to play SG. His leadership would put them over the top……….. you don’t need leaders, you need great players. Paul is a great player, Griffin is merely good, and Paul is saying he can, and must, get better.

      • bougin89 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Couldn’t disagree with you more.

        The teams that contend are teams that have top talent and their best players are also good leaders. Their are different types of leaders but great teams need them.

        The real trick is to get your best players to be your leaders whether it be leading by example, being vocal or both.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        Their best player is also their leader. And their leader is saying Griffin needs to get better. I think this whole leadership stuff is way overblown. There are things way more important to winning, such as scoring efficiency. People claim that Derek Fisher was signed due to veteran leadership, etc. and he’s done nothing but stink it up for the Thunder.

  12. losanginsight - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    CP3 has never made it deep into the Playoffs. He is looking for a flying clown to take the team to the next level? This train wreck will be fun.

  13. aboogy123456 - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Blake Griffin could be the 3rd best player on a championship team but with how he’s being paid, he has to be a legitimate number 2. I think he is a really good team player and he’s one of the best passing bigs in the league, but he has so many deficiencies on both ends of the court and it will be hard to overcome. He needs to watch tape of karl malone and work his butt off so he can master that mid range jumpshot, it’s one of the places that is easier to improve. Deandre Jordan needs to improve fast too, he’s getting paid way too much for what he’s been providing the clips.

  14. aboogy123456 - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Blake Griffin could be the 3rd best player on a championship team but with how he’s being paid, he has to be a legitimate number 2. I think he is a really good team player and he’s one of the best passing bigs in the league, but he has so many deficiencies on both ends of the court and it will be hard to overcome. He needs to watch tape of karl malone and work his hard so he can master that mid range jumpshot, it’s one of the places that is easier to improve.

  15. mickdamill - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I think what CP3 is saying is if Griffin wants to be in the spotlight as “The Man”, he needs to practice what he preaches and step it up. Everyone can see Griffin is a very gifted athlete and has the ability to be better if he applies himself appropriately.

  16. cameltoehoe - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    “as far as Griffin takes them?” Molly, ….you in danger girl!

  17. jcmeyer10 - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    In all honesty, I cannot tell if he is motivating or deflecting criticism.

  18. flickflint - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    They would be better off getting rid of Griffin

  19. sellahh - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    CP3 will never win a ring, not unless he ringchases. You heard it here first.

  20. freehernandez - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Which won’t be very far. Lets not forget they are still the clippers

  21. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    It’s a shame the league wouldn’t allow the Garnett trade to the Clippers. It seems like the only thing this team is missing is a good solid inside defender/rebounder. At this point they are so close to being a championship talent that I’d almost consider trading DeAndre Jordon for Kendrick Perkins. Although I think that sounds crazy at the same time. Perkins doesn’t seem to have much left to offer but DJ just isn’t becoming the guy they thought he would. He is such an awful free throw shooter and so inconsistent that he can’t even crack the rotation in the final five minutes of a close game.

  22. chrisstyles32 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    can’t wait for the clipps to shut all the haters up next season
    and blake will be a great player he has a lot of potential and he is willing to put in the work to be a great player. Within 2 years he will be a beast and totally diffrent player.

    • arrondior - Aug 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      I think people underestimate what Doc Rivers is going to do for that team. That guy knows how to develop players and handle characters.

  23. lhollis74 - Aug 7, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    In a nutshell Paul is saying Blake needs to learn how to gaurd his own position strait up, otherwise he’s just a small forward hanging around the paint hoping to get a lob.

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