Los Angeles Clippers Face Decision with Vinny Del Negro

Decision Week in ClipperLand for Clippers, Vinny

5/29/12 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Los Angeles Clippers had a spectacular season, one to remember, however, that's exactly what ownership and management do not want or envision: A season to remember. They see this team potentially achieving greatness with the pieces they have in place in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They do not see the 2011-'12 season as an end-all. They see it as a stepping stone to what the future holds. 

Apr. 25, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro reacts on the sidelines during the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 99-93. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIREAt the end of this week, June 1st, the Clippers front office faces the decision of whether or not to pick up the team option on coach Vinny Del Negro.  He led a squad built on the fly into the second round of the playoffs in a condensed regular season schedule with limited practice time. He helped dig the team out of a lull, which saw them drop from 19-9 to 26-21.  They absorbed the contact and followed through, finishing the regular season 40-26. 

The 'decision' apparently lies exclusively within the hands of notoriously stingy owner, Donald Sterling, who is a fan of VDN and saving money.  However, for basketball reasons as well, keeping Del Negro with no long-term commitment beyond next season is not a bad move. 

First of all, it will allow Sterling to feel the financial comfort to sign free agents while his check to the head coach is comparatively minimal. Also, given the fact he had limited to no practice time to find a level of familiarity with his roster with the shortened season, he will be given the chance to prove himself with an entire pre-season as well as a full 82-game schedule next year. Vinny has always been a very good motivator and a solid overall coach, however, his inability to counter opposing coaches with in-game adjustments begins his pitfall. 

He understands that coaching is like playing in a way because there is always room for improvement. As with his team as well. Free throw shooting and big men who can shoot beyond the paint are necessary to a team trying to achieve greatness. The downfalls of the Clippers cannot be placed solely upon the shoulders of Del Negro even though media tends to attribute blame to coaching when they see two stars on the roster. 

The Clippers have some moves to make this offseason as they possess five free agents as well as a coaching decision to make this week. One must assume that Del Negro will be pacing the sidelines holding his cluster of papers that he seems to stare at when he seems dumbfounded and outclassed. He will be given the opportunity to go to training camp, preseason and the postseason once again, however, improvement is necessary if he wants to grow into the coach this team requires to reach that upper echelon. 

Vinny will be back coaching the Clippers for the 2012-'13 season. However, he will be there with no strings attached. If he fails to bring this team to the next level of development, he will soon be cut loose. On the flip side, he has all the wiggle room to make this a long-term commitment if he can grow with the team.
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5/30/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61189 respect

AJ_88 wrote:
There is no 'answer" other than Blake continuing to grow. And three years?! How can that be the measure? Lebron has consistently become a better player in each of his nine seasons. He's improved every year. Just because his stats may be lower, doesnt mean he hasnt become a better player. And Blake regressed in FT % --> but his post moves have developed a bit, and they will only develop more. What he and Deandre Jordan need is a tutor. Like Hakeem, which I've been saying for 2 years. Develop their game and they will be the answer. No need for outside help. A developed frontcourt will cure all. This team needs to be given 2-3 years and it will be in the conference finals with a chance to advance.  
Odom can be a nice bench option to pair with either martin or reggie. The answer is to be healthy as well. 

3 years is my personal allowance. It is what it is. I'm not saying they won't get any better, but most players won't change their style drastically. Lebron was terribly overrated his first 3 years. He is much improved. I like how  much better he has gotten over the years. (I hate his face, btw)

And, I didn't check the stats on Blake, I'm basing this on what I've seen. I didn't know his numbers were down. I figured, they were about the same. He's consistent which is good, and I just don't see him changing much. He'll continue to be great at what he does well, but that won't carry that team. Makes me think of Barkley. Anyway, I see your point about Odom coming off of the bench, I guess. I don't agree, but you are probably correct. But, if you think that there is no answer besides Blake, you are setting yourself up for some years of playoff disappointments. Hell, if it wasn't for Chris Paul, this would've been one of them.

5/30/12   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

There is no 'answer" other than Blake continuing to grow. And three years?! How can that be the measure? Lebron has consistently become a better player in each of his nine seasons. He's improved every year. Just because his stats may be lower, doesnt mean he hasnt become a better player. And Blake regressed in FT % --> but his post moves have developed a bit, and they will only develop more. What he and Deandre Jordan need is a tutor. Like Hakeem, which I've been saying for 2 years. Develop their game and they will be the answer. No need for outside help. A developed frontcourt will cure all. This team needs to be given 2-3 years and it will be in the conference finals with a chance to advance.  
Odom can be a nice bench option to pair with either martin or reggie. The answer is to be healthy as well. 

5/30/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61189 respect

AJ_88 wrote:
They definitely need what is now called a 'stretch-four", someone who can shoot from the outside from the PF position and thus stretch the defense allowing chris paul to go to work. Blake being one-dimensional? I disagree with that. He's coming into his own and is a workaholic --> he will have a much improved game by opening night in the 2012-'13 season. 

Lamar Odom return to Clipperland anyone? Especially when the Lakers dont take him back? Yessir. 

Well, I give a player 3 years and then I think what you see is what you get. So, he may surprise me. We'll see. Is he improving? To me, he appears to be exactly the same. It's not a bad thing, but it won't save the team either. He needs that help... and Odom is not the answer.

5/30/12   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

They definitely need what is now called a 'stretch-four", someone who can shoot from the outside from the PF position and thus stretch the defense allowing chris paul to go to work. Blake being one-dimensional? I disagree with that. He's coming into his own and is a workaholic --> he will have a much improved game by opening night in the 2012-'13 season. 

Lamar Odom return to Clipperland anyone? Especially when the Lakers dont take him back? Yessir. 

5/30/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61189 respect

Coaching won't make as much of a difference. What they need is someone to replace Blake Griffin...well not replace, maybe another PF. Reggie what's his name and Kenyon Martin aren't doing enough offensively to compensate for Blake being one dimensional. At least, not in my mind.