Blake Griffin: Clippers ‘can play with anybody’
by Lang Greene, Hoopsworld.com
By all accounts, the 2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers was a huge success. The team finished the campaign with the best record in franchise history (winning percentage wise) and snapped a five-season playoff drought behind the play of All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
However, the team was easily handled and eventually swept in the Western Conference semifinals by the San Antonio Spurs, which ended a promising campaign on a sour note.
Griffin says he’s been watching plenty of film from the team’s playoff elimination, and the setback is fueling his motivation to help the team reach the next level.
“I watched a lot of film,” Griffin said during the team’s annual media day. “A lot of the games that were on my iPad throughout the whole year were the playoff games. A lot of the games we lost were the games I watched the most. For me that’s motivation.”
The trip to the Western Conference semis was only the Clippers’ second time advancing past the first round of the playoffs in the last thirty years.
While the defeat will be used as a motivational tool for improvement, Griffin also acknowledged that the positive strides the team made shouldn’t be discounted in the process.
“I know what we accomplished as a team last year and it was great,” Griffin said. “I don’t want to think of last season as a failure because it wasn’t. It was a step in the right direction. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s very tough for teams to come together like that and win a championship.”
The Clippers had a busy offseason, adding quality veteran talent to the roster via free agency. Former All-Star guard Chauncey Billups says the addition of Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes and Willie Green makes this one of the deepest teams he’s ever been a part of since entering the league.
Griffin agreed with the assessment and believes the team’s depth will be the key.
“Absolutely,” Griffin said. “Our teams haven’t been incredibly deep in the past. This is only my third season so it’s definitely the deepest team I’ve been on. But … [For more on Blake Griffin: Clippers 'can play with anybody', click here.]