One reason Vinny Del Negro is on the bubble as Clippers coach is this was a team that did not appear to be ready for playoff basketball.
It’s always been a rule of thumb that highly athletic teams that run up and down the court and turn in spectacular highlights flourish in the regular season. But the playoffs are a different animal. More physical. (The refs tend to allow more contact. More defense because you have more time to prepare for the same team. And a slower set up at half court game.)
But the question nationally all season long was … why aren’t the Clippers better in a slowed down half court game? They have the best point guard in the NBA — Chris Paul. They have big men like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
The regular season should have been a time to slowly learn that style which is essential for the playoffs. Especially when your first round opponent is the ultimate “grind it out” team — the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Clippers will likely decide Vinny’s fate this week. Now, there had been a rumor that if the Clippers booted him they would go after Phil Jackson. But Yahoo! Sports points out that Phil has that relationship with Lakers exec Jeanie Buss — and quotes a source saying, “It would just be too creepy.”