Basketball

Mike Dunleavy: ‘We’re Not Gonna Mess This One Up’

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The Clippers bombed last season. Almost everything they touched imploded in their face. Baron Davis’ monster signing, Chris Kaman’s injury, acquiring the wild and crazy contract of Zach Randolph, acquiring the far less crazy contract of Marcus Camby… It goes on and on.  Mike Dunleavy has been Head Coach of this franchise for six seasons and only once have they played in the most important season. When talking about the Clippers, one out of six ain’t bad.  They had the name power to do it again last season but chemistry, effort, and clashes in regards to style of play were the norm. So, when the Clippers were lucky enough to acquire the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, many critics assumed they would find a way to screw it up. Well, Mike Dunleavy is here to tell you that it won’t happen, and he brings up a good point about the assumed #1 pick, Blake Griffin, gelling along well with point guard, Baron Davis.  Dunleavy joined Tirico & Van Pelt to discuss Griffin’s NBA position, the piercing words of Jon Barry, and why his team flubbed in ‘08-’09.

On Blake Griffin’s skill set:

“Clearly, the thing that stands out above everybody else is how quick he is and how explosive is. The ideal thing is to play an up tempo, up and down game, and advance the ball to him and let him attack the rim. That clearly is an advantage he has over every four he’ll have to play but I wouldn’t rule out his ability to play and be versatile as a big three as well. Again, because of his size and quickness, I think he’s gonna be quicker than a lot of threes even… I think the cameras shown on him once the pick was announced, he didn’t look like a guy who didn’t wanna come to LA.”

Why did the team take such a step back last season?

“One of the biggest things for us last year was that we had 13 new players on our team and it wasn’t really by design, it was just kinda the way things happened. That’s insurmountable as far as trying to get a system in, it’s a really tough thing to do. Particularly, it’s not like a new coach coming in with 13 guys that’s seen them play together, these are 13 guys with 13 different teams and systems, etcetera.”

What do you say to all the skeptics that say it’s the Clippers, they’ll screw it up:

“I think people are referring to things that have happened in the past about the Clippers. I take great offense to my ex-player Jon Barry saying, ‘The Clippers will find a way to mess this one up.’ I’ll put my money down in Vegas that we don’t.”

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