NBA Preview: LA Clippers need big season, and Lamar Odom can help

Chris Paul

All eyes will be on the Lakers this year, but can their LA rivals throw up a surprise?

Los Angeles Clippers

Placing last season: 40-26 (5th in Western Conference, Playoffs: Second round exit)

Key moves: The Clippers were less active during the off season than they had been the previous year when they made a big splash for Chris Paul (pictured).

They picked up Lamar Odom, essentially for Mo Williams and Furkan Aledmir and signed Matt Barnes, Ronnie Turiaf and Grant Hill as free agents, all players that will add good depth to the team.

Challenges ahead: Blake Griffin was unable to go to London with the Olympic team this summer due to an injury, and with an injury history like his, the Clippers will be hoping he comes back and can play like he did last season.

His free-throw percentage leaves a lot to be desired and needs to be worked on because as it stands it can cost the team big games.

Paul is also an injury worry, though his ligament tear in his thumb shouldn’t factor into his performance this season. Worries about whether Paul will be in a Clippers uniform in 2013 are more prevalent.

Reason to be positive: With the added depth and acquisition of Lamar Odom, the Clippers figure to be even better this season. Odom has made his love for Los Angeles quite clear with a poor performance in Dallas last season.

Prediction: 52-30 (4th in Western Conference)

image: © Tulanesally