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Minnesota vs Houston Series
Prince2250 » 04/16/18 » 11:04am (Page: 1, 2)
04/24/18 » 2:04pm
I complain about the Clippers because my parents never loved me
ClipperSisyphus » 04/29/15 » 11:11am
04/24/18 » 8:02am
Chinese League Big Man Showdown
mannycoon » 01/13/14 » 3:14pm
04/23/18 » 7:29pm
OT: MLB 2018.
nuraman00 » 11/2/17 » 12:46pm
04/23/18 » 11:38am
Why does this site keep going offline?
ClipperSisyphus » 04/23/18 » 8:12am
04/23/18 » 8:24am
Thornwell struggled with consistency, but proved his NBA potential during his rookie campaign.
Name: Sindarius Thornwell
Years in NBA: 1
Key Stats: 3.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.7 steals per game in 15.8 minutes per game in 73 appearances as a Clipper (17 starts).
2017-2018 Salary: $815,615
Future Contract Status: Guaranteed $1.4 million salary for 2018-19, and non-guaranteed $1.6 million salary for 2019-20.
Sindarius Thornwell was one of college basketball’s premier players in 2017—in fact, he may have been the best player in the nation his senior year—but as a senior who didn’t cleanly project into an NBA position (he has great size for a SG, but , his draft stock was understandably low. NBADraft.net projected Thornwell at 41, and he ended up being available to the Clippers with the 48th pick, when they bought into the draft to select him.
Thornwell’s rookie season was supposed to be somewhat of a redshirt year: the Clippers had Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Austin Rivers, and Lou Williams at the guard positions, overfilling available guard minutes. In case of emergency, the team had a solid, experienced SG option available via two-way contract in C.J. Williams. Sure, Thornwell would get a few opportunities when there were injuries ahead of him, and he’d get some garbage time minutes, but he was set to spend most of the season with the Agua Caliente Clippers, getting reps to prepare for a role down the line.
It didn’t quite go that way. Milos Teodosic, who was the opening night starting shooting guard, went down in the second game of the season with a nagging plantar fascia injury that would hamper him all season long, causing him to miss a total of 37 games. Not too long after, starting point guard Patrick Beverley went down, missing 71 games. At that point it didn’t matter that Austin Rivers (61 games played) had a normal season injury-wise and Lou Williams (79 games played) stayed healthy—Thornwell was guaranteed to get serious playing time. Not only did he appear in 73 games, but he reached double-digit minutes in 51 of those appearances.
Still, Thornwell had to compete for minutes. Between fellow second-round rookie Jawun Evans, two-way contract players C.J. Williams, Tyrone Wallace, and Jamil Wilson, and disappointing veterans Sam Dekker and Wesley Johnson, there was plenty of competition at the end of the Clippers roster for the minutes that became available due to injuries. All three of the two-way players had stronger seasons than Thornwell, but their limited days on the NBA roster restricted them from interfering too severely with his playing time. Still, at times, Thornwell struggled to contribute consistently and found himself behind the underwhelming Wesley Johnson in the pecking order. At other times, his defense and slashing ability changed games in the Clippers’ favor.
Thornwell didn’t bring a ton to the table during his rookie season that couldn’t have been anticipated based on what he displayed during college. What was crucial, though, was that his strengths translated well to the NBA. While he struggled with consistency throughout the season (which is to be expected for rookies thrust into rotation roles), his defense and athleticism really impressed at the wing positions. Size-wise, Thornwell is probably best considered a shooting guard long-term, but his already-elite strength and wingspan make him a viable option at small forward in three-guard lineups. He’s capable of defending both positions and we saw flashes of defensive ability that was more than just capable: if he can continue improving, develop and all-around game, and perform consistently, Sin actually has a shot to be a really strong NBA defender.
If Thornwell’s strengths translated predictably from college, then so did his weaknesses. He’s not an unskilled offensive player, but the transition to the NBA was rough coming from playing forward positions at South Carolina in a system built around getting him elbow jumpers. He shot 42.9% from the field on the season, which isn’t horrendous but is unimpressive for a player who was very selective offensively. Similarly, his 37.7% from deep on the season is a solid mark, but at under 2 3PA per 36 minutes, he doesn’t provide much spacing. A lot of times, Thornwell would pass on open threes, causing the offense to stall. He also produced more than his fair share of airballs and ugly misses, and a slow, disjointed release gives defenders time to close out. The bright spot of his offensive game is his finishing ability around the rim, where elite strength and long arms allows for strong finishes in traffic—but a lack of on-ball explosiveness limited him to transition opportunities. Late in the season, Thornwell’s offensive confidence seemed to progress, and he at times dribbled with purpose to get to comfortable spots on the floor. Continued success in that area and significant improvements with the jumpshot will determine Thornwell’s utility as an NBA player.
Future with Clippers:
Sindarius Thornwell is a viable NBA prospect on the court, but he’s 23 years old, and he’ll turn 24 during next November’s pre-season. There are only 30 teams in the NBA, and each of them only gets 15 roster spots—the clock is constantly ticking on every young player, and 24 is pretty old for a prospect. Keeping Sindarius certainly has value—the last 800 words discuss what he brought to the Clippers last season, and can bring in the future—but the Clippers have difficult roster decisions to make. The Clippers have 8 players under contract for next season, plus three players who are likely to accept player options, two first-round picks, a non-guaranteed decision to make on C.J. Williams, restricted free agency for Montrezl Harrell and Tyrone Wallace, free agency for DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley, and their full mid-level exception. That comes out to 19 players—only 15 can be on the roster on opening night. And that’s before any unexpected moves, not counting additional signings, etc. Somewhere, at least 4 names have to be trimmed from that list. There are tons of ways that it can happen (players leaving in free agency, a draft-and-stash or trading up, an unexpected trade, cutting roster players), and there’s no need for Thornwell to be casualty of it. If he makes the team next season, he’ll be on unstable ground and have to really work to prove himself—a reminder of the fierce competition for roster spots in the NBA.
The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft arrived at last Sunday, and there is a long list of candidates seeking their dream job.
They have until June 11 to withdraw their names from the draft, which will be held June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They can return...
What grade does DeAndre Jordan deserve for his performance throughout the 2017-18 NBA season? DeAndre Jordan was a victim of trade rumors throughout last offseason and the early parts of the 2017-18 NBA season. Many thought that the Los Angeles Clippers were going to trade him, but they ended up trading Blake Griffin instead. Jordan […]
Next up for the exit interview series: the big friendly giant Boban Marjanovic
Name: Boban Marjanovic
Years in NBA: 3
Key Stats: 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game, with 20 appearances as a Clipper. Shot 55.1% from the field and 78.8% from the free throw line, attempting 2.6 free throws per game.
2017-2018 Salary: $7,000,000
Future Contract Status: One year left at a guaranteed $7,000,000, then unrestricted free agency
Boban came over in the Blake Griffin trade as contract filler to make salaries match. There wasn’t much an expectation that he would have any impact on the court with the Clippers, as he’d barely played for the Pistons in his year and a half with the team. And in many ways, that expectation was correct. Boban appeared in just 20 games with the Clippers, and many of those were in garbage time or for extremely brief stints. Boban played 166 minutes for the Clips, ranking him 18th in minutes on the team— ahead of only Avery Bradley, Sean Kilpatrick, and Brice Johnson.
Boban’s play did win the Clippers a couple games however, a remarkable feat for a man with such little playing time on the season. And even if he hadn’t carried them to multiple victories, he would have become a fan favorite anyhow. Boban’s energy and fun attitude on the team was infectious, and he soon had a little dance crew before games with Tobias Harris and DeAndre Jordan. Fans always got very excited when they saw him at the scorer’s table, as there was a chance to witness some Boban magic. In a short time, Bobi became a beloved member of the Clippers’ roster.
Boban is a fearsome, unstoppable presence in the post on offense. If he catches the ball within 8 feet of the basket, he’s likely going to score, regardless of who is defending him. Boban has an array of post moves, but really, all he needs to do is back down his man a little, and then his incredible length and reach enables him to just flip the ball in. Boban’s game is more diverse than that though. He has a jumpshot that works out to midrange, and his soft touch makes him a very good free throw shooter. Bobi is also a shockingly good passer, capable of making interior dishes to fellow big men, and of playmaking from the top of the key. On defense, he is an impenetrable wall around the basket, and can stifle weak attempts at the rim with the greatest of ease.
Perhaps Boban’s biggest strength is that he’s an incredible person and teammate by all accounts. A funny, spirited, kind man who can get along with anyone, Boban is invaluable to the locker room, and no price tag can be put on that.
Boban only really has two weaknesses, but they are significant enough that he can’t receive large, consistent minutes on a regular basis. The first is his lack of lateral quickness on defense. Opposing teams can spread the floor against Boban, put him in pick and rolls, and feast against his slow feet. Boban tries hard, and generally knows where to go on defense, but his size prevents him from being a capable help and recover defender. The other weakness, tied to the first, is that Boban gets tired very easily. Moving at the speed of play present in the current NBA is extremely difficult for such a large body, and just a few minutes of scrambling defense leaves Boban close to gassed. This means he can’t play for long stints (generally six to seven minutes is the maximum, unless he’s absolutely dominating the game), and only against teams or lineups that can’t punish him defensively. Therefore, he’s a limited, if potent, weapon.
Future with Clippers:
Montrezl Harrell is a restricted free agent this summer, and DeAndre Jordan could be an unrestricted free agent if he declines his player option. That would leave Boban as the only center on the roster. While it seems likely that the Clippers will draft a big man with one of their two first round picks, having Boban will at the very least be a safeguard against injuries will be nice next season. He can’t play every game, and can’t play for that all long, yet he’s a difference making player for a handful of games a season. That is incredibly valuable, especially for a team that will probably lack top-end, game-changing talent once again. All those positives aren’t even counting his locker room presence, which is worth a lot by itself.
It’s probable we see Boban back in a Clippers’ uniform next season. After that, who knows? Boban is just fun, and the team is more fun with him on it. I think he’s a fantastic player to have in reserve, and it would be great if the Clippers could keep him on a smaller deal for years to come. Bobi for life.