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Clippers aren’t looking at this year as a “must-win”

The past few years have been tough for the L.A Clippers. Although they have reached the playoffs the last five seasons, they have never gone past the second round even with a star-studded lineup.

The 2016-2017 campaign marks one of the most important seasons in franchise history. All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are both expected to opt-out of their current deals next summer, while J.J. Redick is entering the final year of his contract. If the team wants to keep their core intact, many believe that the time to win is now.

But Redick does not see it that way, and should they not win it all this season, he thinks that the Clippers’ top brass should come up with other alternatives rather than shaking the lineup.

“If you’re one of the two best teams, three best teams, why would you take a step back? You’re right there. The thing that’s specific to our team is like, what’s the alternative?”

“In terms of our [salary] cap situation, I think for us to get cap space, Blake and CP would have to leave. So it’s like are you really going to let two of the top 10 players in the league go? And replace them with what?”

“So I don’t buy the whole, ‘We have to do it this year or we’re going to break up.’ Listen, man, I’ve been in this game long enough to know that things can change in a week. Things can change in a year. Things can change in five. So you never know.”

Paul, on the other hand, discussed what the years of heartaches have taught him and admitted that some things are out of their control.

“I think you get to a point where you have to let it go. “At the same time, you think about who you are as a person and the different things that have molded you into who you are and what you are. I think all experiences do one thing: They mold or they break you.

“So it’s not that you dwell on it or be like, ‘We’re going to get there because we’ve been through this.’ That’s no guarantee.”

It’s not surprising that the two aren’t worried about L.A.’s core being disbanded after this coming season, because even if people think otherwise, the players have built good chemistry over the past few years and they believe in continuing to improve together.

If there’s one thing certain, the Clippers will give their all this year to get over the hump, and maybe even beyond that.

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