Paul is a winner, with that again confirmed in London. But we're not fully sold at this stage that Griffin is more than an attraction. We might have gotten a better read had he made it to London.
Beyond that, until DeAndre Jordan offers reliability beyond highlight dunks and blocked shots, there still are holes in this lineup.
With the Lakers, Thunder and Spurs still a cut above, it again appears the Clippers' primary fight will be for homecourt advantage in the opening round. Even with the added depth, it is difficult, at this stage, to envision them anywhere beyond the conference semifinals.
Put this roster in the East, and you might have a case for the conference finals. But they're not.
Q: Has anyone done a better job in the East than Rod Thorn, with the Sixers adding Bynum, J-Rich, Dorell Wright and Nick Young? The depth is so much better than last season.
-- Marc, Cherry Hill, N.J.
A: I wouldn't overstate any of the acquisitions beyond Bynum, at least in terms of being difference makers.
Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Nick Young have been reduced to journeymen at this stage of their careers. They were available on the cheap for a reason.
No, what the 76ers' season will come down to is the growth from within, of Thaddeus Young finally taking that next step, Jrue Holiday lifting his game, Evan Turner filling the leading-man role vacated by the trade of Andre Iguodala for Bynum.
I'd give the 76ers a mixed grade. They will miss Lou Williams' instant offense, and, if they knew then that they would have been able to land Bynum, I think Elton Brand would have served as a far better complement than either Spencer Hawes or Kwame Brown.
To a degree, that makes the 76ers an evolving product, from the middle-of-the-pack team they were last season, to a team seemingly content to make minor tweaks in July, to a team now with a radically different look with Bynum.
You still can’t put them ahead of the Heat, Celtics, Nets or Bulls-with-Rose at this stage. But they do have the potential to be what the Pacers were last season, a surprise team that makes enough regular-season noise to draw notice and respect.Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.
PBT: The Grizzlies' Game 2 OT loss to the Spurs was a tough pill to swallow after rallying from 13 down in the fourth quarter, but there's a silver lining.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
Metta World Peace the weatherman
The Crossover: Lakers forward Metta World Peace gives the world of meteorology a try as he fills in at a local weather station. Let’s just say he has an interesting way of giving the forecast. Also, in Boston there is a bathroom that has rival team’s logos inside the urinal in the men’s room.
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