Coming into this season, the Los Angeles Clippers (36-23) were supposed to have one of the top records in the Western Conference, and many expected them to do so all the while playing an entertaining brand of basketball with Chris Paul setting up the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan for finishes over the defense right at the rim.
The preseason hype may have created huge expectations as well as a different level of pressure within the Clippers organization, but with seven regular season games left, Vinny Del Negro’s squad has done what many had predicted early on: provide highlights on the way to winning their fair share of ball games.
If the playoffs started today, Lob City would open up the postseason as the fourth seed out west and would own home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Prior to the season, Jovan Buha of Clipperblog and I had an exchange, in which he essentially predicted that the Clips would be where they are today. Here is the passage:
“Expectation-wise, the Clippers will be in the hunt for home court advantage. They’re not as good as most people think (not yet, at least), but they’re clearly a playoff team and possible contender. The Warriors? I don’t see them beating out the Blazers, Nuggets or Rockets for one of the last playoff two spots.”
The Clips have arrived. Sort of. There is still a possibility that they will drop down in the Western Conference standings and with seven regular season games left, we are about to be bombarded with information detailing just how flawed of a team they are and why they won’t advance in the postseason.
Indeed, many will point out to Vinny Del Negro’s intriguing substitution patterns, the Clippers’ lack of an actual offense, their shortcomings on defense as well as the lack of a perimeter stopper. These facts will get overanalyzed during the next three weeks and some of them may in fact get addressed during the summer.
But until that times comes, the Clippers are still a fun bunch to watch, and they will be taking on another interesting squad when they host the Golden State Warriors (19-41) today at Staples Center (tip off 3:30 pm PDT).
Klay Thompson may very well end up having a field day against LAC, while David Lee and Blake Griffin will battle each other today for post position, rebounds and points in the paint.
The Clippers may have their share of problems at the moment, but let’s just say that Warriors fans would gladly trade their problems for those of Clippers fans right now.
Enjoy the contest.
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.