The trio that has played a significant part in making the Los Angeles Clippers the best pro basketball team in Southern California over the past few seasons
It had just occurred to me that this SoCal team hasn’t yet been covered on this young site, so I thought I would right that wrong…
For the past three seasons or so, this NBA squad has taken over Los Angeles as far as pro basketball in this part of the country is concerned.
Judging from the fact that they have won nine of the past ten showdowns with the cross-the-hall rival Lakers, anyone and everyone who is a hoops fan in L.A. has got to admit such.
And for those Laker fans who point to their team’s 16 championship banners hanging from the Staples Center walls and taunt Clipper fans over the fact that they have yet to win one, I say this to them:
“Ancient history! As Janet Jackson famously put it, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ “
Being that the Lakers need to go 10-9 over their remaining 19 games to avoid breaking the franchise record for futility, set last season when they embarrassed Laker Nation and the NBA with their 27-55 mark, I really don’t think they have a leg to stand on when it comes to who’s the best hoops team in town.
Things are not exactly wonderful with these Clippers either, as they have struggled with high expectations all year.
Sure, their 42-23 record is a perfectly solid one, their latest outing an impressive one with a win over perennial power Oklahoma City on the road.
And although they currently stand in fifth place in the Western Conference and would face a tough Houston Rockets squad in the first round if the regular season ended today (with the Rockets having home court advantage to boot), coach Doc Rivers’ team is very much within striking distance of Houston and third-seeded Portland with 17 games to go.
This red, white, and blue-clad team boasts the best point guard (Chris Paul) and power forward (Blake Griffin) in the league, along with a center who leads the National Basketball Association in rebounding in DeAndre Jordan, who’s been a walking slam dunk highlight film all year as he has been an essential resident of “Lob City”.
The problem has been the fact that Griffin has been sidelined for the past few weeks due to a staph infection in his right elbow, and although the Clippers has not gone into the toilet without arguably their best player…
Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul bring the ball up the court against the San Antonio Spurs
It is crystal clear that #32 will be sorely needed if they are to have any chance to break through and represent the West in the NBA Finals for the first time n their history.
which leaves us with this question:
What kind of chances do the Clippers have going forward?
In other words…
How good are their chances of winning the West?
I feel that though the Clippers’ chances of making the Finals are not that great, considering the fact that their two main nemeses who they have had trouble beating for a while, Golden State – who has the league’s best record – and Memphis, are in the same conference (with Golden State in the same division and holding a ten-game lead over the Clips),
I’m going to officially adopt the attitude of “Never Say Never” and state that L.A.’s chances are as good as anyone’s, as the Western Conference is one in which seven teams – including the Clippers – have at least a decent shot of coming out of there and facing the Eastern Conference champion in June.
Two of those seven teams, Dallas and those Rockets – will be facing those Clips over the next few days.
If Griffin can return for those contests, and reports are saying that he’s fairly close, Ralph Lawlor, the underrated but iconic-all-the-same longtime announcer famous for his “Bingo!” calls, and the rest of Clipper Nation can obviously feel better about things.
Whether the all-star forward comes back or not this coming weekend, however, these next couple of games may well help determine where the Clippers stand and the season comes down to the home stretch.
In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure here’s a highlight clip of some of DeAndre Jordan’s dunks, courtesy of YouTube.com: