Lob City. L.A.’s Little Brother. L.A.’s second team. This is how we see the Los Angeles Clippers.
Stuck in the Lakers shadow, always coming in second, just good for a highlight reel, all style no substance. Chris Paul plays too physical and has little man syndrome. Blake Griffin flops too much. DeAndre Jordan isn’t good for anything but a couple of dunks a game. Vinny Del Negro is one of the worst coaches in the league.
This is what we hear about the Los Angeles Clippers.
The league’s best point guard. A top 5 power forward with unmatched athleticism and game changing plays that drop opponents like an upper cut to the jaw. Caron Butler on the wing. Jamal Crawford off the bench. DeAndre Jordan protecting the rim and crashing the boards. Grant Hill. Lamar Odom. Mr. Big Shot.
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This is what we know about the Los Angeles Clippers.
They currently sit atop the Pacific Division at 5-2 while the Lakers still try to figure everything out. The Clippers could end up winning the Pacific Division and challenge any team in the West for a spot in the finals. And everything we see and hear and know about the Clippers will still be true. Billups and Hill have yet to get on the court this season, their bench is getting strong contributions from Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford, who leads the team with 20 ppg. They don’t have depth up front, and Lamar Odom has been a disappointment.
Lamar Odom shouldn’t even be allowed to use the name “Lamar Odom” anymore because it makes us think of a great basketball player. Odom is averaging 11 minutes a game and hasn’t scored the last 3 games, games the Clippers won. Ryan Hollins is doing more for the team. It’s time for the Clippers to dump Mr. Kardashian and bring back Kenyon Martin. With Crawford, Bledsoe, Barnes, and soon Grant Hill off the bench, the Clippers have no use for a 6’10” forward standing around doing nothing.
It’s time for the Clippers to take the next step. Last year we let them entertain us as the new look “Lob City”. This year we want more. We want more from the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin duo. Are they really the best players at their positions? Butler and Jordan have great talent, we know what Butler brings, and we see Jordan’s potential. But can they be the consistent role players the dynamic duo needs to go all the way? What will Billups and Hill contribute when they get back? Will they have to make any changes up front or are Hollins and Turiaf good enough bigs off the bench?
As with any team on the brink of becoming elite, there are a lot of questions. Some are answered with time, others answered with changes. For the Los Angeles Clippers to prove themselves, we need to see it in the playoffs. If they fall short of the conference finals it will be a disappointment. Right now it’s easy to imagine this team falling to the Thunder, Spurs, even the Lakers in a playoff series. They are still right where they were last year. Good but not good enough. All style no substance. While other teams prove themselves elite, the Clippers just leave us waiting for their next highlight. Will they show us more this season?