Lob City … For 3, And So Much More!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Don’t let the crazy dunks and all of the above the rim stuff fool you. The Clippers work from long distance, too. They hit four straight 3-pointers to end the first half against the Thunder last night, a barrage that was just as impressive to these eyes as Blake Griffin‘s monster dunk over Kendrick Perkins.

And they’ll scrap with you if they have to, just ask the Lakers.

What isn’t lost in this storm of Clippers’ highlights is the fact that this team is playing in a way that delivers on all of the promise their acquisition of Chris Paul (and Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups) suggested they would.

A bruised ego for Perkins isn’t the only thing the Thunder left the Staples Center with last night. They got the same wake-up call as other teams that have faced the Clippers this season. The Clippers pose a clear and present danger to the order of the things in the Western Conference this season. And if you don’t believe it, just rewind the tape on their demolition of the league-leading Thunder on the second night of a Denver-Los Angeles back-to-back set.

In addition to the excitement that accompanies every game, the Clippers have shown themselves to be an extremely physical, scrappy bunch capable of shooting the cover off of the ball, they were 13-for-25 from deep last night and also shot .562 from the floor.

The fact that they are willing to share the glory, the byproduct of a leaders like Paul and Billups, is what really stands out. The Clippers had 28 assists against the Thunder, 24 of those from Paul, Billups and Mo Williams.

“They’re the best team we’ve played all season,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks told reporters after the game. “They have everything. They played well. They took it to us. We have work to do.”

Their effort was a stark contrast to the Thunder’s effort last night, which included Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden handling the ball most of the time and the Thunder finishing with more turnovers (17) than assists (15).

It was an unsettling display from a team that has yet to conquer that one glaring weakness, a fact not lost on Perkins after his tough night, highlighted here by ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande:

“I know one thing about it is, if we’ve got plans on winning a title it’s called sacrifice,” Perkins said. “I just came off a team [the Boston Celtics] that played with three Hall of Famers that didn’t mind sacrificing, didn’t mind taking a back seat. In order to win, sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice. You can win games and do that, but in order to get a ring, you’ve got to sacrifice.”

Of course, one game does not tell the entire story. And you’d be foolish to dismiss all the work that has gone into the Thunder’s season after just this one off night.

“We had a bad game,” Brooks said to reporters after the game. “This is our first bad game in 20. That’s the bottom line. We had a bad game. One of the things this team does well is they bounce back. You play 20 games and have one bad game, I think any team in this league would live with that. We’re not proud of the way we played.”

But sometimes the work of another team can shine the light not only what they do when they are at their best, but also on what the competition doesn’t do well.

Make no mistake, though, this was another showcase about the Clippers and what they’re doing to change the image of a franchise in much need of a makeover. Getting up by 22 on the team with the league’s best record, not to mention the best road record, is a statement that’s good for any upstart.

A 12-point win over the Thunder not resonate this morning the way the dunk highlight seen around the world — it’s been on news shows and replayed endlessly in all of the usual places — does, but it’s huge for the positive effects on the psyche of a Clippers team learning to deal with a new set of expectations.

And for any member of the league’s elite that hasn’t readjusted their sights and recognized the that the Clippers are indeed the genuine item, let last night’s effort serve as your final wake-up call.


  1. clip58 says:

    LA Clip is the most exciting team to watch, Top Blocker, best point guard, sharp shooter, young & energetic team….LOB CITY!….They are all unselfish players, not like kobe, d. rose, LJ, KD, etc…. I bet clippers will be the top seeder in the west, & maybe the top of all the teams… They will be the champion this year.

  2. charles says:

    Clippers can win the championship this year. This team was really put together this year, but it has something many don’t – lots of exceptional decision makers and a strong will. Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups are two of the best decision makers in the game today. Chris, Chauncey and Mo have all had playoff experience. Chauncey and Mo have gone to the championship in the past and know what it takes to get there. Few players can match the will power of Paul and Griffin. They clearly want the ball in every play. They will dive for it, jump over a car for it, and hit a brick wall for it. The only problem? Their lack of depth in the front court. Jordan and Griffin will need help. The clippers need to tap into someone to get that help. They need to remember that an athletic big man with low skills will turn into a monster with Paul, Billups and Williams on the floor. Think Jordan from Houston. Someone with hops and strength. Someone who has the athleticism to run, jump and be a blocker on the defense side. Lack of depth in the front court could be their achiles heel.

  3. armin halvadzic says:

    Clippers are a very fun team to watch. They have allot of young players + some veterans that can still play. I belive they can reach the finals this season. I’m not even a fan or anything but I just belive they can do it. why not ? They have the peaces and is a bit odd to talk about Clippers and the Western Conferance finals in the same breath but these are a different Clippers,Clippers that can go a long way and get even more attention that they’re getting these days.

  4. tre-mac says:

    I really enjoyed that game. I think they could come out of the west , Need to go get a solid forward to come off the bench, I wonder about their half court game,they will need one for the playoffs.

  5. Ben says:

    Thunder v Clippers for Western Conference finals please.

    However, is it just me that doesn’t think the dunk is one of the top 5 of the season and not even amongst Griffin’s very best? I don’t get it. It looks like Perkins is off line and the dunk is just as close to being around him as over him, if Perkins had been right in front of him and he had managed it over him that might have been the best of the season. I’ve enjoyed others more.

  6. Reblogged this on courtsidetalk and commented:
    So what who cares about the Thunder, Clippers showing that they can be the best of the West.

  7. Mustafa says:

    These Clippers guys are all trying to make show out there and I don’t think that they can make even West Finals.

  8. abcdefg says:

    Clippers are ready for their first ring!

  9. prix says:

    Now the Clips were talking… Battle Los Angeles have been decided already…Clippers dethroning the old Lakers… sometimes we need some Changes…Clippers are the future of L.A


      • NyRican says:

        OKC should have been swap’d pre-posterized Perkins for Dwight Howard.

      • DAYTON says:

        battle for l.a. im pretty sure they have played twice this season and the lakers won the last one. correct me if im wrong. which im not… i dont think any one worth their salt in basketball knowledge is going to consider the lakers “dethrowned” unless we see some serious clipper action in the playoffs. and i dont care who you are or what happened last year. betting against kobe, gasol, and everyone else on the lakers in the playoffs is a bad bet.

  10. LA Clippers is definitely a wild card! they will be a threat to any team they face in the playoffs. I really hope they’ll have a successful year!

  11. tupark82 says:

    I don’t know why but my last comment did not go through. The bottom line is, this was an awesome game to watch, especially if you were listening to the clippers announcers, the most entertaining announcers in the league.