Do Clippers Pass Your Eyeball Test?

LOS ANGELES – Lob City sells tickets. But defense wins championships.

That’s the way the basketball purists are approaching the Los Angeles Clippers, the hottest and “best” team in basketball as we speed toward the end of the year the Mayans said would be the end of for us all.

It seems fitting that the Clippers, of all franchises, would be in this position. They’ve never had the best record in the league this late in the season. And they’re fighting a legacy of futility that makes it tough for guys like TNT’s Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith to truly believe in what they’re seeing out of a team that has won a franchise-record 15 straight games.

But what would your reaction be to the news that the Clippers — even with all of the alley-oop action we’ve enjoyed from Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan – are as much of a defensive powerhouse right now as they are entertaining and athletic?

The fact is, the Clippers are the second-best defensive team in the league behind Indiana and rank as the most improved defensive team in basketball, ahead of Golden State, Minnesota and Indiana.

Top five defenses, 2012-13
Team DefRtg
Indiana 95.7
L.A. Clippers 96.6
Memphis 96.8
Chicago 98.6
Atlanta 98.8

DefRtg = Points allowed per
100 possessions

If you’re not interested in the metrics, give them the eyeball test that Celtics coach Doc Rivers did before, during and after the Clippers put the smackdown on his team Thursday night on TNT. It’s hard to dismiss the Clippers when they are up in the grill of a team that built its foundation on defense, the bedrock that led to a championship during their spectacular run of the past five seasons.

“Last year, I think they showed up and they just thought their talent and their offense was [going to win for them],” Rivers said. “But this year their defense has been fantastic. I mean, we’re all talking about their offense, but they’re playing just terrific defense. And they have balance now. They’re fifth in the league in scoring, fifth in defense. That’s a balanced basketball team and that makes you really good.”

Still, the Clippers are fighting to dispel any notion that this is just a momentary run and that they are the Clippers of yore, when they were a team that quite frankly could not be counted on to do things the way they’re doing them now that Paul is a part of the organization.

“They have a terrific team,” Rivers said. “Every year is a new year, but they’re good. They’re talented and they play together. They all accept their roles. They’re actually a fun team to watch play, other than the dunks. They’re just a fun team to watch play the game.”

Barkley questioned whether the Clippers could keep this up — playing at their fevered and physical pitch and also playing every man in uniform and getting contributions from them all — when the games slow down in the playoffs. It’s a fair question that won’t be answered until April and May, depending on how deep the Clippers play into the postseason.

And it’s not realistic to believe that Matt Barnes will stretch his current streak of nine straight games of scoring double figures off the bench or that Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf and Eric Bledsoe will continue to provide the starters an opportunity to rest in the fourth quarter of every game.

But don’t tell that to Paul.

“I’ve probably sat out more fourth quarters this year than all my previous seven seasons,” he said. “People talk about how me and Blake’s numbers are down. Well, we don’t play many fourth quarters. And I think it just says a lot about our team and how everything is balanced.”

Balanced in every way. Their production from up and down the roster is at the heart of not only this 15-game streak but also their league-best 23-6 record (the Thunder are 22-6).

Most improved DefRtg

Team 2011-12 Rank 2012-13 Rank Diff.
L.A. Clippers 102.9 18 96.6 2 -6.3
Golden State 106.0 27 101.3 12 -4.7
Minnesota 103.6 21 98.9 7 -4.7
Indiana 100.4 10 95.7 1 -4.7
Brooklyn 106.9 29 104.0 21 -3.0

Just as impressive, though, is the focus the Clippers bring every night. And it’s opponent specific. They had to battle a team built similarly to theirs in the Denver Nuggets on Christmas and beat them into submission over the course of four quarters. The Celtics brought a different level of animosity to the Staples Center and the Clippers responded in kind.

“[The Celtics] played very intense, they played aggressive, they played physical,” Griffin said. “And I thought we did a good job of matching that.”

Perhaps best of all is that the Clippers don’t seem nearly as preoccupied with their current streak as others. Their focus is on the developing the chemistry and cohesion needed for finishing the marathon in style.

“I don’t really care about it,” Jordan said of the streak. “We’re just playing, we’re rolling. Everybody’s clicking and we’re starting to gel even more. We still have some guys out. Hopefully when they come back we’ll still be able to keep things going.”

60 Comments

  1. Lakers-R-Us says:

    The Clippers are good. No doubt about it. They’re gonna go far this year. No doubt about it.

  2. Kilroy says:

    Just hope the spurs dont sweep them again in the playoffs..

    • Hm says:

      Why would they be swept by the Spurs, whom they have beaten twice now (with Pop seemingly distressed that he couldn’t find a way to win)? It’s funny to see people still treating this team like it was last year’s team, even though it’s a completely different team.

    • BJ says:

      Exactly, the Spurs are good, but they don’t stand a chance this year against this Clipper team, yes who they have beaten twice.

      • Kilroy says:

        Different team you say? I still see the same key players. Season games and playoff games are very deifferent.
        The clips are good but are in no way a championship team.

        Pop’s answer to lob city will be the same as last year. Hack a jordan and hack a griffin. LOL

      • BJ says:

        Evidently you havent been watching too many games because both Griffin and Jordan are shooting better, from the perimeter and at the FT line. The core of the team is still the same, but they have added an exceptional defensive package to their team. and with all the improvements of Jordan and Griffin offensively, they are going to be difficult to beat. that is obvious right now. No one individual is carrying the team every night. Anyone can get hot and throw up big number for the team to take the game all the way. the other night it was Butler, the game before that it was Barnes and Crawford. CP3 cruises thru the game and then drives the stake in the opponents heart in the 4th quarter, IF he’s in the game! if they leave Crawford open he’s automatic points in the scoreboard. The defense is there every game.

        Again, I dont knwo what games you are watching, maybe you are getting the Clippers mixed up with the Bobcats or the Cavs, LOL.

  3. allan says:

    blake griffin is the best compliment for chris paul…much like stockton for malone and gary payton for kemp
    this clipper steam resembles both the utah jazz and sonics of the 90′ s if they get ever to win a chanpionship this
    year their tandem i think will last for years…and they got big guys wherein the miami heat kinda fear the most
    remember dallas in the finals and the pacers in the playoffs last year

  4. koor says:

    I think its funny how the bandwagon gets full when the Clips win. Personally I have been a fan since Manning and Harper days, people would think I was kidding when I said I was a fan. Do I think they will be a powerhouse for years to come, probably not. Look at Sterlings past. But I will enjoy it while it lasts!!

    • Common Sense says:

      I actually think this posting has been the most interesting I’ve ever read. A lot of these posts came from fans outside of LA and I think that’s awesome. No joining the bandwagon, simply giving respect to a hot, underdog team of true fighters. Usually it’s just laker fans saying blah blah, 16, blah, blah Kobe, blah, blah clipper curse. It’s refreshing to here intelligent points and other perspectives. But true fans like you, that use to go to the Sports Arena will see your day. And if you look a sterlings past they wouldn’t be where they are today, it looks like Sterling has had a change of heart in his old age. And Let’s get real, everyone doesn’t have a ring, until they have it. Everyone only has one ring until they have two. The lakers had won 5 championships before the clippers franchise even started in 1970, 6 before the braves became the Clippers, 8 before they even came to LA. And for the record, the Lakers had 5 rings before coming to LA so 1/3 of the championships were bought by LA, and once in LA it took 12 years to get the title in 72. And the clips have been at the staples center for 12 years this year. This is our year!
      Finally to the person that posts as “Kobe” luck is a ridiculous word in basketball, and in management. It’s like blaming the refs, or saying your team didn’t really try to win. The clippers got CP3, period. Even if it was luck, as you use that term, who cares. EVERYTHING IS LUCK! Kobe was picked up in the 13th round, pretty lucky no one else got him. Dwight wanted to go to the Nets, pretty lucky the Magic team didn’t want to make him happy. Nash wanted to retire in Pheonix, pretty lucky. Fisher hit a 3 pointer with .4 seconds, pretty lucky, Lakers started with 5 rings before coming to LA,Shaq left orlando, 1st draft to get Magic, Kareem, blah, blah, blah. If you call the success of others luck and then bask in your glory, that makes you a sore winner, period. And regarding lakers not being healthy and not gelling yet together, welcome to the clippers last year!!!!! Billups was out, Griffin was playing through the knee injury, CP3 strained groin, butler had the broken finger, and the whole team was brand new with no training camp and they got to the second round! Oh and this year Billups has only played three games and Grant Hill hasn’t played. All basketball people will tell you it takes a year to build up chemistry, I wish Laker fans luck to gel quicker than that since I am an LA fan andI enjoy the competition, but I expect my Clippers to take it! But all in all, thank you to everyone that posted intelligent points and perspectives. I actually enjoyed reading them. Cheers!

  5. Roy says:

    It’s nice to see a team this young do this well. Very exciting to watch them as well. Let’s see if they can make some noise in the post season. I think they can make the West Finals if they’re for real. But there is no way they’re getting past OKC, the Spurs, and Memphis, let alone winning a championship.

    • BJ says:

      Well Roy, from the second half of last season up to now, they beat Memphis twice and knocked them out in the playoffs, they beat the Spurs twice and they played OKC once and lost this season. OKC will be the team that will give the Clippers a run for their money. With the line up they have the Clippers can beat any team in the legue right now. They can play have have beaten all these teams you just mentioned so I dont see hwo you think they are incapable of winning.

  6. crushah says:

    I love what the Clippers are doing right now. They’ve done a great job of roster building and their players are really stepping up. And it blows my mind how much better they could be when Billups and Hill get back. ( Late in the season and in the playoffs is when those two will show their value.) I agree that without Chris Paul things would fall apart pretty quickly; he’s the hub of their wheel, the same as Nash is for the Lakers or Lebron is for the Heat. He is the key to the Clipper engine. I also agree that until you prove your worth in the playoffs you haven’t proven anything. The NBA has had a lot of teams that ‘could’ be great but never really get there all the way. To do so requires the coming together of a lot of factors including good management, the right coach, the right players at the right point in their career, chemistry and luck. I think the Clips are a team that has a lot of those pieces in place Barnes is playing great because the coach has given him confidence. Odom is starting to play like NBA fans expect him to. Crawford is bringing a consistent scoring punch off the bench. They’ve got so many diverse and versatile pieces on their roster that it is exciting to see who went off on any given night and how they got to their opponent. Like Eric Bledsoe contributing 6 steals in 19 minutes against Boston? That’s crazy! I’m excited to see if they can continue to build on the foundation they’ve created.

  7. Beads says:

    Greetings from Finland… you know, I really never had a favorite team. I am usually for underdogs and I must say that Clippers won my heart this season. GOOD JOB!

  8. Jay T says:

    Clippers are the real deal…. outside free throws they are solid. They can score lights out, they can play above the rim, the bench is the best in the league , they will have two maybe three All Stars, The have youth, Vets, speed, lead the league in steals with over 10.5 per game! AND THEY ARE THE MOST EXCITING TEAM in the NBA to WATCH!

  9. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Growing up in the “great northwest” near Seattle and watching those Sonic 90s teams were experiences that are timeless. Yah, they only made the Finals once against the infamous Bulls (I think that was the season they set the regular season record for winning percentage. However, they were usually in the playoff wars one way or another. Particularly, they had a lot of radically excellent regular seasons. They were extremely fun to watch. They had one of the deepest benches. Those early-mid 90s Sonic teams remind me kind of of today’s LA Clippers. Blake Griffin can be compared to Shawn Kemp, in some ways — certainly, similar from an athletic standpoint. Both are renown for their incredible dunking abilities. Chris Paul — come to think of it — can be compared to Gary Payton (when Payton was in his prime). “The Glove” Gary Payton got that nickname for being known as a great defender, always being amongst the league leaders in steals. Paul is similar in that effect — he’s also always amongst the league leaders in steals. Payton could dish and score; so can Paul. Paul is qucker, so Payton would post up a lot (being taller than a lot of opposing point guards), but the overall impact and effectiveness are similar. It was always exciting to watch another Payton-Kemp lob dunk; the similar effect connects when Paul lobs to Griffin. The Clippers have taken over L.A. It appears to have been nicknamed “lob city.” The Clippers make L.A. great. The Lakers? Whatever. Their time is over. The Clippers will be the contending team in L.A. for years to come, similar to those old Sonic teams who put up incredible winning seasons for many years during the 90s.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I bring this up because of the reference to Eddie Johnson (who I notice is now a game-announcer for the Phoenix Suns).

      I recall Eddie Johnson, when he was in Seattle, helped “mentor” Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp when those two just broke into the league and were green but brimming with potential. Eddie was a scoring machine. He could score a lot as a starter or a 6th man off the bench. He would handle a lot of the scoring, while Payton and Kemp could really focus on a lot of other facets.

      Eddie Johnson — I believe someone once said about him — could offensively beat teams with “one hand tied behind his back.” Noting his ability to be able to take control of games with his ability to score, to get buckets. And make it look easy.

      I’d have to check, but I believe E. Johnson had a few seasons where he averaged over 20 PPG. He was probably close to being voted on an all-star team, more than once. I think he at least won the 6th Man of the Year award, one or more times.

      I will always be a Seattle Sonic fan, even though they’re now the OKC Thunder (which is why I’m a huge Thunder fan). Imagine a team that could go ten-deep. I think they once had an everyday team consisting of: Sam Perkins, Shawn Kemp, Derrick Mckey, Ricky Pierce, Gary Payton, Eddie Johnson, Nate McMillan, Michael Cage, Dana Barros, and Vince Askew. At that time, I believe only the Phoenix Suns had a comparably-deep bench. Those particular 90s Suns and Sonic teams were probably among the deepest teams in NBA history. Bench depth may not be as prevalent today as it was in those days. But I’ll say the LA Clippers are close to being as deeply incredible/versatile as those old school Seattle/Phoenix teams. Maybe the only knock on the Clippers’ bench depth is that a few of their bench guys are a bit aged or not performing as well as they can (like Lamar Odom).

      If the Clippers can get healthier, they’re not quite as deep as those early-90s Seattle/Phoenix teams … but they’re pretty darn close.

  10. Well now-as a die hard Celts fan what can i say especially after beatdown thurs night!!! I figured it would be close either way it went. Even though Celts D###### wasn’t no where playing to it’s normal max shuttn em down, have to say they just dominated my Celts on both ends making them a very balanced team. HOWEVER; there is one more reg season game for clips to come to the HOUSE OF PAIN in my home town-GONNA BE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT GAME THEN-Just lickn my chops thinking bout that-lol-
    I’m not a clips bandwagoner but i gotta say that they are a fun team to watch & when they play Celts, ofcourse i want us to rip their head off like any other team. I have been a fan of the game since the eighties & seeing clips build a ring contending team for past couple years is nice to see in light of their struggles over the years. Don’t even need to speak on FAKER LAND-Their only true fans have to sit way in the nose bleed section while the FAKER FANS take up from behind middle arena to the front. So hats off to CLIP LAND-NO MORE DEBATING THAT!!! Hey, us Celts fans seen our Celts struggle for 20 years of not being a serious threat & all the media & opposing fans descension that came with it, but we’re Celts fans win or lose!!! We Celts will probably see yall in finals cause we know we’ll be there, will yall? When clips come here, “WELCOME TO BOSTON-HOUSE OF PAIN BOI” GREENALLDAY18

  11. angel says:

    I live in L.A. for over 20 years, and the Clippers has always been an after thought, compared to that other team that plays in L.A.. The Clips are on a 16 game winning streak! The offense is outstanding! The defense is shutting teams down! The best bench in the NBA! Guess what? They are still an afterthought, compared to that other team that plays in L.A. Maybe they would can get some respect if they can hang a championship banner in the Staples Center like the other professional teams that play in that building. You know, the Sparks, the Kings, and that team that wears the Purple&Gold. The Clips and their fans should and deserve to bask in the glory of their current success. Warning: The road to success will not continue to be this smooth. The potholes and the road blocks are up ahead. Ask that other basketball team in L.A. about that road. They have traveled and conquered it 16 times before. Enjoy moments right now, because tomorrow is so unpredictable.

    • BJ says:

      unfortunately Angel, the Lakers have to wrap themselves in their championship banners from yester year…. because its not happening for them right now. The road will be tough but the Clippers are on their way. its a psychological game with this thats all. The Lakers are trying to play catch up now and they are going to get anywhere with that lineup right now. But they have a legacy of winning so the Laker fans(which I am also) are throwing the past up in everyone face. The Clippers with a losing legacy is playing at champonship level right now but have a legacy of losing. But they’ve never come this far, had this kind of talent or the will to win. We have to give them credit, 16 games straight is a serious accomplishment right now. its hard to win 5 or 6 games straight, but they have 16! give credit where credit is due. I wish this team all the best, I love watching them play! the most exicting team in the league since Magic was playing and it was SHOWTIME! well its SHOWTIME again!

  12. KB24 says:

    Los Angeles will ALWAYS!! be owened by the Lakers!! whether you clip fans like it or not:) just because the clippers are playing good basketbal right now don’t meant that they are going straight to the Finals. They will eventually end up messing up as usual later on in the season, just like how they always do, so i could care less about them clippers:)

    • Hm says:

      KB24 messed up on 21 out of 28 gamewinner attempts in the playoffs.

      That’s a very bad record.

    • BJ says:

      Zandro, the Clippers have always had a history of siimply losing and Sterling trading top players to make money. they don’t have a history of starting a season really well like this and then flopping at the end of the season. Thats simply not a true accurate account of this franchises history.

      how soon we forget our history. Remember the Lakers went 18 years before they won another champonship in 1970 from 1954, right before the team was brought here to LA. 18 years!! count ‘em! they have won titles no doubt, but like someone said in here, they brought 5 with them to LA. So its not like they have just been consistently winning throughout the seasons, they have had their times of downplay and rebuilding like any other team.

      The Clippers have come to the Staples center and now here we are 12 years since their move from San Diego and they have the team built for a championship. The Lakers are rebuilding now. If the Clippers stay together, they will have a championship under their belt. I personally believe this is their time.

  13. Zandro says:

    As i bet at the very 1st 2 weeks of the season they will be the one facing OKC at the western finals at the coming post season, and as we see it, theyre headin at that direction. We got to give credit to the owner for investing to their additional talents, and Del Negro for molding this talented and unselfish team. Way to go clippers.

  14. bj says:

    cool reflective and energized comment from a true fan COMMON SENSE ! well done-
    I am all for BULLS, Sixers & Blaze, but are able to enjoy good basketball. Bulls are a rollercoaster team right now and will have to get a lot from the Return, I doubt they get far but I still hope :-). Blazers(home one of most likeable players Drexler, sadly had to go to Houston for a ring :-) ) are young and much like a young Thunder team- a sign of change in basketball play. Sixers may first encounter landing in US, and home of Dr J, Barkley ,Iverson and more -have sadly a long way to go.

    Anyway thanks Clippers fan, all I wish for is that more teams can play and fight for Finals victory and put some brakes on all this free-agency stuff, make room for 2 yrs try-out seasons and then offer maximum 3 yrs contracts, that will give the player and team ample time of 5 yrs to make it work. The money and popular hi-life places to live talks too much!

    Its time to give Kevin Durant the MVP, at least if they win their conference, unless Clippers takes it to the Finals unless Rose makes a magical Return and victory to Chicago once again :-)

  15. Bob M says:

    You can run stats and match ups all you want, but the bottom line is who is hot at the end of the year, who is healthy, and what team is playing the defense. The Clips have some real talent. I’ll take the frontcourt of Griffin, Jordan, and Odom over Ibaka and Perkins. The Heat proved that you have to take it to the rack and dunk on them in the Finals last year.
    I like the Clips, it isn’t Lob City anymore. They can score inside and out, and defend. If Lamar Odom gets back to form, know one will want to play them.

    • Shadowspinner says:

      The question is whether you’d take Griffin, Jordan, and Odom over Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins.

      Or to put it another way – would you rather have Ibaka and Durant or Jordan and Griffin? You can’t leave Durant out of the equation. The key players for OKC are Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka. The keys for the Clips are Paul, Griffin, and then a debate since they have so many contributors this year.

      As for no one wanting to play them, you just described the top 5 seeds in the west. No one will want to play OKC, Memphis, San Antonio, or Golden State right now either.

      Clippers inside scoring is also questionable. They get a large chunk of their points in the paint out of transition. Until April we won’t find out if they can keep running once playoffs hit.

      • BJ says:

        Don’t know how old you are Shadowspinner, but the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons won their champonships with defense thru the season with primarily defense back in the 90′s. I remember when they played, they literally shut teams down with tenacious defense and won in transition. Defense is the key, you will never win with just offense. All teams that have won champonships have won with some level of good defense. And the Clippers have added an excellent defensive package to their arsenal. I expext to the see this team in the WCF for sure if not the Finals also.

  16. Shawn says:

    i was just commenting on Cpaul on the dwill page in contrast. Gosh CP is such a fantastic leader. i am an executive, not in basketball… but the same principles apply. Chauncey Billups is my favorite player and i love the way he mentors CP and that CP was open to his leadership right away, which i did not see in detroit with Stuckely who to me seemed arrogant. Its the humility of Chris, yet strength that as Barkley says makes everyone better. Talent is a dime a dozen…

    • BJ says:

      A agree 100% Shawn. CP3 is a great leader. I love his comment when he said “in order to be a good leader you first have to be a good listener”. when you don’t listen you simply lead…. blindly. A leaders decision has to be for the benefit of all involved and the only way a decision can be made to benefit all invoved is to listen and have input from all involved. CP3 displays that. Chauncey Billups is truly a great leader because like you said, you see him mentoring and teaching Paul from the bench. True leadership is a quality not many people possess. I love these guys, the depth, the talent, the character, the style…. all excellent ingredients for championship quality and caliber. I hope they continue to shine and break records and make history. This franchise deserves it.

      GO CLIPPERS!!!!!!!!

  17. T K V says:

    Jealousy!

  18. Lakers-R-Us says:

    @Common Sense! Your rantings make you sound frustrated! What’s wrong? Your team is winning! And, for the record, I would never jump ship and join the Clipper bandwagon; so you don’t have to worry. A young team lucked into Chris Paul; and believe me; Chris Paul IS that team. Without him you can forget it.

    • Common Sense says:

      exactly my point. Clipper fans are fans whether the team is winning or not. And I was educating non LA people not laker fans. I’m aware that true laker fans would never jump ship, as you say. Finally, “luck? And team is nothing without”… Were the lakers lucky to get Kobe? Are the lakers anything without Kobe? What’s your point? Yes if you take the main piece of a puzzle away it’s hard to complete a picture. What’s the Spurs without Duncan, what’s OKC without Durant? I’m not frustrated my friend, I’m simply clearing the air. Everyone keeps asking questions about LA and what it’s like with the clippers. And what the clippers franchise will do to the city, and will it ever be a Clipper town. I just thought the rest of the nation should get a piece of what it’s like to be in LA, and what a true clipper fan feels. Lakers can own our history, I like to live in the present and look forward to the future. Cheers!

      • Kobe says:

        Yes LUCK Lakers would have CP3 and Howard if it wasnt for the coaches complaining then david stern veto’ing the trade…………..and Lakers will make it further than the clippers in the playoffs lol we only lost 1 game with out complete team and the arent even gel’ed together yet…

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        I like Billy Crystal’s loyalty…

      • Common Sense says:

        Kobe, my comment for you is below

      • Hm says:

        @Kobe:
        Yeah, they might have had CP3, but they would still have Kobe Bryant. You can’t have CP3 as a PG AND have Bryant use up 32.81% of all possessions (which is a lot of possessions considering he is averaging 38.67 minutes per game).

        That being said, there is nothing the Lakers could’ve offered him that matches what the Clippers offered him: total creative freedom. He helped put that team together this offseason because he knew they’d play well with him.

      • BJ says:

        Kobe, you sound like another die hard Laker fan, which is nothing wrong with it, Im one myself. but you are foolling yourself if you think the Lakers are about to go anywhere this year. now I give the Lakers credit they are playing well again, looking like they are back to their old selves of winning games. but they won’t make it to the finals this year. not with the line up they have. it won’t happen. I mean how are you drawing the conclusion that the Lakers will go futher in the playoffs than the Clippers, other than just wishful thinking and hope…. and praying, Because looking at both teams the Clippers have far more depth and talent and looking at their record they are showing that they do.

      • Tired of the lazy journalist-Cliphaters says:

        Hey @Kobe
        It was the Cleveland owner not coaches that complained the CP3 trade to the Lakers.
        It was the commissioner acting as the owner of the New Orleans Hornets who said the deal was not good enough. The players and situation he held out for and got from the Clippers was much better than the Lakers’
        And before you complain about the commissioner getting involved may I suggest you look into how the Lakers got Magic Johnson. The Comission GAVE the New Orleans Jazz first round pick to LA because N.O. signed free agent Gail Goodrich to a contract. By the rules the Lakers were entitled to NOTHING.

        SO go back to that Cocoon of Neurosis where most Laker fans live and watch every look on Howard’s face to find an indication as to whether he will resign next summer. Root for your team to reach the 6th spot in the playoffs. But you’ll be missing one of the great sports stories / teams in the history of sport. I was a 15 year old rooting for the 1969 Mets and Joe Namath’s Jets. This Clipper season is rivaling those experiences. I’m happy to share it with great people like COmmon Sense and BJ and like they’ve said I couldn’t care less if the rest of you join. We’re Havin Fun. God Bless you Clippers.

    • Game Time says:

      Kinda like how Lakers got Howard by “luck”. Remember he did want to be in Brooklyn. If Paul really wanted to be a Laker he would be, end of story.

  19. Croakus says:

    If the bench can continue to rest the starters during the regular season, how fresh will they be for the playoff’s when all the others are all worned out, Go Clippers! Chase the ring!

  20. I Love LA says:

    RE: Common Sense.

    You really summed up the attitude in LA. I’m a Clipper fan living here as well and all anybody talks about is how bad the Lakers are. Clippers have the best record in the league but everybody talks Kobe, Howard and Gasol.

    I’m actually happy about it because you can get Clipper tickets for half of what Lakers tickets cost, and its the exact same stadium but with a MUCH better team.

    Keep sleeping LA…and America…I love you for it.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      That’s bad business.

      Pay more to watch a subpar team???

      Maybe they should move the team to Seattle, Las Vegas, or Kansas City.
      ;-)

    • BJ says:

      I love both teams, they are both LA teams. Ive been a Laker fan since the Kareem and Magic days. I started rooting for the Clippers when Brand and Maggette were playing and got to the second round of the playoff back in either ’04 or ’05. I look at teams when they have the talent and give creadit where credit is due. if a team is playing good, I give them credit…. regardless of what city they are in honestly. But the Clippers are going to be the team to beat this season. Look for them to go all the way.

  21. Common Sense says:

    FOR THE RECORD:
    Clippers Fans must let people outside of LA understand. We don’t care what anyone thinks about the Clippers. Forever nobody has cared about our clippers and made fun of us for liking a losing team. This team has fought it’s way back from the trenches and that in it of itself is relief for some of us fans. And we don’t only think they’ll continue to be one of the great teams we know they will. We don’t care if Barkley joins the fan base, we don’t care if they get more televised games on national TV. IN FACT, WE FAR MORE PREFER TO WATCH THE GAMES WITH RALPH LAWLER AND MIKE SMITH ANNOUNCING THEM. NATIONALLY TELEVISED GAMES GET ANNOUNCERS THAT KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE CLIPPERS(Granted they know a lot about the game of basketball, but they know very little about our team and why we do what we do) And finally, so people outside of LA know, Ernie asked what it’s like to be in LA now that the clippers are winning and CP3 said he didn’t know, well this is what’s going on in LA. NOTHING! CLIPPER FANS ARE HAPPY BUT NOTHING ELSE HAS CHANGED! It’s still Laker town and always will be. Laker fans will use the 16 championships until the day they die. And ESPN in LA(710), hates the Clippers. They also hate the UCLA Bruins for that matter. They are the home of the Lakers and the Trojans, done. Clipper fans forever will be the underrated, underdog, with more spirit and heart than any other team in the NBA, because they will never not be pushed down. They will never not be judged by their past. Judged by McAdoo and other granddaddys of the NBA. Fans live in the past, just like Laker fans and Trojan Fans. Bruins were better this year in football, but not talked about on ESPN,(take it back, once, but that’s it) If any other team was playing as well as the clippers(IE. Memphis, they wouldn’t be talked about with such scrutiny, and they aren’t) Yet the Clippers beat the Grizzlies best out of Seven last year and beat them in the season opener this year. Yet it will always be, yeah, but can the clippers keep it up. It will never be good enough for non-clipper fans, and we couldn’t care less! We don’t want the fans from other Teams, we DEFINITELY DON’T WANT LAKER FANS, and all in all we don’t care what anyone thinks. We love our team because it’s our team and everyone else can say what they want, but we don’t care if you make fun of the team, and we care just as little if you had a change of heart and joined the bandwagon. We chose to RISE with the clippers when they first started to ascend, and those that rose with us know the feeling. We need noone on our side, we need not to look good and have others that agree with us. We have no problem standing alone cheering for our team in a city full of negativity, angst and spite towards us fans and the clippers. We’ll just sit back, watch the games, and smile.

    • cal says:

      Im a Clip fan since the Odom, Brand, Miles, Gentry era. Always got made fun of because everyone in the OC loves Kobe and Shaq. If the Clips became loser again, oh well, that’s where we came from. But to go from being great to a loser, is just sad.

    • Average Joe says:

      I am a fan of NBA basketball in general and of one man’s play in particular. I was rooting for the Clippers back when they had Olowokandi, Q Rich, Darius Miles, Maurice Taylor and Odom. And also when they had Brand and Kaman, when Kaman was still producing at nearly the level of an All-Star. Yes, the Clippers have been the butt of bad jokes all throughout the franchise’s existence for almost always failing to hold on to franchise-changing players. But all that is changing now, with Jordan, Griffin and especially with Paul. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to play with an exciting core of players and an organization building a reputation for treating its people the right way? So, I guess my friend, all those years of being at the cellar of the NBA should be almost forgotten now. Correct?

    • wide.awake.nightmare says:

      amen, la is such a joke with its bandwagon lakers fans and dramatics, ive been opting for clips tickets over lakers since griffins first season (both for price, game quality and crowd loyalty) I live in central cali so i go to clips, lakers,GSW, and Sac games… Lakers fsns should go to the bay area to see what being a die hard fan is all about… now the clips are slowly becoming the warriors of the so cal, the unsung heros, hard working, under the radar team, who could show purple and gold what showtime means in the modern NBA. I love it, i will always love the clips, no matter how little cred any bandwagon fakers fan hates

      • BJ says:

        Well the Clippers showed what they are made of again last night agiasnt the Jazz. they have substance, they have talent, they have skill and they have style. I hope they keep this winning streak going. they have so many weapons on their roster, that anyone can get hot and carry the load on any given night. Butler did it for them last night. Im proud of the guys. they are showing they have what it takes to win night after night. These games this week are going to be brutal, but they’ve beat them all before. So lets see what they do.

  22. Jacob says:

    Clips are good this year but they’re not a championship team. There bench scores half of their points, when it comes to the playoffs and rotations shorten this team’s going to be in trouble because I haven’t seen much production from CP3 and Blake.

    • Hm says:

      You can still use the bench in the playoffs, you know. The starters won’t be averaging that much more minutes in the playoffs. I hope you’re not implying that having a deep team in the playoffs is a bad thing.

      Not to mention that there is nothing wrong with Paul or Griffin’s production. Both are averaging offensive ratings and PERs that are above average for them. Both are playing the best defence of their careers, as are Bledsoe, Jordan, Odom, Barnes, Hollins and Crawford. They have only five players with a defensive rating of 100 or more (Hollins, Crawford, Billups, Butler, Green). I don’t think there’s any other team that has this many players (with, say, more than 200 minutes played) in the top 30 for defensive rating.

    • Willie Beamen says:

      The Clippers bench has bene blowing people out in the 3rd quarter so Paul and Griffith sometimes sit out the entire 4th quarter . Come playoffs rotations only have to be cut if players are not playing well good teams dont cut the minutes of guys playing well just because its the playoffs .

      • BJ says:

        And you have to take into consideration that when the playoffs get here they will up their game anyway. The tensity and the defense will become even stronger.

    • BJ says:

      Looking at all the teams playing, who would you consider a championship team? then ask yourself have the Clippers beat them? I mean people will simply not give the Clippers credit for anything they are doing positive. Any team you can point to, to be of championship caliber simply match them up against the Clippers. All the eastcost teams are sorry. the Knicks are playing well but I don’t see them dominating in the league. All the eastcoast teams are mediocre, thats why they have the record they have. Maimi is the only team out of the east that has championship status, becasue they did win. but the Clippers have beat them twice… convincingly. So I don’t see your point in saying the Clippers are not a Championship team. they went to the second round last year, with Paul and Griffin injured AND Billips on the bench. If they stay healthy thru this season, look for the Clippers to go all the way to the Western confrence finals and to the finals.

      • Shadowspinner says:

        Playoff team: OKC

        Have the Clips beaten them this season: No

        Next question?

        Seriously, the Clips are having a great season, but they bog down in the half court. They would stand a better chance of winning if they make the final than they do of getting out of the west if that makes any sense. The east has two teams fighting right now in New York and Miami, and neither eastern team looks invulnerable. Out west you have OKC, San Antonio, Memphis, and dark horse Golden State. That means to get out of the west you’ll have to beat three dominant teams, each with highly divergent styles.

        Can the Clips beat Memphis in a slowed down game? Can they beat SAs execution? Can they compete beat OKC? Can they maintain the intensity and balance they’ve shown so far? The fact that the west is so much stronger than the east (Miami would be a 4th or 5th seed in the west) makes it that much harder to get out of the conference and run and gun teams have always faced a difficult time in playoffs compared to regular season.

    • BJ says:

      so where is it written in the NBA rule book that the rotation has to stop becasue of the playoffs? the rotation works and if its still working when the playoffs get here, why stop that winning formula? completely illogical. CP3 and Griffin and others don’t have to play as much, which is a great thing. it lesson their probability of getting hurt for playing longer minutes, so inturn they have a greater chance of being healthy when the playoffs get here.

      The deepest and most talented team in the league right now, has the best record. its simple as that. Its sad that the Clippers have this losing legacy and because of that people can’t see what they are doing right now. its funny how short everyones memory is when they when deep into the playoff last season with CP3 and Grffin hurt and Billips on the bench hurt. if they are healthy when the playoffs get here, watch them go all the way at least in the west.

  23. mark says:

    Neither Indiana nor the Clippers have played Houston (top offensive team and highest possesions per 100), yet. The other 3 in the top 5 have and Chicago has played the Rockets twice. So, let’s see who is at the top of the list after the Rockets have played everybody at least once. Memphis was number one before they played Houston.

    • Game Time says:

      LMAO! Clippers have beaten EVERY top tream and you’re talking about Houston?

    • BJ says:

      Exactly!!!!! The Clippers have beaten all the marquee teams that are strong in the league. The main reason their blowing teams out is that most of the teams they are playing right now are alll below .500. they beat the good teams and blow by the sorry teams…. and you think Houston is about to stop them? LOL. get real.