In case you haven’t noticed, the LA Clippers are 6-2 and have beaten the Lakers, the Spurs, the Grizzles (who have lost to no other team and who possess the only better record in the Western Conference) and the almighty Miami Heat.
They are doing it with a dominating starting lineup, the league’s number one shooting percentage, an aggressive defense that has given them the most steals per game, a great young coach, and the best bench in the NBA.
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|Besides the play of the stars that are supposed to be dominating – Chris Paul and Blake Griffith – two keys have been the development of 24-year-old DeAndre Jordan and 22-year-old Eric Bledsoe. Jordan at the starting center spot was gong to be the weak link in the starting lineup, but after a slow start he has been a revelation, averaging almost 16 points, two blocks, and over seven boards per game over the last five. Bledsoe has been a dominating player off the bench, with defense, speed, and overall heady play. He’s shooting 62.5% for the season and double|
figures in points per game while playing over 18 minutes per game.
Even more evidence of their fabulous bench are the performances of Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford. Crawford in 28 minutes per game is the team’s leading scorer, and Barnes has done everything for the Clippers that the Lakers had hoped he would do for them.
All this and they have gotten a zero contribution from Lamar Odom, and Chauncey Billups and Grant HIll are yet to play in a game.
The biggest question mark now facing the Clippers will be how well they fare on the road. Seven of their first eight have been at Staples. After tomorrow’s home game against a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team, the Clippers will start a four game road trip that takes them to a couple of the tougher stops in the NBA, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, plus Atlanta and their inaugural game in Brooklyn.
Time to digress for a moment, to bring up a point left out of our last post about the Lakers. The Lakers have a game tonight, here in LA. New coach Mike D’Antoni is also here, in LA. He had a press conference yesterday. Everyone saw him here, in LA, yesterday. Why isn’t he coaching tonight? What kind of crap is that? He’s THE coach, he’s here. The team is here. COACH THE DAMN TEAM!
Donald Sterling would not stand for that.