The Los Angeles Clippers made a statement following their dominant victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Clippers’ message to the Western Conference is loud and clear: take them seriously. Rave about the Golden State Warriors. Rave about the San Antonio Spurs. The Los Angeles Clippers are the real deal.
The Clippers display a stifling defense.
Los Angeles plays tremendous defensive basketball. The Clippers are currently second in the NBA in defensive efficiency, according to ESPN’s Hollinger Statistics. The Atlanta Hawks are the only team ahead of them; by one point. The Hawks play in the Eastern Conference. This makes the Clippers the top defensive team in the Western Conference.
Golden State and San Antonio are two teams with solid to strong offensive efficiency in 2016. The Western Conference has five teams in the NBA’s top seven, regarding offensive efficiency. The Clippers are one of those five teams, but their great defense makes them more intimidating on the floor.
The Clippers are scoring points at a premium.
As mentioned earlier, Los Angeles is one of the NBA’s top offensive teams. Their 108.7 offensive efficiency is fifth best in the league. It is more impressive considering the Clippers are 24th in offensive rebounding. Credit goes to the defense for being the NBA’s ninth best at rebounding the other team.
Back to offense. Los Angeles is finding contributions from everyone. The margin of victory for the Clippers is among the league’s best. They are capable of blowing out opponents at STAPLES Center or elsewhere. Two perfect examples would be the 116-92 victory against the Spurs in San Antonio and the recent 113-94 win in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.
“LOB City” is playing at an elite level in 2016.
The trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan is playing at an incredibly high level. Nicknamed “LOB City,” These three are imposing their will on the rest of the Western Conference.
Griffin leads the Clippers with an average of 21.1 points per game. Paul leads with 8.8 assists per game. Jordan is a rebounding machine, inside the paint, averaging 12.6 per game. They just don’t impose their will offensively. Jordan is quickly becoming one of the best “big men” in the NBA. His average of 1.7 blocks per game is proof of that. Paul is incredibly crafty and witty. His 2.8 steals per game leads the NBA.
“LOB City” gets the job done on both ends of the floor.
2016 is now or never for the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers franchise has been tormented by bad luck and heartbreak since their inception in 1970. This organization has yet to reach the Western Conference Finals; let alone the NBA Finals.
First round playoff exits, postseason collapses and other follies continue to haunt the fan base. 2016 can be the year when things begin to change. One could argue this is the best Clippers team we have ever seen. Head coach Doc Rivers pushed the right buttons. The players are all on the same page and performing strong on both ends of the floor. The talent is there. The attitude might finally be there as well.
Golden State and San Antonio are considered the two teams to beat in the Western Conference. Both are very talented and capable of reaching the NBA Finals in their own right. The Los Angeles Clippers are the real deal, however. If the Clippers are overlooked, they are prone to strike.
This might be the NBA season where stranger things happen.