What's going on with the Los Angeles Clippers?
"The Clippers will make a very deep playoff run this year"
"The Warriors have a serious threat in the Clippers"
"The LA Clippers may be the best team in all of basketball!"
These comments were being uttered across all sports networks, barber shops, and living room couches nation wide. These comments, although premature and unwarranted in all honesty, were actually believed and accepted as true.
But in the world of sports media, these comments were being preached lifetimes ago
The Clippers no longer have the best record in the NBA, and their greatest start in franchise history, at 14-2. Their defense is not the top rated in points allowed per game anymore. Their bench can't give the biggest spark in the league at this point. Going into games, they are not guaranteed favorites like they once were. Is this further proof that the Los Angeles Clippers are "frauds" and are "an accident waiting to happen" in the playoffs?" Should the Clippers trade their assets while they are still high and concede that they failed in their attempt to bring the first ever championship to the franchise?
Just as the media is quick to pump up a team's stock through the roof and past the realms of reality, while front running them through the mainstream parade after a very small incline on an extremely microscopic portion of a seemingly interminable season, it is just as hasty in throwing a team all the way down into the abyss of mediocrity.
Yes, the Clippers are now 22-14, riding a 6 game losing streak. Yes, they just lost by 24 and 26 to the Rockets and Thunder respectively, both of which the Clippers were supposed to be on a superior level than coming into the season.
Also, don't forget about the invisible killer for any team that can strike at any moment.
The Clippers might honestly have more injured players in their normal rotation than healthy players. Chris Paul is the physical and emotional leader of the team. He's arguably the most intelligent and valuable player in the entire association. He's out for the Clippers game against the Suns tonight, and has been day-to-day with a left hamstring strain for about a week and a half now, which was when this 6 game losing streak first began. Blake Griffin, the leading scorer for the team and one of the biggest talents in the NBA, has been gone for two weeks now with a right knee injury and is expected to miss at least twice that. JJ Redick, one of the deadliest shooters in all of basketball and the Clippers' secret to their excellent spacing and ball movement in the half court, is day-to-day with a hamstring problem of his own. DeAndre Jordan, one of the best defenders and rebounders in the game and also another leader on the team, appeared to aggravate his left hip in their last game against the Thunder. He was showing noticeable pain on every possession. Basically, none of their 4 best players are healthy. Even their typical backup Wesley Johnson is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury. As a result, the Clipper seem to have a different starting lineup every game. This lack of continuity and comfort level between the players on the floor is also contributing to their poor play of late.
So what's going on with the Los Angeles Clippers? Let's not make this situation a bigger deal than it is. Injuries are causing the Clippers to struggle right now. It's as simple as that. The NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. There is guaranteed to be peaks and valleys in every season, which can often be attributed to the health of the team. The Clippers are still the third best team in the West behind the Warriors and Spurs. They still have just as good of a shot to make a run for the championship as they have had the past three or four years. To all you Clippers fans, NBA fans, or basketball observers out there... Do. Not. Panic. Luckily, these current injuries are all soon to be resolved, so it won't be too much longer until we see Chris Paul lobbing to Griffin and Jordan, while Redick is cooking up 3's on the wings.