Just in case anyone forgot, there are two NBA teams in Los Angeles. That’s right, the Clippers are an actual NBA team.
Lately, the Clippers have been bad. (I worked with that sentence for about five minutes and couldn’t find a better way to say it.) They’ve just been bad. In the last four seasons, they’ve accumulated a total of 111 wins. That’s an average of 27 wins per year. Nothing to brag about, especially when you have to share your stadium with that one team who keeps winning NBA championships.
But it’s not all bad for the Clips. A week ago they got their first win, beating the Thunder at home 107-92. Yes, they started 0-4 and are just 1-6 through their first seven, but I took something from that game. First, that Eric Bledsoe is officially better than Baron Davis and should start every night at point guard. Second, Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin are going to be stars. And lastly, this team could be scary in two or three years.
When you sit down and look at this roster, it almost turns you into a Clippers fan. A bunch of cool, young players who like to shoot threes and throw alley-oops to each other, a balding center, the whole “little brother” Clippers/Lakers thing (see, I’m becoming a bigger fan as we speak). They seem to be a promising young team. A team with some hope. But hope is something that doesn’t get along with the Clippers anymore. I think the Clippers and Hope went out a couple times back in the day. A few dinners, nothing special. Things went well. Hope was into the Clippers and the Clippers liked Hope. But the Clippers never called Hope back. Hope waited by the phone for days. But the Clippers never called. And that was it. By the way, that’s my theory as to why the Clippers have been so bad/unlucky for the past 200 years.
The Clippers are young, but there is no denying the talent that this team posses. Gordon, coming off a gold gedal at the FIBA World Championship this summer, is averaging 21.1 ppg. An explosive guard who has the ability to score in a variety of ways. A guy who can go off for 40 any given night. Someone who can dunk on you one play, then pull up and hit and three the next. A stronger, more athletic version of Ben Gordon.
Then there’s Griffin. Through seven games, Griffin is averaging 18.1 ppg and 11.0 rpg as well as leading the NBA in dunks. The man is an absolute beast. Few players in the league posses his combination of size and athleticism and it shows on a nightly basis. He tears up teams with undersized power forwards and uses his speed and agility against bigger, slower centers. He’s a constant mismatch who out hustles and outworks his opponent every night. That’s what I like about the guy. He has a nonstop motor and it’s a joy to watch.
Bledsoe is the final piece that makes me really excited about this team. In his second career start against the Thunder on Wednesday night, he made seven of his first nine shots and ended with 17 points and eight assists. Bledsoe is lighting quick and I have the feeling that the best is yet to come. In his last three games, Bledsoe is averaging 15.3 ppg and 8.3 apg, not to mention shooting at blistering 62 percent from the field. Playing along side John Wall at Kentucky, we really didn’t get to see what Bledsoe was fully capable of. He had his moments here and there, but has not been the feature point guard on a team since high school. Davis, who was out with a sore knee against the Thunder, is expected to be back in the lineup soon, most likely pushing Bledsoe out of the starting line up. Eventually however, the reigns will be handed over to Bledsoe. And with Gordon and The Hulk, that’s one heck of a foundation to build your team around.
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Hope doesn’t make an angry appearance at the next Clippers home game. I probably just jinxed the entire season with that sentence. Run Blake! Run for your life!
What do you think?
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