By now you’re familiar with our “Pass the Mic” series – a feature where he give the pen and pad to some of our best readers to let them drop knowledge on the NBA. We’ve had previous posts on everything from game-saving rule changes to essays on how money is ruining the world’s greatest game to imagining what life would be like without Mike. Today, we’re turning the space over to Scottie Braden, who thinks the Clippers may be able to pull off the impossible this season.
First off, I just want to say this piece is not being submitted by a biased, diehard Clippers fan. Sure I used to choose the Clippers franchise for all of my NBA Live seasons, but never drafted any of their actual players which was done to simply take the worst team in reality and improve them into a championship team via Xbox.
Let’s be honest: the Clippers are the red-headed stepchild to the Lakers. (No pun intended Blake.) They have never lived up to the legacy of the Lakers, and it’s almost as if we’ve all, including Donald Sterling, accepted that as their fate. Regardless, I am here by stating my claim: the Los Angeles Clippers will get the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs this season. Allow me…
In 35 games this year, the Clippers have shown they have elite talent. Eric Gordon is averaging 23.5 ppg and Blake Griffin compliments that with 21.7 ppg of his own. Those averages are good enough for 10th and 15th in the league respectfully, and they’re only getting better.
Baron Davis is “rounding” into shape, and when he is healthy he can be a top 10 point guard in the league if he wants to be. DeAndre Jordan is getting legitimate burn this year with over 24 minutes per game, and proving to be a defensive presence (1.6 bpg) that’s very difficult to shoot over. Rookie Al-Farouq Aminu is showing unexpected range shooting 42 percent from downtown. And that’s not on 15 attempts; he’s made 32 of 76 tries. And don’t let me forget the Clippers’ only All-Star, Chris Kaman, who averaged 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season, but has only played in 10 games this year due to injury. He’s potentially the piece that puts them into playoff contention when he returns sometime this month.
Yes, the Clippers are 11-24 so far this season, but they’ve won six of their last 10 games. The San Antonio Spurs, the NBA’s top team, have six losses on the year, and one came at the hands of the Clippers. Admittedly, the Clippers’ bench is weak, but if Kaman returns and plays anything like last year, and the real Boom Dizzle decides to show up, the Clippers have as good a shot at the eighth seed as anyone else.
What do you think?
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