Heading into this season, the Los Angeles Clippers were pegged as a legitimate title contender and so far, haven’t lived up to the hype. If it wasn’t for the dumpster fire that’s been the Houston Rockets, the Clippers would be representing the title for most disappointing team in the league.
The Clippers have been the bridesmaid of Los Angeles [and the Western Conference] for years, and last season it seemed like they were in position to finally turn the perspective of this franchise around. Following Chris Paul’s epic Game 7 heroics against the Spurs, many believed they would steam roll the Houston Rockets and face-off against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Instead, they blew they’re commanding 3-1 lead over the Rockets and once again were bounced out of the playoffs.
By now, everyone knows that offseason drama between the Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks over signing Deandre Jordan; the Clippers ended up resigning him (although I believe the Mavericks made out as the victors). What many may not be aware of was the comments Doc Rivers made about the Golden State Warriors [to Grantland] and their championship run from the previous season. Rivers said, “You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.” In other words, following an epic collapse, Rivers tried to deflect him team’s failures and throw shade on an accomplishment made by a [bitter] rival.
This all leads back to the opening statement about how the Clippers are the most disappointing team in the league given the preseason hype. The following are my 3 reasons (and explanations) why the Clippers are not title contenders and won’t be for the near future.
- Doc Rivers is overrated
Doc Rivers is a good basketball coach, but I wouldn’t consider him one of the best in the league. Outside of his title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, his teams have come up short more times than not. For the past 2 years the Clippers have been favorites to win the title and both times they’ve lost in the second round; to teams that they should’ve beaten. Rivers hasn’t had the success that one would think given the praise and admiration he’s given throughout the league.
- Chis Paul may be a floor general but he’s not a leader + he’s never gotten past the second round of the playoffs
Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the game along with being one of the dirtiest players. Paul has no problem taking cheap shots at another man’s groin in order to win a game. He’s also been known to call out teammates if they don’t play up to ‘his’ level. Given all that, he’s revered as one of the best “leaders” in the league but he’s yet to bring his team past the second round of the playoffs. Hell, even Carmelo Anthony has done that.
- The Golden State Warriors will continue to beat them [they’re 0-2 against the Warriors so far this season]
It wasn’t a smart move by Rivers to make those comments about the legitimacy of the Warriors title, especially since his team fell flat on their face in the second round. The Warriors took those comments personally and have beaten the Clippers soundly in both of their games this season. If the Clippers were to face the Warriors in the playoffs, I don’t see how the Clippers will have any chance. If they’re lucky, maybe the Warriors will take a game off so they don’t completely blow this team out of the water.
The Los Angeles Clippers look like a mess from top to bottom. If they continue to slide, it will be interesting to see how fast this locker room will turn on each other. One thing is for sure, this team is nowhere near a title contender, and it’s time to start questioning if this coach is the right man for the job.