The End of the Los Angeles Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers remind me of that little brother that always believes he can beat you, and regardless of how close get gets, he can never get over the hill. Since acquiring Chris Paul in 2011, the Clippers have been docked favorites almost every year but haven’t won a thing. Lob City was smothered down every one’s throats for about two years, and ESPN ran with it every chance they got, but since when do alley-oops win championships?

Doc Rivers came along and the level of excitement and favoritism towards the Clippers jumped through the roof even more. With the credentials and coaching ability that Rivers brings, many thought that this was the spark that the Clippers needed. However, Doc and his squad came up short last season. Some blamed it on the Donald Sterling scandal, and others, like myself, just don’t believe that this team is good enough.
YearRankRecord

Playoff Outcome

2011-2012

2nd Pacific Division40-26

Won First Round

Lost Conference Semifinals

2012-2013

1st Pacific Division56-26

Lost First Round

2013-20141st Pacific Division57-25

Won First Round

Lost Conference Semifinals

Since day one, many people have been on the Clippers bandwagon — picking them to win year after year just for them to be deceived come playoff time. Not to pat myself on the back, but from the beginning I’ve never been sold on this team. I can’t rely on a team that wines and complains all the time to go along with constant inconsistent play. The Clippers lead the league in technical fouls per game this season and were also ranked second last season in the same category. Three players from their roster are in the top 10 of technical fouls this season: Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. They get caught up in fouls, tussling, and entertaining the refs that they forget how to play the game, which presumably causes them to beat themselves.
Offensively they rely so much on Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to score with a sporadic big game from J.J. Redick or Jamal Crawford when healthy. The majority of their plays are pick-and-roll and they look for Paul to create all of their offense. Defensively, there are games where they clamp down and others where they lock down for about half the game. Case in point, against the Golden State Warriors this past Tuesday night. They held the lead for the majority of the game but like they’ve always done, they were unable to maintain it. It may seem that the Clippers have been playing well as of late with an 8-2 record in their last ten games, but when you really look, its fool’s gold. Their only quality win was beating the Portland Trail Blazers. Some may say, “well what about the Pelicans and Wizards?” The Wizards haven’t been the Wizards lately and a team struggling to get the eighth seed doesn’t count as a quality win in my book.
For the season, the Clippers have a record of 30-5 against teams below .500 and a whopping record of 20-21 against teams greater than .500. They struggle against good teams and being that the Western Conference is full of stacked teams, it will be a struggle for them to survive.
I believe if and when they get bounced in the playoffs, it will be the end of this team. Some changes must be made to turn this thing around. DeAndre Jordan has already stated he “can’t wait for free agency.” So we already know where his head is. I could be wrong. Maybe they can surprise me and win the title this year and keep their same squad, but I highly doubt it. If they don’t win this year, changes must be made, because they’ve had too much hype and excitement to constantly come up short.

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