When the Los Angeles Clippers signed Chris Paul last year and dubbed his new team with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan “Lob City,” everyone expected the Clippers to put on a show.
What no one expected, at least to a certain degree, was how well that highlight-reel style of play would translate into success for Los Angeles. There’s no denying that now, though.
The Clippers notched another 14th consecutive win, blowing-out the Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day 112-100. The game featured a plethora of the aforementioned lobs to Griffin and Jordan. There was also a ridiculous crossover exhibition by Jamal Crawford and athletic plays by guys like Eric Bledsoe and Matt Barnes that left fans saying “whoa!”
Those plays will all be featured on the video-recap of the game as highlights. However, what can’t be calculated by seeing just the highlights is how those plays affect the game.
The Clippers thrive off the energy that those plays create for themselves and the crowd.
On the court, the team absolutely feeds off of those types of plays. You can see it in the smiles on the players’ faces and how they have a little hop in their step. After one of those plays happens, they seem to take on a feeling of near-invincibility, which allows them to take control of games.
In the arena, those plays have a noticeable effect on the crowd. In the Staples Center on Christmas, Crawford’s crossover moves and all of the dunks elicited huge reactions from the Los Angeles crowd.
Even road stadiums change after these types of plays, though. If the Clippers start pulling off highlight dunks and such when they are the away team, it quiets the opposing crowd to where their opponent’s home-court advantage almost completely dissipates.
That’s why this team is becoming more than just a team to watch YouTube videos of. That’s why the Clippers are becoming contenders.
Within their team and in the stadium, they have found a way to not only complete spectacular plays, but to use those plays to their advantage so that they can get the win.
In a league that demands that a team has to have an identity to win, the Clippers undoubtedly know who they are. They are explosive and exciting. And now that they’ve channeled that same explosiveness into a way to win, the league needs to watch out.