The 2013-14 NBA season is upon us. Real games and official stats will replace a world of professional speculators. Many will wisely incorporate common sense and realism to their water cooler predictions. Fans will continue to discard salary caps, previous records and ownership to anoint their chosen team as the next champion, while making a case that last season’s winner simply got lucky.
Los Angeles Clippers fans watched proudly as the organization made significant upgrades on the bench and in the locker room. They are a better team than last year. In a league aimed at making perennial dominance by a single team financially crippling, the Clippers were able capture win 56 games during the regular season.
This season, the Clippers will be deeper, better coached and have a roster full of specialists. But don’t expect the Clippers to break the Chicago Bulls‘ record of 72-10, or even the Clipper’s franchise record captured last season. Thanks to the new CBA, parody has allowed bad teams to be competitive on any given night. While others are finding that their young stars are great players, period.
The Clippers will struggle to win 50 games this season. They have a new coach in Doc Rivers with a winning system and so many unfamiliar faces that players will spend an entire training camp wearing name tags. Yet, there’s one thing each Clippers player has in common; none came from winning organizations. They were not the opponent that circled on schedules around the league. It’s uncertain how this Clippers team will respond to teams no longer looking past them.
In order for Rivers to coach his team deep into the playoff and more, they’ll have to humble teams that carry themselves with a sense of entitlement when the snow is gone for good and summer bragging rights are on the line. The Clippers have to compete in all 82 games of the regular season. Whether they win 45 games or all 82, the goal is to not be watching the playoffs in someone’s man cave or a lobby bar where drinks are served with umbrellas.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook at Christopher-Rant Sports.