The Los Angeles Clippers are cruising. They’ve weathered long, cold road trips, defeated many of the NBA‘s elite teams, and humbled the young and the promising. Before the season began, there were only two certainties concerning the 2013 Clippers — Chris Paul would return to the organization a very rich man, and head coach Doc Rivers was leaving “Bean Town” for a life style of yoga and tofu. Yet it was unclear what Clippers’ front-court players Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would do to improve the team’s chances of ascending out of the league’s doghouse and joining the fraternity of relevancy, or if the would remain Clippers at all.
Griffin has expanded his desire to be a more complete player, averaging a quiet double double percontest. He still holds the ball on the block a bit longer than anyone with a schedule to keep would like, but as the team’s leading scorer, his 21-and-11 should buy him more patients from Clipper Nation.
Jordan exemplified the old adage “more with less.” His athleticism and ability to run the floor made him a star on Sports Center and accustomed to the “Lob City” lifestyle, but a few intimate session with Rivers changed Jordan from opportunist on offense to a relentless rebounded and ball swatter. Jordan is still being billed for free-throws at 41 percent, but that’s a small price to pay for erasing points on one end of the floor and getting a helpless defender in foul trouble in transition.
There are still a couple months left before teams throughout the league start positioning themselves for playoffs spots and home-cooking. Stars will see more minutes, the pace of the game will turn the season marathon into a sprint, and individual weaknesses will be game-planned and exploited mercilessly.
Fortunately for the Clippers, they have a championship coach that has been there, adjusted, and clipped a Cuban as the last man standing.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like Him on Facebook. Chrstopher-Rant Sports.