We’re past the halfway mark of the NBA season and if you’re a gambling man, the only safe bet to make is on which teams won’t be playing for a championship in late spring. Those franchises in Milwaukee, Orlando and Cleveland shall remain nameless to protect them from public scrutiny while their fates rely heavily on the results of a lottery.
Lofty expectations mean very little in an 82-game season when injuries, trades and Father Time can show up at an athlete’s doorstep sooner than expected. Yet, for 16 teams that will play their way into the postseason, there are only five that could legitimately window shop for rings and be taken seriously.
The Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams that have a real shot at winning a championship. They don’t have the best record in the league or their division, but it’s been their response to adversity that has made the team a more battle-tested and confident unit going forward.
Monday night will be the end of a seven-game road trip for the Clippers. They’re currently 5-2, with back-to-back wins against the scrappy Chicago Bulls and a young Toronto Raptors team coming off of an rare two-game winning streak; worthy of a text message, but surely nothing to write home about.
Yet, when the Clippers started their road trip with a 14-point loss to the current regular season champion Indiana Pacers, they were without their best player and looked as though they found serenity in their misfortunes, while becoming a team less reliant on one player.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin is having an MVP stretch in Chris Paul‘s, absence. When asked how the team has been able to have such offensive success without their leader, Griffin stated, “rely on the system” — a championship answer.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook. Christopher-Rant Sports.