The Los Angeles Clippers have been rolling for quite a while now. It’s no secret that they’ve been arguably the most impressive team in the NBA outside of the San Antonio Spurs over the second half of the 2013-14 regular season. For the first time since their rise to prominence, they’ve legitimately looked like title contenders.
What’s been most impressive about their run over the second part of this season, though, is the fact that they’ve been able to accomplish it all while hardly being healthy. They just recently got prized offseason acquisition J.J. Redick back in the lineup and are likely going to be without Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger until the start of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.
While they’ve been dealing with all of these injuries and still succeeding, though, it’s hard to escape the feeling that they will more than ready for the postseason. In fact, it’s hard to escape the feeling that these injuries could actually benefit the Clippers when they get into the thick of the playoffs. Obviously you want your team to be at full-health going into the postseason, but there’s something to be said for what this team has gained while dealing with all of the injuries that they have this season.
The injuries have brought about a number of positive things for this team. The Chris Paul injury earlier in the year allowed Blake Griffin to elevate his game to new heights. Possibly more importantly, though, is what this team has gained with the Crawford and Redick injuries. There have been times in recent years when this team has simply resorted to relying on guys like Crawford to create their own offense and carry this team. That’s fine occasionally, but it’s not a recipe for success in the playoffs.
If the Clippers can translate the experience of having to consistently win as a team into the playoffs and on having to play more consistent defense, that’s something that could possibly mean this team finally getting over the hump and emerging as one of the favorites in the West.