The regular season is over for the Clippers. I’m proud to say that I watched all 82 regular season games (even watched all the preseason games). That’s about as obsessed as someone could be.
Throughout those 82 games, I’ve watched this team go through many phases: The media’s offseason predictions were that they’d be a force to be reckoned with, but after the first few games, they were labeled the complete opposite. I watched them become a team that wasn’t liked anymore. People called them whiners, and divas, and overrated. I’ve seen them step up to the challenge for big games, but lose games that they had no business losing. Overall, during the first quarter of this season, they lacked an identity. That was only the beginning of the season though. Everything after that was them dominating nearly every game they played. That explains why they were the best offensive team in the league. But then why didn’t they have the best record?
The only thing that stopped this team from being the best in the league was their weak bench. A bench that gave away so many huge leads that the starters created. It was disgusting to see. So many guys came through that locker-room for the second unit since the offseason, and none of them seemed to pan out.
Even Spencer Hawes, the big free agent signing this season has been possibly the worst +/- player on our team, and probably won’t even be in the playoff rotation now. I cringe when he comes into the game, and I yell at him every time someone throws the ball to him. He played really well for the Cavs and the Sixers in prior years, but has yet to gain confidence with the Clippers. If he does get some minutes during the playoffs, I’m hopeful that he’ll make some type of an impact. We could really use his size and outside shooting, but I’d prefer him get more touches in the paint.
Look at his stats, he’s having a career year in just about every category. Also, go look at the stats of your favorite player in the league. Pick a statistic that you think they’re beating Chris Paul in, and most likely, you’ll be wrong. That’s the beauty of being overlooked.
I keep hearing about how such and such is a better point guard than Paul. I think what they really mean is that they prefer watching them over Paul, because as I look at who has a bigger impact in the league, across the board, it’s not even close. Numbers don’t lie though. When it’s all said and done, every person that overlooked this guy will have to answer to the record books.
Also, an exciting stat to note is that Chris Paul has played in every regular season game this season, something he’s never done before, and something that he challenged himself to do. He accomplished that and stayed healthy the entire time doing so.
I’ve never said this before, but I believe it to be true. The Clippers have the best point guard, power forward and center in the league.
Our big three fly under the radar compared to all the other teams, but I wouldn’t trade any of them for anyone else at their position. From Paul and Griffin’s pick and pop, to doing the pick and pop but alleying it to Jordan—and every play you could imagine in between that set. The chemistry those three have created is unmatched.
This post isn’t about predicting what will happen in the playoffs. I could write about what we’re capable of doing until my hands fall off, but nothing I say will matter once the games start. It’s all about them going out there and proving the world wrong. This post is about their regular season, one that I’m proud to have to witnessed.
Some basketball fans don’t care about the games until the playoffs start. I kind of feel sorry for them. They’re missing out on a beautiful game played every night for months and months. By the time they start caring about the NBA, it’s as if more than half of the movie has already happened—the moments that build the characters for the grand finale—and yet they’re just walking into the theatre, just in time for the climax, missing some of the best moments of the story.
I can’t imagine a better feeling than starting the journey with a team in the offseason and following those guys all the way to the finish line. That’s what it’s all about: not the winning at the end, but the process of getting there.