I posted something about where I thought the Clippers needed to get to record-wise to have a solid position in the playoffs (40-26). As I typed it up, I realized at the end, unless they really feasted upon 18 games vs the bad or below avg teams, it might be a struggle to get to 40 wins. I had them going 13-5 and obviously no one game can be a solid sign but the Cleveland game did worry me in regards to getting to that 13-5 record. In reality, they will probably need to get to 15-3 to offset the games vs great teams. I think the divide between playoff and non-playoff teams this year in the West conference is more blurred than the past few years. Last year, you had New Orleans, Memphis, and Houston battling it out for the 7th-8th seeds but that was still a three game separation. Basically 9 teams for 8 spots. The year before it was even a bigger separation between 8th spot and 9th spot -- 8 games separation. This year is far different, there are 2 games separating spots 5 to 11. 2 good playoff worthy teams and 1 decent team will be left out of the race. I do think Utah will fade and Houston will not keep up with its current pace but still leaves a Memphis team who will get ZBo back, a Portland team that is pretty deep, and a dangerous Minnesota team (that might be one piece away).
So when I considered all this, I start to get very worried that the Billups injury was a bad sign and Clippers could stumble as they seek to find that 15 pts a game from Billups and his intangibles. The margin for error in the West is razor thin this year. Pre CP3 trade, I was just hoping for a playoff seed (7 or 8 was fine with me). Post CP3 trade, I was thinking 3 through 5 playoff seed. Now I'm worried that things could go downhill.
Just wondering what you all honestly, objectively think...
Where do you see the Clippers on April 27th?
Top 4 seed (with Pacific Division title and stay in the top 5/6 playoff race the whole season with little worry of dropping out) (199 votes)
Playoff seed 5 or 6 (Suffer some ups and downs but stay in top 8 through the whole season) (48 votes)
Playoff seed 7 or 8 (just barely get in due to some lingering effects over Billips loss) (7 votes)
Outside looking in...loss of Billups and defense and coaching shortcomings along with other teams getting better is too much to overcome (0 votes)
254 total votes