FanShot

ESPN-Fact or Fiction: The Clippers are back on track.

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3. Fact or Fiction: The Clippers are back on track. Abbott: Fiction. They're back to being an interesting, pretty good team with potential to make noise. But they're still nowhere near their potential. Arnovitz: Fact. The storm cloud has passed for the time being. The Clippers are no longer losing games at home against inferior opponents and the defense definitely has more bite, but we'll have a better idea next week when they travel to Dallas, then host the Lakers. Brown: Fiction. The Clippers are beating teams they should. Convincingly, yet still unsurprisingly. The Clippers are still a 2-guard short of contention and more importantly, the Clippers are still coached by Vinny Del Negro. With games against the Mavs, Lakers, Thunder, Grizzlies and Wolves still to come this month, it'd be wise to wait and see if this train stays on the rails much longer. Harper: Fact. They're definitely back on track to still not being a contender. The Clippers don't have good wing scorers and their team defense is like cutting through butter with a soldering iron. I really want to believe Chris Paul is enough to take this team into contention, but they can't seem to stop anybody unless Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin are playing together. That's not a recipe for rings. Mason: Fiction. The cure for what ails the Clippers won't come overnight, or by the end of this season. The Clippers have a relatively gentle schedule down the stretch and could sneak into the fourth seed in the West, but I think it's too late to dramatically improve their team defense. Finals expectations have been tempered, but getting out of the first round is still far from guaranteed.
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