Our Clippers can not get any respect! Why you ask? Well I ponder the same question everyday! Just because the other teams atop the western conference are battle tested & proven. That might be true but these current spurs are recent losers getting knocked out of the playoffs twice by inferior teams (2011 8th seeded Griz, 2012 2nd seeded thunder, both years the spurs were ranked no. 1). The Thunder is a well oiled unit but need I remind the world that last year the same thunder team lost three of four games to our L.A. Clippers! Even though they(the thunder) did make it to the finals last year, the path they took was much easier than the road the Clippers took! Being one of five or less teams that had two back to back to back scheduled games, but also being one of a handful of teams that had three consecutive games on the road in consecutive nights! In the end the Clippers were battle fatigued & injured! That's not an excuse at all but it is totally the truth! They were an under sized team with the tallest player standing 6'11'', and their best wing player (Caron Butler) had an injured hand the entire playoffs!
Now jump ahead to this years roster with a decided height advantage over last years team, oh yeah we had a full preseason training camp with all our players (except Billups, who was rehabbing)! Needless to say I echoe the words of our (homer) color analyst Mike Smith when I say that CP3 & Blake are much more familiar with each others game than last year. As far as our résumé goes this year the Clippers have beaten every elite team we have faced except for the thunder. Keep in mind they do have three loses to teams in the bottom of the league, which I blame all three loses on bad coaching decisions by Vinny Del Negro. In the Cleveland game Willie Green could not handle Dion Waiters who had a career night, in the first New Orleans game Blake had his worst game as a pro and played way to many mins. with that being said, and Turiaf didn't get any run! Then in the last lost to Orlando I believe that coach Del Negro made a huge mistake inserting Grant Hill in the game at the time he did, the fourth quarter of a highly competitive game against a team that was playing at the time like that game made or broke their season!
Now the other loses on the schedule were against alright teams on their home floors except for the first lost to the warriors. Other than those few blemishes on the record every challenge that we have faced this year the Clippers have answered, going into some hostile arenas grinding out some much need wins against teams in playoff contention! I reiterate the word playoff contention because the season is barely past the half way point.
Now looking at the résumé of the team that is directly above the Clippers in the standings, the Oklahoma City Thunder. No doubt in my mind or every other basketball enthusiast is a very talented team, but so far on the year they are unproven and have not answered every challenge they have faced on the year. With seven of their eight loses coming to teams with records .500 or above. With the bulk of their wins coming at home against teams .500 or below, and only twelve of their 32 wins coming against teams in playoff contention as I type these words. With the above stated facts it is my opinion that with this up coming weak of real challenges to the Thunder their true colors as a very talented elite team will show its head, but they are in no way the leader of the group! That title is deservedly reserved for the most complete team with the best leader(CP3) in the NBA the Los Angeles Clippers!