Give a listen to this edition of True Hoop TV on the Clippers defense. Our old friend Kevin Arnovitz discusses the shortcomings of the Clippers on that side of the ball so far with Amin Elhassan. Elhassan sums things up nicely at the end.
Their offense is so good that the defense doesn't have to be elite; it just has to not be terrible, which it has been so far.
It's encouraging that Elhassan believes the defense can be top half of the league. It stands to reason in some ways that indeed they can. The were eighth last season, and the first unit (with Redick and Dudley representing upgrades over Green/Billups and Butler and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin hopefully improving with experience) figures to be better, even if the loss of Bledsoe hurts the second unit. And surely Doc Rivers is worth something.
A part of me wants the defense to remain truly terrible in an attempt to shatter stereotypes. I think their offense can be so good that they can win -- a lot -- with a terrible defense. I guess I don't really want to find out if I'm right about that, but it would be a noble experiment.