|The Clippers have the second-best offensive five-man lineup in the NBA (minimum 90 minutes played), but have looked good and not great through the season. Los Angeles' 20-point win over the Mavericks was impressive, but getting beat up by Hassan Whiteside (23 points, 16 rebounds, 29 minutes) and the Heat was not.
|Perhaps no two days this season illustrate the up-and-down nature of these Clips more than Saturday's rout of the Mavs ... followed by a humbling L on the same floor to Miami. You heard Jamal Crawford's take, right? Says the reigning Sixth Man of the Year: "We're consistently inconsistent."
|They've won games, but never seem to win a game that impresses you. Even the victory vs. the Mavericks wasn't as good as it looks on the surface. And their penchant for getting absolutely embarrassed in their own building isn't exactly encouraging.
|The Clippers have had talks about acquiring Doc Rivers' son Austin. If they do trade for him, it will be interesting to see if he's able to get minutes.
|If Doc Rivers wants to coach his kid, well, every parent understands that impulse.
|The Clippers were on their way to a 7-2 homestand until they were outscored 37-12 by the Heat in a 10-minute stretch spanning the first and second quarters on Sunday. It was the latest example of how much they need bench help. But they've been watching the Western Conference arms race from the sidelines so far, and Austin Rivers isn't the answer.
|This team is tougher to predict than Steve Ballmer’s dance moves. After pounding the Mavs by 20, the Clips were blown out at home by the Heat, who had lost five-of-six. L.A.’s starters are sound, but the team’s second unit -- particularly Jamal Crawford (32.6 percent from the field this month) and Spencer Hawes (30.3 percent) -- is struggling of late.
|Pro Basketball Talk
|Sunday seemed to sum up the Clippers — they should have been able to beat the Heat but a combination of a lack of both bench play and consistent defense from their bigs did them in. If the regular season is about building good habits for the playoffs then the Clippers are behind a lot of other top six teams in the West.
|They somehow have been much better against the Western Conference than the East.
|Although their starting unit is firmly cemented as perhaps the finest 5-man lineup this side of the bay, the Clippers' bench continues to ail the team and hold it back from the heights it should be reaching. Although Jamal Crawford has mostly played well, it's his fellow substitutes (including new additions Spencer Hawes and Jordan Farmar) whose play has been submarining the team and consistently giving up leads and putting the starters behind. The team continues to play well, yet it continues to feel like there's a gear they're missing. Maybe a certain prodigal son might be the answer...
Power Rankings Watch: Consistently Inconsistent
Unlike the Clippers, most Power Rankings are nowadays settling into a consensus, with teams having established themselves in several distinct tiers. As of recent weeks, it seems as if rankers have established the Clippers among the lower tier of contenders, aka the also-rans. It'll take some winning to change that.
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