Things aren’t great in Clipperland. Sure, LAC is still 22-13, and the miserable cluster of sub-.500 teams jostling for the final playoff spot is still a few steps behind a Clippers team that’s taken a few steps back in the last week. Not everything is awful. But things aren’t great.
L.A. is on a 5-game losing streak, the longest in the NBA and the longest losing streak of the Chris Paul era. The last time the Clippers lost 5 games in a row was during the last season in which they didn’t make the playoffs. Blake Griffin is still set to miss at least two-four more weeks following a minor knee surgery. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are both in and out of the lineup with nagging injuries. The Clippers have the most losses to sub-.500 opponents than any other playoff team from either conference. The list goes on.
A night after Chris Paul sat out of a crucial game against the Houston Rockets, the Clippers find themselves back in a match-up that’s gonna weigh pretty heavily in the standings. The Clippers are now in a three-way tie in the loss column with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz. The Memphis Grizzlies sit just one loss behind. In a scenario in which the Clippers lose to the Thunder tomorrow night, the Grizzlies beat the Kings, and the Jazz beat the Suns, the Clippers would fall behind Utah and OKC in the loss column, and into a tie with Memphis at 14.
So yeah, things aren’t going great.
There’s some positive signs in the margin, though. Raymond Felton was tremendous last night in Dallas, putting up 26 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Brandon Bass has shown signs of life in the last week, bullying opponents down low and getting the Clippers’ second unit some much-needed inside scoring. Alan Anderson has even contributed, scoring 6 points in 5 minutes against the Pelicans and putting up a solid 10 point, 3 rebound, 3 assist line when pressed into 25 minutes of duty against the Rockets.
There’s also hope that Chris Paul and J.J. Redick can actually share the court tonight, which we haven’t seen in a week that’s felt like much longer than a week. Without Blake Griffin, having their high-powered backcourt healthy would certainly help the Clippers’ chances.