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The Clippers Refuse To Back Down

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This team doesn’t know the meaning of quit.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

66 games into the NBA season, and the LA Clippers just refuse to die.

A team that was predicted by some analysts to win only 29 games, has somehow survived long enough to win 37 games with a month left in the season. Not only are they tied for the 7th seed, but they’re also only a game out of the 6th seed, and three games out of the 3rd seed.

How is this possible?

How is it a possible that a team can still compete, despite: trading its best player mid-season, starting 2 rookies, and not having a single player who’s been an All-Star once? If the Clippers are playing 4 games in a week, there’s a good chance 3 of those games will be against teams with more talent than them. Doc Rivers and the Clippers know this, and that’s part of what makes them so great.

“We’re not that good,” Doc Rivers said before Monday’s game. “The best part about this team is that they know that. We know if we don’t do all the things [we’re] required to, we won’t win.”

That type of knowledge gives the Clippers a unified edge. An edge that makes the team never back down. They’re not the most talented team, but they just don’t care.

Patrick Beverley is 6′ 1″, 185 pounds, but he decided to take the challenge of guarding a 6′ 1″, 250 pound LeBron James on Monday. He did this because he simply just didn’t care, and that’s what makes him special. That attitude starts with Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell, the emotional heart and soul of the team.

“We’re guys that aren’t going to back down from anybody. We don’t care who it is. We’re gonna go out there, lace our boots, and make people compete against us.” - Montrezl Harrell

With that type of leadership at the core, every single member of the team has bought in. It doesn’t matter who you talk to on this Clippers team, each player would describe themselves as someone who “never backs down.” It might seem like a cliche statement, but it’s absolutely true. There’s no other reason to explain how a team with so little, is doing so much.

There’s no guarantee what seed the Clippers will end up in the playoffs, or if they’ll even make the playoffs at all. The one thing you can guarantee though, is that the Clippers will put up a fight, every single game of the season.