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The Los Angeles Clippers Contenders Or Pretenders?

By: James Jones, CW

With the NBA playoffs soon underway the Los Angeles Clippers have been making some major headway. The Clippers are trying to secure a top spot after the grueling battle they had with the Phoenix Suns where both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had big nights. Along with how well the team has been playing they’ve also added some new additions to the roster: champion and cerebral point guard Rajon Rondo and gritty high scoring big man DeMarcus Cousins. While the chemistry looks great now in the regular season, will the teams’ play translate well into the  postseason? 

Judging from what we’ve seen this year it wouldn’t be a bad bet to place that the Los Angeles Clippers could make a real run for the championship this season; the team has been healthy for the most part, chemistry looks good along with the new pieces and good coaching from head coach Tyronn Lue. Even though the Clippers seem to look good on paper one has to question whether or not they are truly a team that can get over the hump and win a championship. Up until Rondo’s arrival to the team they haven’t had a real leader on the floor even with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They may be able to produce for themselves and get themselves going for 48 minutes, but their energy can never seem to permeate throughout the entire team.

Now that Rondo is on the team and has had some time on the floor he really has the potential to be a huge asset for them come playoff time; and judging from the battle against the Suns it’s clear he can be the battery in the back that the Clippers needed. Unfortunately while I really like Demarcus Cousins and the kind of demonstrative energy he can bring to the team, it’s his health that is the first thing to come into question and how hard he can push his body to produce for the team. He’s currently on a ten-day contract and has played only one game with the Clippers but showed some promise, as long as Serge Ibaka is back to 100 percent and Cousins can stay healthy, the Clippers will have two solid bigs to go make it out of the Western Conference and go up against the trees they have in the top Eastern Conference teams. 

Contrary to popular belief it’s very possible that the Los Angeles Clippers as of right now are not pretenders and in fact are contenders; they have the third seed pretty much clenched fighting for the top spot only a few games behind the Utah Jazz and battling the Phoenix Suns for the number two spot. While there is a case to be made that the Clippers can’t get to the NBA’s Big Dance, including hungry veteran teams in the West and stacked teams in the East. It is also possible, however, that the trade deadline adjustments they made can put them over the top. The fact of the matter is that this Clipper team now has a deeper bench, bigger bodies and more firepower to make a run and clench the title.

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