If you’re a fan of basketball the way it was intended to be played, the L.A.Clippers’ are the team you must absolutely root for. Not because they just recently completed a league best 17-game win streak, or because they are affectionately referred to as “Lob City”, nor the fact that they are 4th in pts allowed (93.1) and 7th in pts scored (101.9); You must root for this team simply because of Chris Paul.
I have always said that no matter how much scoring is increased and dunks are lauded, in order to win an NBA Title a team must have a facilitator, and Paul fits the description to a tee. For all you stat geeks, Paul is 48%fg, 89%ft, 91stl(thru 35 gms), 104 d-reb — yeah, defensive reb!!–, 326ast, and 199 3-pt att; which tells me he’s selective and not just jackin’ em up.
The question remains, can the Clippers win come playoff time? Yes. As long as Paul stays healthy. More important to me than numbers is Paul’s ability to control tempo on both ends of the floor and keeping everyone else in their natural order. While most NBA fans were marveling at the 17- game win streak, I was more impressed with how Paul was determined to let the Warriors’ know that there would be no ” 3rd time’s a charm” after losing twice to Golden State this season before putting on a clinic in a 115-89 victory this past Saturday. Avenging the losses to the Warriors’ mattered more to Paul than the fantastic win streak; that’s the mindset mandatory for the playoffs.
The Clippers’ will go as far as Paul takes them; hopefully to a new building next year if nothing else. They’ve clearly outgrown the Staples Center.