What’s Up With the Los Angeles Clippers’ Messy Start to the Season?


Here we are just over a week into the new NBA season and once again , bizarro basketball in Los Angeles is in full bloom. The Lakers are playing inspired ball, but are terrible at finishing games. Meanwhile, the Clippers look unaware that these games count, but are still winning (some of) them.

November 5, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) shoots the basketball against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps playing all four games at the Staples Center is part of this malaise, but I want to see more out of the Clippers. On paper, they should be a vying for a championship, not still playing preseason-caliber basketball.

Watching games has been tough and have filled me with an abundance of snarkiness. Hence, I am loaded with the following critical thoughts:

  • Doc Rivers looked terribly stressed coaching this team in the playoffs during the ongoing Donald Sterling debacle. Now, not much has changed. I wish he would give chewing on a towel a try a la Jerry Tarkanian.
  • JJ Redick is helping me remember that I’ve forgotten about Jared Dudley. Remembering to forget? That’s how perplexing his shooting has looked to this point. A career sharpshooter, JJ is only shooting a squalid .214 from three-point land. If this trend continues, the Clippers should look into some of those trick shot artists from the Red Bull videos.
  • Chris Paul

    has an unreal 13.33 to 1 turnover to assist ratio. It’s a small sample size, but before the Utah game it was 28 to 1. So maybe his two turnovers to the Jazz will be the anomaly of the season?

    Apr 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) in the second half of game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Warriors won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

  • No matter when you read this, Jamal Crawford is thinking about shooting a basketball.
  • Spencer Hawes: What’s his job? What is he supposed to do?
  • A friend told me he saw someone for Halloween wearing a t-shirt that read “Forfeit.” When he asked what was his costume about, the reply was, “I’m going as the Lakers’ first win of the season.” Ouch. To be fair, it could have been a costume from the Clippers years ago.

  • Color me impressed that Blake Griffin has shown improvement for another year. I hate it when people assume that players can develop a jump shot. It takes hard work and even then, you’re not guaranteed results. Kudos to Griffin for putting more work into basketball than his acting.
  • By the end of the season DeAndre Jordan will develop a bald spot on the back of his head. It’s his go-to locale to rest his hands when he’s in disagreement with a call. I hope he has a thick skull too.
  • Speaking of DJ, while he’s improved from season-to-season, we’re seeing him taking a step back in terms of boxing out on rebounds. In football, there is a coach designated to yell ‘Get Back’ during the entire game to keep players from encroaching onto the field; similarly, the Clippers should employ a coach to repeatedly yell, “Box Out DJ” on every possession. Make that two (one on each end of the floor).

  • It was good to see Reggie Bullock getting off the bench playing his role correctly: getting Ralph Lawler to say, “BIIIIINNNNGGGOOOOO!!!”
  • Please Google “Evil Michael Knight.” I embrace Blake Griffin’s mustache, but I pray he goes further with it. And adds eye liner.

    I have a little question about Steve Ballmer’s enthusiasm, as sometimes it comes off a little WWE-ish. Overall, I’m okay with it. My bigger issue is with the whole Dockers look. This is Los Angeles. Please show some style. Blockbuster is no longer around. Neither should that look.