The Los Angeles Clippers were touted as one of the best teams in the league prior to the season, and now, that status is starting to get questioned by some.
“We’re not there yet… it’s going to take success, mistakes, arguments, losing games, and winning games, to get to that next level.” This is what Kawhi Leonard said after a win over the Toronto Raptors on November 11th.
Rather than getting too high over the W, Kawhi made sure to remind the media that the team is not there yet.
At the time, the Los Angeles Clippers were just a few weeks into the season, so there would have been no need to be there yet. Now a couple of months have passed, and many people seem to have forgotten Kawhi’s reminder that it is going to take mistakes, arguments, and bad losses to reach that next level.
Slowly but surely, such learning opportunities are beginning to present themselves. The growth of the Clippers is real, but that would not be evident to those who rely on the mainstream media for their NBA content.
After a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that turned Twitter into a hot-take haven, Montrezl Harrell took to the media postgame to voice his frustration with the loss. JaMychal Green later revealed that the team had a meeting in which they talked to each other and addressed the need to pull it together defensively and avoid these embarrassing losses.
Rather than using this development as an opportunity to check off two of Kawhi’s boxes that are required for reaching the next level, losses and arguments, the media instead used it to create the idea that the Clippers are a poor defensive team with locker room problems.
When a player of Kawhi Leonard’s stature cites arguments and losses as necessary components to building a championship team, it is best that we take his word for it. Amidst the growing pains however, the Clippers are better than commonly perceived. While the major news outlets may be keeping it under wraps, the Clippers are for real, they’re coming, and the stats support this.
Let’s take a look at what they show.