On Saturday night, the LA Clippers marched into the TD Garden and in front of 19,000 screaming Celtics fans, convincingly beat the #1 seed Celtics and showed to the entire world that the Clippers are championship contenders. This year might finally be the Clippers’ year.

LA Clippers Destined For a Championship

LA Clippers Stats

The most obvious stat to show how well this season is going for the Clippers is their win-loss record. They are 30-14, having gone an astonishing 27-7 since their inauspicious 3-7 start to the season. They are currently the 3rd seed in the West, only 1.5 games behind the 1st seed T-Wolves and Thunder(both currently 32-13).

The Clippers’ offense is one of the best in the league. Their offensive rating of 120.7 is good for 5th in the entire league. Their PTS/G of 118.2 is 9th in the league. Oddly enough, they have one of the slowest paces in the league at 97.7, only 25th in the league. The Harden-Lue system that the Clippers are implementing is slow and methodical. It uses the superstar wing duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to exploit mismatches and create space for drives. The fact that they have been able to play this slow style and still rank as highly in the league as they do is an amazing sign for the playoffs. The game slows down and the more free-flowing, undisciplined teams in the league usually suffer from that slowdown. However, the Clippers will be able to take advantage of that change of pace and manufacture the necessary points to win series.

To pair with their fantastic offense, they have an equally impressive defense. Their opposing PTS/G of 112.0 is 8th in the league. Additionally, their defensive rating of 114.4 is 11th in the league. The stats clearly show the Clippers to have a top ten defense in the league, something that they have lacked in previous years. Their great defense combined with their great offense has created a net rating of +6.3, the 4th best in the league. The stats show that the Clippers are top title contenders.

Standouts

As many of you know, teams are made up of players. The Clippers cast of stars is full of standouts fueling their ascension to the top of the league. Obviously, their longtime superstar duo of Leonard and George has been playing just as great as ever. They’ve both been two-way stars, making waves on offense and defense. The captain of the ship, executing coach Ty Lue‘s vision has been Harden. He has transformed from a heliocentric scorer into a pass-first PG. Harden’s immense skill in playmaking and game-calling harkens back to the wizardry of Steve Nash and Magic Johnson.

Completing the quartet of multi-time all-stars in LA is the ever-controversial Russell Westbrook. Though he was ineffective as a starter early in the season, he has found his role after being moved to the bench. Leading the second unit has suited him well, providing hustle, firestarter offense, and aggressive defense off the bench.

The incredibly underrated big man rotation and bench have been just as important as all of the more well-known stars of the Clippers have been. Ivica Zubac has been having a career year, averaging highs in PPG and RPG. After his injury, unlikely hero Daniel Theis stepped up. This included a notable 18 pt performance against his former team, the Celtics, live and in color, on Saturday night primetime. The final big piece of the puzzle has been 6MOTY candidate Norman Powell. Powell is having the most efficient year of his career, as well as providing great defense off the bench. This combination of a big 3 of superstars and a deep bench, as well as underrated big men is why the Clippers are title contenders.

Future

The Clippers have long been the underdogs of the league. The long-suffering Clipper faithful are extremely used to the phrase “Maybe next year”. However, this year is different. The Clippers haven’t started a season this strong in years, if ever before. For the last few years, the team has felt like a house of cards that could all fall down if Leonard or George are injured. This year, a deep bench and gutsy performances from unlikely heroes have allowed the Clippers to endure and even succeed during injuries to key players like Leonard and Zubac. These standout performances against the elite teams in the league have proved that the Clippers are title contenders. They are the real deal and they continue to prove it with the whole world watching every single night.

Akash Mahi, a dedicated enthusiast of the game, is a recognized expert in the domain of tennis balls. With a keen understanding of materials and aerodynamics, he has contributed to the evolution of tennis ball design, enhancing playability and performance. Mahi's expertise continues to impact both casual players and professionals alike.