Los Angeles-The Clippers are a good team but they will need to be elite to make noise in the playoffs.
After losing against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Staples Center the Clippers playoffs hopes on going deep are dwindling down.
It’s still time to try and figure things out. There are a couple of flats the Clippers will need to fix before heading into the playoffs. They’ll need to play with a sense of urgency, play defense and hold on to early leads. You can’t depend on dunks and flashy plays to win games. The Clippers haven’t been able to match the intensity level of teams that have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs lately, but players think its more frustration than concern.
“We want to be playing better,” forward Blake Griffin said. “Concern, I don’t know if that’s the right word. Frustration, yeah. We’re not scared of any team we have to face in the playoffs, but we do need to be playing better and we do need to be executing better to be able to impose our will and our game on other teams.”
There’s uncertainty when it comes to the postseason. If they continue to struggle against title contender teams, they won’t be ready next month when the playoffs tipoff. They’ve lost against San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Denver, Miami and most recently the red hot Grizzlies; teams who have locked up a spot in the playoffs.
“We’ve just got to get better,” Paul said. “Communicate and be a little more aggressive on both ends.”
We have watched the Clippers dominate during the season, including going on an incredible 17-game winning streak. But no one will remember what they did during the season once the playoffs start. Chris Paul is the backbone of that team but his stellar performance won’t be enough to make in past the second round. The Clippers are in desperate need of post game from Griffin and De Andre Jordan.
If those two players can take their game to another level, they can become a triple threat. If not, their chances of coming up short in April will be high.
“One thing about this profession, one day you feel like you’re on top of the world and then there are those days when you feel like it’s the end of the world,” Clippers forward Lamar Odom said. “You just have to realize anything besides winning a championship is coming up short.”
Although the Clippers hold the third seed in the playoffs and have taken over ESPN’s SportsCenter, with their Lob City dunks, that won’t be impressive enough to make it out of the first round. They’ve to utilize their talent. If you dissect the NBA’s roster you can argue that the clippers have one of the best rosters in the league. The pressure is on now the Clippers and we’ll see how they respond to the New York Knicks who’s a top contender team in the East.