Los Angeles- With a tough loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night the Clippers got demoted from third place to fourth in the Western Conference standings. In the race to secure the No.3 seed in the West, the Clippers fell behind the Denver Nuggets. The tables flipped on Wednesday.
The Clippers regrouped and beat up the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday, 105-91, putting them back in the third spot.
The flip-flopping probably won’t be settled until the dust settles at the end of the regular season. But it’s time for the Clippers to step up their game. With two games left to play in the month, the Clippers are playing close to mediocrity, registering a 7-5 record so far in March.
From this point on if the Clippers want to survive pass the first round of the playoffs, they must find energy now. Later just might be too late.
The Wild, Wild West is getting wilder by the day. There are three teams fighting for the No. 3 seed; the Memphis Grizzlies, the Nuggets, and the Clippers. As of today, Denver has been looking like they want it, and if Oklahoma isn’t careful, the Nuggets could make a run at the No.2 seed.
Chris Paul has one of the biggest hearts in the NBA but he won’t be able to hold the throne down all by himself. He will need help from his teammates. He can certainly put his team on his back and allow them to ride it for as long as he can carry them, but the Clippers won’t it make that far because winning a championship involves more than a one-man show.
Paul wore his heart on his shoulder against the Mavericks, scoring a season-high 33 points, and making three of five three-point attempts. He fought, bled and sweated a river However, that wasn’t enough to get his team the win.
The Clippers cannot allow lackadaisical behavior with the playoffs around the corner. Now is the time to start playing playoff basketball. There’s no time to be lack enthusiasm and determination on the court. You have to be focused and you can’t let teams eat off of your mistakes.
As we all know the Clippers roster is loaded with phenomenal athletes, but they’ve to show it on the court. They have one of the best teams in the league but are not playing like it.
Blake Griffin will have to be more aggressive on offense. When you have a talented player like that on the floor you need to utilize his gifts. Griffin needs to post up more and use his body to get to the basket. If they can get that from Blake, they’ll become perilous heading into the playoffs.
But if Griffin miss eight out of 12 shots and turn the ball over four times against good teams like he managed to do against the Mavericks, chances are the Clippers will find themselves in the hot seat.
With three more games left on the road and just 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Clippers still have a chance to redeem themselves and possibly steal the third-seed back. But they must show interest and act like they really want it. Only time will tell if they’re hungry for it.