|2013-14 Team Rating|
|5th Overall||8th Overall|
Stats Through Jan. 20
DeAndre Jordan at this level, challenging for the league lead in blocks and rebounds, getting big minutes, is a huge positive alongside Blake Griffin's improved jumper.
They haven't had their backcourt, not with injuries to Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. But that's the biggest demerit in grading the first half. The Clippers remain in good shape.
Doc Rivers promised the Clippers would get better guarding the 3, and it happened. Jordan said he would be more consistent as an inside presence, and it happened.
Injuries took away from what should have been a strength, with Matt Barnes hurt and Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison needed as starters. The depth paid off.
It has not been an entirely smooth transition -- some issues self-inflicted, some from injuries -- but Rivers still has the Clippers in a good position for a playoff run.
For all the failures to capitalize against the East (11-7 against the LEASTern Conference compared to 18-7 against the tougher West), for all the unwanted medical bulletins, the Clippers are still one hot streak away from challenging for No. 1 in the conference. If this has been an inconsistent, sometimes-frustrating first half, 29-14 should still feel pretty good.
The uncertainty is whether they have yet to find a great rhythm because it's the early months under a new coach, and because of key injuries, or because this is simply who they are. If that inconsistency of the first months turns into flat-out undependable stretch, the Clippers will be walking right into another playoff disappointment. If they find their stride, though, playing in June remains a possibility.
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|