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The Los Angeles Clippers Are a Surprise So Far This Season

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The Los Angeles Clippers were competitive in a tough western conference last season but they failed to make it to the postseason for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. Los Angeles finished with a 42-40 record and they were in 10th place in the west. They would have made it to the playoffs in the east last season.

The Clippers record so far in 2018 is 14-6 and they are tied for first in the west with the Golden State Warriors. Los Angeles traded away Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons last season, Chris Paul signed with the Houston Rockets in free agency during the summer of 2017, and DeAndre Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency during the summer of 2018.

Doc Rivers might be the favorite to win Coach of the Year right now in the NBA, but it is still early in the season. I thought the Clippers would be competitive this season, but I predicted them to miss the postseason. Can the Los Angeles Clippers continue to play at a high level?

Home court advantage is a big deal in the NBA and it has always been. They are 9-1 at home this season, but they are just 5-5 on the road. The Clippers have already beaten the Houston Rockets twice, the Golden State Warriors, and the Milwaukee Bucks this season. Those are some impressive wins.

The Los Angeles Clippers are ranked fourth in the NBA so far this season in points per game. They have averaged 116.8 a game so far this season. Los Angeles is ranked 21st in the NBA defensively. They have given up an average of 111.8 points per game so far this season.

Tobias Harris is averaging 21.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG so far this season. Danilo Gallinari is averaging 19.1 PPG and 6.2 RPG so far this season. Montrezl Harrell is having a breakout season for the Clippers. He is averaging 15.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG, and 1.1 SPG.

Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 10.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1 SPG so far this season. Patrick Beverely, Avery Bradley, Marcin Gortat, Lou Williams, and Boban Marjanovic have been some key role players for the Los Angeles Clippers so far this season.

If the Clippers make it to the playoffs this season, it could be very interesting because that could possibly open up the door to sign Kawhi Leonard this offseason. Leonard has talked about going to Los Angeles, but he wouldn't mind playing for the Clippers or the Lakers.

This isn't good news for Lakers fans especially if the Clippers make a deep run in the playoffs. Both of those teams would have enough cap room to give him the money he wants. What wouldn't be good news for both teams is if Kawhi Leonard wins an NBA title this season for the Toronto Raptors.

Doc Rivers usually doesn't miss the playoffs two years in a row. The Los Angeles Clippers will be fine as long as they play hard and don't get injured.

This article was originally published on @gk18