What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for December: 1. Los Angeles Clippers

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of December 31st):  25-6 , first place Pacific Division

This Month:

Team Statistics and League Rank (as of December 31st):
  • Points Scored: 101.6 (7th)
  • Points Allowed: 92.3 (4th)
  • Team FG%: .478 (4th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .428 (3rd)
  • Rebounds per game: 41.8 (18th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 40.4 (5th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.5 (10th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 17.4 (1st)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of December 31st):

  • Scoring (ppg): Blake Griffin (17.6)
  • Rebounds per game:   Blake Griffin (8.8)
  • Minutes per game:  Chris Paul (32.8)
  • Assists per game: Chris Paul (9.3)
  • Field Goal Percentage:  DeAndre Jordan (.576)
  • Steals per game:   Chris Paul (2.7)
  • Blocked Shots per game: DeAndre Jordan (1.6)

Worst Player of the Month: Grant Hill

It is pretty unfair to place Grant Hill as the worst player of the month as he had not played a single game in November; however, since there were no real candidates that deserved to be labeled the Worst for December, Hill became the official scapegoat of the team.  Everyone on the Clippers active roster has been playing at peak efficiency and there has not been any real poor performer to speak of.  Even November's worst player, Lamar Odom, has gotten out his funk somewhat as his numbers improved from the previous month and has become a solid defensive presence and the boards as well averaging 1.3 blocks and 7.3 boards per game coming off the bench.  So a sincere apology to Mr. Grant Hill, whose absence due to injury has blacklisted him as December's worst player; however, if he were to read this, Grant Hill would probably agree with the logic of why he was put there ti begin with.    
First Player of the Month: Lamar Odom

It seemed as if Odom was on his way to basketball oblivion after a rather pathetic showing in November; however he has rebounded quite nicely as his numbers have improved across the board.  Although he still continues to provide little on the offensive end averaging a career low 4.8 per game, he has given the Clippers a boost with his tenacity on the boards and the defensive end.  In December Lamar came off the bench to average around seven boards and a block per game while he supported his teammates on the offensive end with his passing as he also averaged 2.3 assists per game.  Although it has become pretty obvious that Lamar Odom will never return to the same player that won the Sixth Man of the Year Award two years ago, he has proven that he can still be a solid contributor for a team with championship aspirations.

For the first time in the city's history, there is a new basketball king in the City of Angels--after being draped under the purple and gold, Los Angeles has been freed from decades of Laker domination as the city along with the world's hoops fans will be subject to a new monarch.  After years of wallowing at the bottom of the standings and being the butt of  jokes for sports pundits and editorials, the Los Angeles Clipper have finally risen from the murky depths to sit atop the thrown of professional basketball.  This is an epic tale of biblical proportions that has been almost 43 years in the making ever since the team was a floundering basketball franchise in Buffalo, New York and after nearly a half century of floating in the filth of futility, what was thought of a pipe dream to many has now become a reality.  Now the story has finally reached its apex as the meek have finally inherited the Earth and those who were once considered the lowest of the low have, after years of wandering in the desert, finally found the promised land.  Fans whom have followed out of pity now can rejoice as their years of steadfast devotion have reaped little returns have finally been rewarded as the Los Angeles Clippers, for the first time in the team's history, are now on the top at the mountain finishing 2012 with the league's best record.

Those who have not followed the sport very long cannot even fathom the monumental historical ramifications of what they are witnessing today as this is the team that has had the onerous distinction as not only the worst franchise in the NBA, but the history of professional sports.  In its more than forty years of existence, the Clippers have only managed the reach the post season just four times in it's entire history and only one playoff series win to its credit. One can probably look up the word "loser" in a dictionary or search for it on the web and can find the the name or logo of the Los Angeles Clippers would be posted alongside the definition as the two words have long been synonymous.  Those who have had the dubious honor of playing for the much maligned franchise as the Clippers must be secretly shedding tears of joy watching the team that they had been ashamed of for so long, finally make good.  With such a momentous event, it is shocking how the Earth has managed to continue rotating on its axis after such a drastic shift in paradigm that has occurred right at this moment.

Fans were glad enough last season to see their Clippers manage to win only its second playoff series in franchise history only to be swept in the Conference Semi-Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.  They were probably would have been satisfied to continue sharing first place Pacific Division title with the fellow downtrodden Golden State Warriors as the Clips did at the end of November; however, to not only take the division, but the Western Conference as well topping the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, must have Clippers fans comatose in sheer bliss as this went beyond any if all of their expectations.  No one would have even given the idea a second thought that the Los Angeles Clippers, of all teams, would enter December with a 9-6 record and swept in to coast through the end of 2012 winning every single game. And they did it in such splendid fashion as well outscoring their opponents 105 to 89 winning all but four games by ten points or more

Some may want to diminish such a feat noting that in December the Clippers did not have such a harsh December schedule as they had only faced five teams with over .500 record and those who had winning record were not that much to speak off.  Of those five teams were a hobbling Chicago Bulls team (12/11/2012), an aging and over the hill Boston Celtic squad (12/27/2012), and two mediocre middle of the pack teams in the Denver Nuggets (12/25/2012) and the Utah Jazz (12/3, 12/28, 12/30).  Nonetheless, regardless of the level of talent that the Clippers may have faced, to simply breeze through the month of December without one loss, especially against four team that measured at par with them is monumental enough to say the least.  They may have scraped past the Bulls by just five points, and barely hung on to beat the Jazz in two of the three games they faced each other, but the Clips made short work of the Celtics crushing them by 29 points and clobbered the Denver Nuggets scoring a whopping 112 points beating them by double figures.  None of those teams were capable of containing the Clippers let alone stopping them as Los Angeles was just simply too much for them--something that would have been considered almost ludicrous if someone would have projected such a feat to occur.

With four months left in the regular season, it is delusional to think that the Clippers will maintain such a run going into 2013; nonetheless, whether they fall one, two or even three spots from the top, they will still be the Kings of L.A.  With their arch-nemesis Lakers reeling and barely able to hold on and little or no competition whatsoever save for the Golden State Warriors, look for the Los Angeles Clippers to stay atop the Pacific Division until playoff time.  Then everyone will see whether the Clippers continue to shatter even more barriers to possibly reach their first NBA Finals and maybe even win their first NBA Championship; however if that were to happen, the ensuing results will possibly be catastrophic.  Forget about the Mayan Calender, the real apocalypse will occur once the Clippers accomplish the unfathomable feat of earning its first NBA Championship.  It is doubtful that the world will be able to handle such a sudden and monumental shift that can possibly obliterate the space-time continuum--so for the sake of survival, let us hope that the Clippers do not manage to go as far to win it all as the ensuing results may have us all spiraling towards oblivion.