Lob City : New Kings of Los Angeles
They won the Pacific Division title. They won 18-straight games earlier this season. They outclassed the Lakers in every aspect of basketball. These are just some of the things the Los Angeles Clippers have accomplished this season. Oh and they are already up 2-0 in their best of 7 series against the Memphis Grizzlies. And even though the Grizzlies managed to limit Lob City to one dunk during their series opener, it was the collective effort by the Clippers under Chris Paul’s amazing leadership brought them to their first division title.
How good are the Clippers this season? They swept the not-so-mighty Lakers in their season series, the first it happened in their history. They grabbed the Pacific Division title which the Lakers have regularly won in the past seasons. They are in the top 4 seeds of the West, earning them a homecourt advantage in the first round. And, Chris Paul is having an MVP season. Chauncey Billups is back and playing. Blake Griffin just keeps on dunking over opponents. And by the way, they also have 4 ex-Lakers on their roster: Caron Butler, Ronnie Turiaf, Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom. Bench production is also one of the reasons for the Clippers’ success. In fact, Jamal Crawford finished only second to JR Smith of the New York Knicks for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
The combination of both bench production and starters’ consistency proved to be effective for the Clippers. With the Clippers-Grizzlies set to move to Memphis for Game 3 and 4, one may wonder if the Grizzlies have what it takes to take down Lob City. The Grizzlies almost took down the Clippers in Game 2 if not to Chris Paul’s last second heartbreaker. The Grizzlies certain have the talent to take out the Clippers. The problem is: the Clippers appeared to have more talent and depth than the Grizzlies.
Unfortunately, the Clippers aren’t just about Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. No. As we have witnessed during the regular season, Lob City has a bunch of players who can play big time especially when the starters are struggling. And that proved to be enough for the Clippers to beat some of the big teams in the league today. They may not have Kobe Bryant, a LeBron James or a Kevin Durant but they are a group of players who can play together as a team and beat the likes of the Heat, the Lakers or even the Thunder. In their first two playoff games against the Grizzlies, the 1-2 punch of Paul and Griffin is averaging 23 and 16 points respectively.
That’s a total of 39 points a game from this All-Star duo. The rest of the team? They’re pretty much effective both offensively and defensively. If there’s one person in Lob City that can contain the twin towers of Memphis in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, that person would be DeAndre Jordan. He and Blake Griffin have been doing a terrific in protecting the paint, blocking 2 shots respectively. Jordan may have been struggling offensively but never laugh at his defense. The Clippers are just one of the few complete teams in the league. They may not have the star power but they certainly have what it takes to compete against the elite teams in the NBA.
With that being said, there’s no valid reason why the Clippers will lose to the Grizzlies. We can expect Memphis’ twin towers to show some fight. Unless they can match every player Coach Vinny Del Negro puts on the floor, there’s no way the Grizzlies will stand a chance against Lob City. To begin with, the Grizzlies will have to contain Chris Paul and Blake Griffin but then, can they contain the rest of the Clippers? If not, then we can expect Lob City in the Western Conference Finals. It’s just the question who can stop Lob City from running away.
Article by Eleaazar Gonzales