The Los Angeles Clippers have been hot like fire the last couple of weeks. They are in a 10-game winning streak, the longest for the team since the franchise move to LA and need one more game to tie the 11 wins in a row that the team achieved back in 1974 as the Buffalo Braves. The truth is that it should be no surprise that the team plays in such a good rhythm and wins games. After all the beginning of the season was spectacular for them going 8-2. But what has really changed this season and the team seems to play with such confidence and energy, comparing to last season and the years before?
Well, the team is surely more bonded this year and many of the players have individually improved greatly since then. Both offensively and on defense, every player that’s one the floor is putting up his best performance. We’ve seen an amazing season up to now from Matt Barnes. He’s most probably undervalued due to the lack of big numbers in the stats board. However, his great hustle and the energy he brings to the floor make him a valuable piece off the bench for the Clippers. He has proven to be another positive surprise for Vinnie Del Negro up to this point of the season. Eric Bledsoe has also picked up his game since last season. In fact he continues his great playoff appearances from last year, cutting down turnovers and having a great impact on scoring. Maybe the biggest surprise is DeAndre Jordan who has become a top defensive player and also contributes on offense with some terrific post moves we’ve seen. The future for the 24-year old center is subjected to be bright for him if he stays healthy and having in mind the lack of true centers in the league. His fit alongside Blake Griffin seems to work perfectly for the Clippers up to now and in fact each one almost completes the others game. Griffin has finally found his beastly-self playing like a true superstar and not as another underrated highflyer, as many opponent fans noticed during the losses of the team. Of course Chris Paul’s contribution is another great factor for the Clippers’ winning run. With 16 PPG, 9.3 assists and 2.3 steals he seems rather comfortable with his game, ready to hit the clutch shot and lead his team on the top of the western conference.
There also seems to be another great factor that helps LA win games. That is the contribution of the bench. It may sound a matter of minor importance but in fact it is the bench that locked many of the wins for the team and not only that. It’s vital for Vinnie Del Negro and every coach to know that he can trust his role players every time he has to rest the starters. In fact the Clippers’ bench is surely over delivering. Two of the top 5 scorers of the team are reserves and in fact Jamaal Crawford is second with 16.5 PPG.
Generally, this great winning streak the Clippers are in, is the combination of terrific individual efforts and improvements from most of the players of the roster and the simple yet effective tactics that Coach Vinnie Del Negro has put up. He just gives the freedom to his point guards to serve dishes and easy baskets to their teammates and create open looks for themselves, too. It has worked pretty well for the Clippers team up to now. Let’s see if they can continue to put the numbers they are doing right now and get on winning more games.
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