The Boston Celtics (14-13) are going west to play the Los Angeles Clippers (22-6) tonight. Along with possessing the best record in the NBA, the Clippers are on a 14-game winning streak. Boston will also play Golden State (19-10) on Saturday and Sacramento (14-15) on Sunday. This will be a huge challenge to the Celts and they could come home 0-3. Then again, they could come home 3-0!
Clippers Sailing Along
Chris Paul and the Clippers have hit their stride as of late. They seem to be unbeatable and a road team will be especially challenged, as the Clippers are 13-3 at home. Boston, which just moved into second place in the NBA Atlantic Division as the hapless Brooklyn Nets lost again and then fired their coach, is a 5-8 road club.
The Clippers are averaging 101.6 PPG, which is better than the Celtics mark of 97.0. But what is especially alarming regarding this matchup is the points against category. The Celtics are at 97.0 (yes, the same as their PF) while the Clippers are 91.9. That’s the best PA in the NBA. The Green will have a big hill to climb tonight.
What Makes the Clippers Winners?
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the lynchpins for the Clippers success. But they are certainly not the entire team. Los Angeles has a great bench, which recently scored a total of 64 points in one game. The reserves are averaging 42.7 PPG, which is best in the NBA. The depth and versatility of the Clippers makes them tough to beat. Heck, it makes them tough to simply keep up with on the floor.
Paul, who came to the team before last season in a trade with New Orleans, has been a primary force in making the Clippers a contender each and every night. He’s found a home with his new team and has helped to create a franchise that is a force with which to contend. But in the past Boston has been able to control Paul. That was in the past.
I write a lot about Boston being a .500 team. I’m not putting them down. It’s an observation. I think they can do better but the fact is the odds are stacked against them. Their frontcourt has sustained injuries, they no longer have Ray Allen and the team is playing inconsistently. If they can beat the Clippers tonight, that would be a big deal. The luck of the Irish to them!