LA Clippers Face Tough Stretch

1/29/13 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Los Angeles Clippers are enjoying their best season as a franchise so far, heading into their season-long 8-game road trip beginning in Minnesota with a record of 33-13, good enough for third in the Western Conference. After winning a club record 17 straight games in December (the streak began their last game of November), the Clippers have been up and down, but that is to be expected of a team on the rise.

January 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) dunks to score a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsAlso, they have been without their floor general and team leader, Chris Paul for the last four games and it has noticeably shaken their confidence level. After dropping four straight, including a game in Portland where they led 100-91 with under three minutes to go in the game, the Clippers came home the next day and put a good old fashioned whooping on the Blazers.

Blake Griffin finally decided that deferring to Jamal Crawford was not his move - using his length and strength in the high and low post, Blake was has been able to see over the defense and have them pick their poison while he fills up the box score. Eric Bledsoe has been steadily becoming more comfortable with his starting role in Paul's absence, however, with Bled starting the Clippers are left without a backup point guard and that has been the reason for some of their offensive struggles. 

The tail end of this upcoming trip will be the real test for this team as they play three games in four nights against more than formidable opponents in the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Philadelphia Sixers.

The Clippers hope they can get Chris Paul back as soon as humanly possible, but they wont rush the healing process. If Chauncey Billups is able to return sooner, that may soften the blow while Paul remains sidelined. the Clippers will hope for at least a 5-3 trip, but they wont settle for that.
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