Los Angeles Clippers: 8-1

From here , it’s all untrue. No pretenders. No more”if a couple of things go right” aspirants. No”maybe, only perhaps” hopefuls.
Actual, honest-to-goodness contenders only.
The Clippers, by virtue of being said after that debut, are one such competition.
Free of the shadow cast by Donald Sterling and imbued with all the frightening enthusiasm and deep pockets of new owner Steve Ballmer, the Clips will look to lock up a top-three seed in the West again. This moment, tough, they’ll hope to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
The bulk of the responsibility falls on the familiar shoulders of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, two players who could easily lead the Clips to another No. 1 end in offensive performance. With Doc Rivers’ direction and (hopefully) another measure from DeAndre Jordan, L.A. is in great position for another deep playoff run.
There are concerns.
The wing positions are somewhat feeble behind J.J. Redick. Matt Barnes is slated to start in the 3, and at age 34 that there ought to be real concerns that his 4.2 percentage (yes, 4.2 percent) shooting from long range during the preseason is less a blip and more a signal his offensive game has fallen off a cliff.
Spencer Hawes was the group’s big offseason get, and as valuable as he is as a passer and floor-spacer, he will not scare anybody on protection.
If the crime remains elite and Rivers can handle his frontcourt rotation wisely, the Clippers might be slightly better than they were a year ago. That might be enough for them to reach heights they’ve never reached before.

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