As the NBA season gets underway, everyone is making predictions about who is going to win the title. The Los Angeles Clippers started to get a lot of attention when they added Chris Paul (widely known as “CP3”). In my opinion, the 2011-12 Clippers have definitely secured themselves a ticket to the playoffs, and I predict they will be NBA champs within the next few years!
In their 41-year history, the Clippers franchise has never won the NBA Championship. The Clippers have also never won a Western Conference title. The Clippers have not even won a Pacific Division title in all that time – which should make my prediction all that more exciting for longtime Clippers fans! While I think that this year is too soon for the Clippers to bring home the championship trophy, I do think they are getting close to finally getting the trophy and dominating the NBA for the next decade.
The trade for CP3 this year was huge. That one trade alone will turn this franchise into a Western Conference powerhouse. However, as many one-star teams over the years have shown, one superstar does not make a championship team. Luckily for the Clippers, it is not just CP3 that is going to get them to the finals.
It is the CP3–Blake Griffin combo. Clearly, CP3 is amazing, but by pairing him with Griffin, their incredible power forward, now they have an unstoppable combo. Last year, Griffin racked up an impressive 214 dunks, so he will give CP3 a nice target for alley-oops this season. Griffin recently won an ESPY for Breakthrough Athlete of The Year. He was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last month, the first Clipper to be featured on SI’s cover in eleven years!
The CP3 trade was not announced until December 15 - after the Sports Illustrated issue came out. Griffin was already the Clippers’ star player before CP3 became a Clipper. This combo will make a fun scoring machine to watch.
In Griffin’s own words, when he heard that he was going to be playing with Chris Paul, he exclaimed “Yeah, it’s going to be lob city!” He was hinting that the duo is going to result in a lot of points scored on alley-oops. Those are pretty strong, confident words coming from the 22-year-old, but I have to agree with him. If he is right, it is going to be fun to watch! Another reason that I believe the Clippers are about to rule the NBA is that beyond Paul and Griffin, they have three other amazing starters: Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and DeAndre Jordan. If these five great players can work together and find their game, then this lineup is truly unstoppable. If they can get trust in each other quickly, they will destroy the Western Conference because they have the talent to be an amazing team.
The Clippers have not gotten off to a perfect start by any means, and they definitely need some help with their defense. But the lockout and the loss of preseason workouts is never a good way to start the season (I explained my thoughts on the lockout effects in my first blog, click here to read it). It seems to me that CP3, Griffin, and the rest of the Clippers are still trying to get used to each others’ games, but the more they play together, the more those lobs are going to start falling from the sky.
While many people are doubting this year’s Clippers, my money is on them to be the team to dominate the NBA this decade. I think we need sit back and watch and give them some time. It is bound to happen. I am sure Clippers fans think that after 41 years it’s about time to bring home that trophy!