Los Angeles Clippers: 8-1

From here , it is all legit. No pretenders. No”if a couple of things go right” aspirants. No”maybe, just maybe” hopefuls.
Real contenders only.
The Clippers, by virtue of being mentioned after that debut, are one competition.
Free of the shadow cast by Donald Sterling and imbued with the frightening enthusiasm and deep pockets of new owner Steve Ballmer, the Clips will look to lock a top-three seed in the West again. This time, tough, they will aspire to advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
The bulk of the responsibility falls upon the recognizable shoulders of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, two players who could readily lead the Clips to another No. 1 finish in offensive performance. Together with Doc Rivers’ direction and (hopefully) another step from DeAndre Jordan, L.A. is in great position for yet another deep playoff run.
There are concerns.
The wing positions are somewhat weak behind J.J. Redick. Matt Barnes is supposed to begin at the 3, and at age 34 there should be real worries that his 4.2 percentage (yes, 4.2 percent) shooting from long range during the preseason is not as a blip and more a sign that his offensive game has dropped off a cliff.
Spencer Hawes was the team’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 offense remains elite and Rivers can handle his frontcourt rotation wisely, the Clippers could be marginally better than they were a year ago. That may be sufficient for them to achieve heights they’ve never reached before.

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