The Los Angeles Clippers officially handed the title of Hollywood’s JV squad to the Lakers on friday night in a 123-87 beat down which saw the Clips break 100 in less then three full quarters. The Clippers starting five (without CP3) accounted for 90 points, shooting 65% from the field. The shellacking of their cross town rivals made it 3 straight victories for the Clippers and 5 out of their last 6 contests.
Currently, the Clippers are in the middle of a four day hiatus, which is the longest they will experience all season besides the all star break. Setting aside the Chris Paul injury, the team is getting healthy and hot at the right time as they will play 10 games in the next 15 days, 8 of these games are on the road, including a 7 game east coast road swing with match ups against 6 current playoff teams, and the surging Knicks. Luckily, they will catch a break with the lowly Bucks as the last game on their trip, but this could pose a challenge as it is likely the team will be fatigued.
As for the teams current state. Darren Collison and Blake Griffin have compensated for the loss of CP3 and are producing at a very high level. Collison has averaged close to 19 points and 7 assists in their run of three straight victories. He also has shot 95.2% from the line in the month of January, hitting 20 of 21 to start off the new year. We are once again seeing Collison’s potential being reached, much like we did in his rookie season. Chris Paul, while still mentoring the young point guard, has appeared to have less of an in game presence in terms of giving Collision direction within plays and timeouts. This can be attributed to his recouping (sometimes he is not on the bench) but also because the level of trust CP3 and Doc have in their new starting floor general.
I will admit the Goran Dragic Eric Bledsoe combination is lethal, but in terms of having a 1-2 punch at the point guard position, the Clippers have the best in the league in Paul and Collison, and DC has been proving why. With the road swing a few days away, it is imperative Collison keeps up this level of play in order for the Clippers to be successful on their trip east.