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Clipper 6th Man
Posts: 118
votes: 6

I found this article posted by "ClipperSteve" on another Clipper blog site and thought other Clipper fans may want to read makes sense.

No matter how you look at it, 2006 has been an unprecedented year for the Clippers. Among the many firsts for this team (these are for the Clippers' California history unless otherwise noted):

First playoff series win

Best overall record, 47-35

Best road record, 20-21 (franchise)

First All-NBA selection (Brand - I don't count Wilkins, who was really a Hawk)

First major extension for a player under contract (Kaman)

First extension for a coach under contract

First marketing campaign that didn't focus on the visiting teams

Add in the distraction of trade negotiations involving not one but two All-NBA caliber players, and it's been quite a year indeed. Oh, and of course it was the first year that ClipperSteve was blogging about every detail.

Unfortunately, the high expectations of spring and summer of 2006 have not been met by the performance of the winter. With essentially everyone back from the most successful team in Clipper history, the team has underachieved in the 2006 portion of the 06-07 season. The record sits at 14-16, but the actual on-court performance has been far worse than that, with the second worst road record in the league, and a differential of minus 2.x.

However, I was just looking at the Clippers of 12/31/05. That team was 16-12, a mere 3 games better than this one. In addition, last season's Clippers were coming off consecutive double-digit home losses to the Kings and Celtics, probably their two worst losses of the season. They were mired in a 2-7 stretch that had seen them go from 14-5 to 16-14. In short, on New Year's Eve 2005, the Clippers looked like they were heading back to the lottery after a fun but flukey hot start.

It's not easy to find encouraging signs in the current team, but the simple fact is things change over the course of a season. The Clippers Nov/Dec schedule has been brutal, and much more difficult than the first two months of last season. And though it's not a lot, at least this club is heading in the right direction (winners of 3 straight and 4 of 5) heading into the new year.

So don't give up ClipsNation. There's a lot of basketball yet to be played, and although the Clippers have been exceedingly mediocre thus far, we all know they can play better. We wouldn't really be fans if we didn't think the team could make a run in 2007, and record a few more franchise firsts.

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 2389
votes: 22

Well I can easily find a silver lining in what has happened over the last 5 games. Our shooting percentage is up, our defense is back, and the team's spirit is on the mend. Shooting is contagious. Defense creates offense. Winning cures a lot. We just need to keep this squad together as it is, and add a shooter by either signing a free agent veteran like Benoit suggested, or trade a second tier player with a first round pick (we have an extra) to get the shooter we need. Happy days are hear again. Well, at least maybe just ahead of us.

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1403
Location: Green Bay, WI
votes: 10

Sometimes an organization has to take one step back after a breakout season, to win a championship. This is a fact. Take a look at the NFL. The Chargers of 04, nobody expected to win and they made the playoffs. The 05 chargers missed the playoffs and the 06 Chargers are the best team in football right now. Its happened to the Patriots and many other teams. The parity in the NBA isnt quite there, but I bet if you take a look at history, you'll see how some teams had to take steps back from breakout seasons, only to come back stronger. So if we dont get to the playoffs, or we sneak in to the 8th spot, like Benoit said: Dont give up ClipNation. We are breaking through but it may take time.

Clipper 6th Man
Posts: 121
Location: Los Angeles
votes: 4

Hate to say this, but football is very different than basketball. Football is much more forgiving -- trade a few players, land a few in free agency, and suddenly you have yourselves a Superbowl Contender. In order to be a contender in basketball it takes years.

Just look at the evidence:

In football the teams who have won the Superbowl the last five/six years went on to post losing records (with the exception of the Patriots) the next year. In fact the team who goes on to win the Superbowl usually doesn't even make the playoffs the year before.

In basketball you have to have a solid, winning foundation to have any shot of the championship. Look at the teams who have won it all during those years: Lakers, Spurs, Detroit, Miami. Those are the standards. Each of the these teams were very successful in post-season at least the year before and are still very potent teams (with maybe the exception of the Lakers who lost Shaq). Don't be surprised if the team who wins it all is a team that was represented the year before in the conference finals (Suns, Mavs, Miami, Detroit).

With that said, the Clippers winning their first playoff series is a monumental step forward. That leaves the door open for better things to come.

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1403
Location: Green Bay, WI
votes: 10

Yes I understand the difference, but I wasnt comparing the two, I was taking an example from one sport as a staple for all sports.

There is a whole lot of parity in the NFL, but there are dominant teams in the last five years just like there is in the NBA, NFL, MLB and any other team sport. I was making a reference to Football because it is an example of the taking a step back to move forward (its not really going backwards, but it feels like it). It happens in all sports. I'm just saying it may take a season of going through rough wins and tough losses to be able to move forward and contend.

I understand your point. But if you take a look at the years leading up Detroit, Miami, San Antonio, and the Lakers winning championships, you'll find many times a team who seems to have it all going right, then struggles the following year, only to get stronger and start a legacy of winning in the years following.

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